Italy

Will Italy Use The Golden Opportunity For Reform Through Stimulus Package?

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It is high time for Italy to think about reforming its economy. Political analysts are of the opinion that Italy has been lagging behind in any kind of reform for many years and this comes out evidently in the fact that it has done nothing in the last decade to update its labor market policies or cut red tape.

The need for reform becomes even more important as the European Union disburses a huge stimulus package to support the setback to the bloc due to the Covid-19 virus led prolonged lockdown.  The robust €750 billion packages are being shared by the most needing economies of the EU bloc. Italy is being considered one of them.

It is expected to receive about €81 billion in grants and about €127 billion in loans from the European Union, starting in 2021. According to the former PM Enrico Letta, “this is a great opportunity for Italy to look forward to a much needed economic reform, provided the money coming in is utilized appropriately.”

Had Italy gone ahead and done the needful, individuals like former director Carlo Cottarelli at the IMF could have better things to say for the country. According to Cottarelli, “time reform could have saved Italy the huge debt piles it has landed itself into.” According to formal statistics, Italy has the largest amongst the other EU nations after Greece.

For the current PM, Giuseppe Conte, the funds would mean a greener, more digitalized, and innovative Italy. He is definitely missing the ‘moot’ point, yet again. While one of the major reform policies remains to be green development, the other agendas will need the majority vote of the 27 members states; to ensure the money is being utilized to its fullest.

According to Cottarelli, “the money will be disbursed if and only if reform is really put into action and does not remain on paper.” Implementation is definitely the key here. But looking at the track record of the Italian government, there are doubts over implementation in the first place.

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