ITALY RISKS MISSING RECOVERY PLAN DEADLINE SET BY EU
Italy risks missing an April 30 deadline for submitting a final version of its Recovery Plan to the European Commission because Brussels is not satisfied with several aspects of the drafts presented so far, two sources close to the matter said.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Mario Draghi firmly denied that the deadline would be missed. "The plan will be presented on April 30," he said. An Economy Ministry spokesman said "our aim remains to present it on April 30," Giuseppe Fonte and Gavin Jones reported for Reuters.
A delay would be a blow to Draghi, who took office two months ago tasked with fine-tuning the plan prepared by the previous government.
All 27 European Union (EU) countries have been working on their national plans which spell out how each government wants to spend its share of the EU's 750-billion-euro ($900 billion) Recovery Fund joint borrowing scheme.
Italy is eligible for more than 200 billion euros in grants and cheap loans from the Fund, the biggest slice of any EU country. The money will be disbursed gradually over six years.
"The Commission is unhappy with the Recovery Plan as it stands," said one of the sources, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. The source said Draghi would probably present the plan around mid-May, but a longer period may be required to overcome the Commission's objections.