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EU Commission approves Italy's 191.5 bln euro recovery scheme

·1 min read

BRUSSELS, June 22 (Reuters) - The European Commission approved on Tuesday Italy's 191.5 billion euro plan, the biggest in the European Union, to recover from the pandemic and transform the economy to become greener and more digitalised in coming years.

The scheme will be financed from EU grants and loans until 2026, with 68.9 billion euros in grants and 122.6 billion in loans that will be jointly raised on the market by the 27-nation bloc to lower the cost of borrowing.

Once the plan is also approved by EU finance ministers in July, Italy will get 24.9 billion euros in pre-financing for projects foreseen under the plan.

The Commission said Italy would allocate 37% of all spending, the EU requirement, to fight climate change through renovation to increase the energy efficiency of buildings.

It will also promote the use of renewable energy sources, including hydrogen and put special emphasis on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport, with investments in sustainable urban mobility and railway infrastructure.

Italy is also to spend 25% of the total, above the EU requirement of 20%, on making the economy more fit for the digital age, by the digitalisation of businesses and the expansion of ultra-fast broadband networks and 5G connectivity.

Rome will also invest in the digitalisation of the public administration, health, justice and education. (Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)