Italy ups coronavirus stimulus spending to €750 billion – nearly half its GDP

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The European Union’s second-most indebted economy is going all in on coronavirus stimulus.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced a fresh €400 billion aid package for the country, to prop up businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdowns.

Conte called the move, “the most powerful intervention in the country’s history”.

“We will soon see a new spring for Italy but for the moment we must stay at home,” said Conte.

Half the funds are for the domestic market and half to support exports. This brings the total amount of government aid to €750 billion, after an initial injection of liquidity last month.

The money will guarantee loans to businesses in the country, covering from 90 – 100 per cent of the debt for smaller businesses, 70 – 80 per cent coverage for larger firms and loaning up to €800,000. Work taxes will also be suspended for the next two months, costing the government up to €10 billion. In a tweet, Conte said when the country is able to get up off its knees, it will be able to run.

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