Italy to Approve Reform Decree to Unlock EU Recovery Funds

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Draghi to have extensive powers to carry out investment plan

PM moves to put plan out of reach of party spoils system

Other measures cut red tape for renewables, broadband rollout

ROME, May 28 Reuters The Italian government will meet later on Friday to approve a decree setting out how it will oversee investments funded by the European Union and accelerating procedures for public works, a key step in unlocking the EU funds.

The reforms were promised to the European Commission to get a green light for Romes Recovery Plan and obtain a first tranche by August of the 205 billion euros 250 billion in grants and cheap loans it is due to receive from Brussels.

The cabinet is scheduled to meet at 6 pm 1600 GMT to sign off on the decree, which has been the subject of tense negotiations with trade unions. It will then be sent to the Commission for approval.

Italy, which presented its Recovery Plan last month, is the biggest beneficiary of the 750 billion euro kitty set up to help the blocs 27 countries recover from the COVID19 pandemic.

According to a draft of the decree seen by Reuters, governance of the plan will be run by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, key ministers and cabinet undersecretaries, while the Treasury is responsible for drawing attention to any hitches in the progress of investments.

A separate audit body at the state accounting office is charged with preventing cases of fraud, corruption or conflict of interest.

Draghi will have extensive powers to appoint…

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