All that the Italy government crisis threatens to jeopardise & More Breaking News

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Written by enews

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is due to address parliament Wednesday to clarify his position after the president rejected his resignation last week. It is not clear whether Draghi will change his mind and stay on, whether President Sergio Mattarella will seek to appoint a new prime minister, or whether Italy will bring forward a national election to early October.

Following are some of the measures that could be impacted by this government crisis which comes before an election due to be held in the first half of 2023.

Mitigating rising energy costs

Italy’s Treasury is working on a new 10 billion euro ($10.2 billion) stimulus package aimed at helping families and firms cope with surging energy costs, government officials said. Labour and ecological transition ministers said the government planned to approve the scheme by the end of this month despite Draghi’s resignation.

Recovery and Resilience Fund (PNRR)

Italy is entitled to benefit from more than 200 billion euros in post-pandemic recovery funds from the European Union until 2026, but must pass a series of incremental reforms to ensure the cash continues to flow.

The government so far has secured almost 67 billion euros of EU funds, but Rome needs to reach 55 new targets in the second half of 2022 to get an additional tranche worth 19 billion euros.

Among these, Italy must by the end of this year approve steps to promote competition in product and services markets. This is triggering protests from lobby groups, especially taxi drivers who demonstrated in Rome last week.

Justice reform

Probably the most controversial of Draghi’s 17-month premiership, the justice reform aims to cut the length of trials by 25% over five years in criminal cases and by 40% in civil ones, where the situation is even worse. Critics say it risks allowing thousands of criminals to escape justice by dropping cases when the appeal process drags on too long.

Justice Minister Marta Cartabia promised the reform would be completed in the second half of this year.

Budget 2023

Italy has not had an autumn election for a century because this is traditionally when parliament passes the budget law for the following year. If parliament fails to approve the budget by December, spending the following year is allocated automatically, month by month, on the basis of a draft budget outlined by the Treasury in October.

Sale of ITA Airways

It is unclear how the government crisis could affect the sale of a majority stake in state-owned airline ITA Airways, the successor to Alitalia. Shipping group MSC has filed an offer together with Germany’s Lufthansa. They faced a rival bid from US financial investor Certares which was working with Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines.

MPS funding

A strategic goal of the Treasury under Draghi’s administration is to help state-controlled bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) to raise 2.5 billion euros in cash by mid-November via a new share issue. A vote in the autumn would likely unnerve markets, making it hard for the lender to tap private investors for the part of the capital raising which is not covered by the state, bankers say.

Unified Broadband Network

State lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) is in talks with Telecom Italia (TIM) over a plan to create a unified broadband operator by combining TIM’s fixed network infrastructure with that of state backed rival Open Fiber. CDP, which holds a 60% stake in Open Fiber, said on Sunday the project was industrially viable and talks between the parties would continue despite the political crisis.

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