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Italy’s right-wing frontrunners see room to revamp national Recovery Plan

MEP Raffaele Fitto addresses a plenary session of the European Parliament to present a programme of activities by the French Presidency, as France currently holds the European Union rotating presidency. This was in Strasbourg, France on 19 January, 2022.

The Brothers of Italy party is in pole position for next months’ elections and sees potential to overhaul parts of an EU-funded investment program to help the economy deal with a rising cost of living and an energy crisis.

The resignation of Prime Minister Mario Draghi has opened the door to early elections on September 25, with surveys showing that the far-right Brothers of Italy led conservative alliance is well-positioned to win a majority in parliament.

Italy can receive loans and grants of more than €200 billion ($205.4bn) from the fund that was established to aid the 27 member countries in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Up to now, the EU has provided funds totalling almost €67bn to the outgoing government. Rome must now reach 55 additional targets in the second quarter of 2022 in order to tap an additional €19bn this year, according to Raffaele Fitto, cochair of the European Conservatives and Reformists, – Brothers of Italy group at European Parliament.

Fitto wrote that the war in Ukraine had put us in front with different goals and priorities than the ones we had at the time of writing the plan in early 2021.

He stated that EU rules allow members to modify their national plans if certain milestones or targets are not achieved.

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Fitto stated that the national plan must take into consideration rising energy prices as well as increasing costs of materials. This will make it more difficult for construction companies to work on public projects.

He stated, “We don’t want to abandon the current plan, but we… make it more efficient to ensure structural growth.”

A senior source close to Brothers of Italy who requested anonymity, stated that the party would not risk any money from the EU.

Draghi’s government had previously ruled out renegotiating its national Recovery Plan. In May, it allocated some €10bn until 2026 to help with the rising cost of raw materials.

($1 = €0.9737)

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