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Italy is in danger of missing out on the Recovery Plan deadline due to EU concerns, Reuters sources


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi meets with journalists, in Rome

By Giuseppe Fonte and Gavin Jones

ROME (Reuters) – Italy risks missing the April 30 deadline for submitting the final version of the Restoration Plan to the European Commission as Brussels is not satisfied with some aspects of the draft presented for so far, two sources close to said.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s spokesman firmly denied that the deadline would be missed. “The plan will be presented on April 30,” he said. “Our goal remains to present it on April 30,” an Economy Ministry spokesman said.

The delay will be a blow to Draghi, who took office two months ago tasked with revising the plan prepared by the predecessor government.

All 27 European Union countries have been implementing their national plans that state how each government wants to spend its share of the 750 billion Recovery Fund joint loan program. Euro (900 billion USD) of the EU.

Italy is eligible for more than € 200 billion in grants and cheap loans from the Fund, the largest share of any EU country. The amount will be disbursed gradually over six years.

“The committee is not satisfied with the current restoration plan,” said one of the sources, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

The source said Draghi will likely present the plan around mid-May, but it may take a longer time to overcome the Commission’s objection.

Among Brussels’ main concerns was the lack of details on how the plan will be managed once it is approved by the EU and the content of some of the outlined reforms, including the private system, the source said. France.

Another source also said Brussels wants changes to the plan, which will take time and said mid-May appears to be a “real” time for its presentation.

The previous Italy didn’t think it might be late, and Draghi told reporters on April 8 that “on April 30, we will execute our plan”.

A Commission spokesperson said it did not specifically comment on Italy’s plans, but the Commission understands that drafting the Restoration Plans is a challenging task for all countries. members while they are also focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

As usual, plans will be presented by April 30, some countries “may need a few more weeks”, and “quality should come first”. She added that the Commission is currently in “in-depth dialogue” with all countries on the preparation of their plans.

BLUEPRINTS FOR SPENDING

Commission Vice Chairman Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday that some EU countries would miss the April 30 target date, but did not say a date.

Draghi’s main task in taking office, along with the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, is to come up with a Solid Recovery Plan to ensure the flow of EU funds ultimately unleashes growth for the economy. chronic stagnation.

The national plans are spending blueprints on grants and loans that each EU country will receive from the Commission’s unprecedented joint loan to rebuild greener and digital economies. more after the epidemic COVID-19.

In his comments on Friday, Dombrovskis said the delay in submitting some of the plans would not push back the plan as a whole, details still need ratification by some parliaments.

Dombrovskis said that, provided any delays in presenting the plan are not too long and ratification is completed in all member states by June, the Commission may make initial disbursements. first in July.

(1 dollar = 0.8345 euros)



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