The EU’s executive Commission approved 191.5 billion euros in virus recovery funds for Italy in July. The bloc’s third biggest economy was hit hardest by the coronavirus, both economically and in terms of the number of deaths, and will therefore receive the largest share of the 750 billion euro recovery pot.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen is currently touring the EU to officially launch the recovery fund following a historic decision to combine debt.
The first batch of Italy’s funding, valued at almost 25 billion euros, could arrive as early as next month.
Italy’s legendary Cinecitta film studios in Rome, which will receive 300 million euros from the EU funds, hosted a press conference for the two leaders.
One of the largest studios in Europe, it was often referred to as “Hollywood on the Tiber” in the 50s for regularly showing US blockbusters. It was also a second home to the legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi assured attendees of the joint press conference that the money will be spent wisely, with reforms to Italy’s justice system to be introduced posthaste.
According to von der Leyen, these key reforms include reducing the length of both civil and criminal trials, changes to competition law, and modernizing the administration.
Draghi’s recovery plan involves support for young people, digital investments, and climate goals.