Italy approves €55-billion-euro economic package
The Italian government approved on Wednesday a much-awaited economic package -- worth €55 billion ($59.5 billion) -- which aimed at helping families and firms damaged by the forced lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The measures, unveiled by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in a televised press conference, include tax suspensions and incentives for firms obliged to stop their activities and financial aid for families and workers who lost their jobs.
"THIS IS A CRY FOR HELP"
“There are people left with no jobs and no income, retailers who risk to shut down, entrepreneurs who face a complete uncertainty for the future,” Conte said. “That is a cry for help that we have never ignored. That is a painful picture of this country that we know and that is why we have done our best to address these difficulties.”
Conte stressed that the main measures included in the new government decree aimed at “relaunching and supporting firms to direct the economy towards a swift restart.”
Agriculture Minister Teresa Bellanova, who battled hard to obtain the approval of the measure, burst into tears during the press conference, remembering her own past as a farmhand.
“For someone maybe it was a secondary issue. But for me, for my personal story, that is fundamental,” Bellanova said. “Starting today, the invisibles will be more visible. From today, the State will win, because it is stronger than crime and illegal hiring.”