Italy to help auto sector, minister says

Automotive Industry

Source: Automotive News Europe, 2020-08-31

Italy's latest stimulus package, aimed at helping the economy overcome the coronavirus pandemic, will include assistance for the auto and tourism sectors, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said.

The government has said it will present the measures, worth a total €25bn ($29.32bn), in an emergency decree early in August.

A source told Reuters this month that slightly less than €1bn would be allocated to strengthen current incentives to encourage sales of state-of-the-art combustion engine cars as well as electric and hybrid vehicles.

Addressing a parliamentary committee on Tuesday 28 July, Gualtieri did not provide details.

The automotive industry accounts for about 6.2% of Italy's gross domestic product, data provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles showed.

Tourism contributes about 13% to GDP, according to the World Trade and Tourism Council.

Gualtieri told lawmakers that part of the extra spending would be used to extend financing for temporary layoff schemes "for a further 18 weeks on a selective basis." Companies hit hardest in the first half of 2020 will be entitled to ask for more help, Gualtieri said.

The latest stimulus will drive the 2020 budget deficit to 11.9% of national output, versus a goal of 10.4% set in April, while the country's public debt is set to rise to 157.6% of GDP this year.

The new measures come on top of some €75bn Rome has already deployed to help businesses and families.

Overall, the government plans to pledge up to €212bn of economic help for families and firms, including state guarantees on banking loans, though only part of this sum is expected to be spent.

The Italian economy has been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, with the European Commission predicting it will contract 11.2% this year -- the sharpest fall within the 27-nation bloc.


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