Giuseppe Conte Says Italy Won’t Use All EU Recovery Funds Over Debt Concerns

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy won’t make full use of European Union pandemic recovery funds amid growing concerns over rising public debt and the country’s ability to effectively use the funds.

“We cannot use all the loans that we’re given,” Conte said on Wednesday during his year-end press conference in Rome. “There is a limit, we have to be credible and offer a sustainable curve for public debt.”

Giuseppe Conte Says Italy Won’t Use All EU Recovery Funds Over Debt Concerns

Italy is entitled to up to 81 billion euros ($99 billion) in grants from the EU and up to 127 billion euros in loans. Public debt is expected to near 160% of gross domestic product at end of this year.

Conte also cautioned that the government needs to overcome internal frictions to access that funds, which are crucial to modernize the country’s economy and lift it out of the recession.

“By mid-February we should be able to present a final document” on how EU funds will be spent, Conte said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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