Italy says no to 39 billion in EU funds

The Italian government has announced that it will not accept 39 billion euros from the EU's coronavirus rescue package. Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Antonio Misiani said his country would only use the aid for short-time work schemes and the loans from the European Investment Bank. What is behind this rejection?

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Italy - hostage to the populists

Investors are pulling out of Italian bonds, which is driving up the yields on them. A comparison with Spain shows that this is due to Rome's political course, business journalist Federico Fubini comments angrily in Corriere della Sera:

“In Spain the yields on ten-year government bonds are half as high as in Italy even though the two countries were equally hard hit by the pandemic, are subject to the same European decisions and will suffer recessions of similar intensity. ... The difference must therefore lie in their politics. Both governments are complex and fragile coalitions, but it is only in Italy that a debate about the ESM bailout fund has begun. A debate that ultimately only serves to remind us that Italian politics can always end up being hostage to the sovereignists.”

Der Tagesspiegel (DE) /

Coronabonds would be anti-Salvini bonds

Der Tagesspiegel, on the other hand, sympathises with Italy's stance:

“Italy and other nations such as France and Spain expect not just what they consider ESM alms, but real solidarity from the EU in the form of repayable, special-purpose 'coronabonds' for which the member states are jointly liable. ... The refusal of Germany, the Netherlands and Austria to go along with this form of European solidarity despite an unprecedented emergency disappoints even die-hard pro-Europeans in Italy. Above all, however, it's grist to the mill of right-wing populists and anti-Europeans such as Matteo Salvini. ... Since the dispute over the 'coronabonds' he's come back with a vengeance. ... 'Coronabonds' would also be 'anti-Salvini bonds'.”