Has Italy got its aid package right?

On Wednesday evening Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte presented the government's coronavirus aid package. The package is called the "Rilancio" (relaunch) and comprises 55 billion euros in funding for businesses, families and the unemployed. The national press is sceptical about the proposed measures.

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La Stampa (IT) /

Promises galore but no plan

The package seems very haphazard, La Stampa writes:

“Faced with an unprecedented situation, putting together a coherent project was more than just difficult. Nevertheless, the 500-page document points in every respect to a dysfunctional political system that is hardly able to identify what is really needed in different parts of the country and what is not. The description of the various requirements appears to be based mainly on the requests submitted by individual professional associations to respective ministries. So every minister requested at least one chapter dealing with matters that concern him. Only the Ministry of Finance seems to have demonstrated any ability to plan. The measures pertaining to 'industrial policy' leave much to be desired.”

Avvenire (IT) /

A plan for bureaucrats

The package fails to address investments, says Avvenire:

“A sweeping decree spanning more than 250 articles and 500 pages, the main thread of which - apart from repairing damage to the economy and society - is difficult to determine, poses above all one risk, namely that it bolsters the very bureaucracy we want to fight. ... The Conte government assures us that this will not be the case. ... We will see whether the time invested into putting the package together has actually resulted in an improvement of distribution mechanisms. ... The first impression one gets when reading it, however, is that it deals mainly with current spending and gives little space to investments even though they are the mainstay of a true relaunch.”