Italy should not take on more debt to respond to the energy crisis but it should be able to amend its European Union-backed recovery programme to ease pressures, Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni said on Sunday (4 September).
Meloni’s party is the largest in a centre-right alliance on course for victory in a 25 September national election.
There are concerns that a new government might shy away from some of the reforms needed to ensure Italy gets access to some €200 billion ($199bn) in EU funds for its post-COVID Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).
“It can’t be heresy to say that the PNRR, which was written before the current situation, can’t be modified. It’s set out in the rules of the PNRR,” Meloni told the Ambrosetti Forum business conference.
She suggested a small part of the funds might be diverted towards supporting measures such as decoupling the price of electricity from gas prices at a local level to help Italian consumers.
Matteo Salvini, leader of the League Party that is also a member of the centre-right alliance, said action was needed now to help Italian businesses and households.
“The problem is now. Life is now, survival is now,” he told the same meeting in northern Italy.
“October is late, November is late,” he added, suggesting Italy should look at copying a €65bn package adopted by Germany on Sunday.
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