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MNI:Italy Decree To Boost Meloni's Control Over EUR200Bln Plan


The Italian government is preparing a decree law to give Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her team more direct control of the country’s EU-funded EUR200 billion National Recovery Plan in a bid to overcome delays which have threatened to make it difficult to spend the money on time, government sources told MNI.

The decree, work on which began at the end of 2022 but which could be published this week, will give control of the Recovery Plan to European Affairs Minister Raffaele Fitto, a member of Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy party.

Fitto, who has been engaged in a tussle for control of key programmes with Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, a member of junior coalition member the League, has been openly critical of Italy’s struggle to meet tight deadlines for unlocking EU funds under the plan. His public acknowledgement of these difficulties, and challenges posed by higher raw material prices, provide political justification for the decree, which will downgrade a Technical Secretariat staffed by independent civil servants with terms until 2026 created under former Prime Minister Mario Draghi to steer politicians on implementation of the plan, one source said. (See MNI:Italy Coalition In Fight To Control Economy Policy-Sources)


Instead a new body with staff appointed until the end of the government will oversee the plan’s implementation. While it might not be legally practical to abolish the existing Secretariat, whose creation under Draghi was agreed by major parties including Brothers of Italy, it will be shunted towards lesser tasks, a source at the Secretariat said.

The decree will also allow the national government to take control of certain projects and tenders from local government in case of delays and to override regional opposition to projects.

The government will grant regional and local governments access to national government expertise to overcome bottlenecks and to ensure contracts are awarded in a timely fashion, sources said.

The government has already briefed the European Commission on its upcoming decree and is confident that Brussels will not object to its move, which will be perceived as an internal matter, the sources said.

MNI Rome Bureau | +34-672-478-840 |
MNI Rome Bureau | +34-672-478-840 |

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