The 25-billion-euro plan to rescue Italy's economy from coronavirus crisis
The Italian government has unveiled a 25-billion-euro rescue plan designed to shield families and businesses from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 has killed more than 4,000 people in Italy and has forced Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to close most businesses for at least two weeks.
"To cope with this great emergency, we will release around 25 billion euros for the benefit of the Italian economic system," Conte said on Monday.
As part of the "Italy Cure" rescue plan, €10 billion will be allocated "to support employment and workers" and another €3.5 billion to help the healthcare system.
Some of the specific measures include:
Families can apply for permission to suspend their mortgage payments if business shutdowns caused by the pandemic threaten their livelihoods.
Self-employed or seasonal workers can apply for a special payout of €600 in March.
Parents can claim up to €600 to pay for babysitting.
Parental leave is extended to 15 days.
In March and April, people caring for a loved one with disabilities are entitled to take up to 12 days' leave a month instead of three.
Employees can claim time under quarantine as sick leave.
The Italian rescue provides "a very strong injection of liquidity into the credit system that can mobilise around 340 billion [euros] in loans to the real economy, with suspension of loan and mortgage repayments," said Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri.
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Neither Gualtieri nor Conte explained how much money was being injected into the financial system or how their estimate of €340 billion in cash flows was derived. It represents roughly 20 percent of Italy's entire gross domestic product.
Gualtieri did not mention how the government intends to offset the partial suspension of some tax payments and employee contributions until June. He said Rome "counts on European funds" to support some of its measures.
The plan is still being finalised.
The Local will bring you more on the funding and how it can be accessed as this information becomes available.