Regions embarrass government: ‘Pnrr cuts will stop construction sites’
by Giuseppe Colombo
The construction site for updating the Pnrr, the Italian national recovery and resilience plan worth 191.5 billion (of which 69 are grants and the rest are repayable loans), is starting again. Minister Raffaele Fitto flew to Brussels to meet the head of the Recovery Task Force, Celine Gauer. “The Commission services had a meeting with the Minister today Raffaele Fitto on the Italian PNRR – said a spokesman for the European Commission – we have regular meetings of this type with all Member States. The meeting took place in a positive and constructive atmosphere. The following topics were discussed: the review of the Italian plan, the forthcoming fourth payment request and the organization of the work on the recovery plan in the future.”
by Giuseppe Colombo
For his part, Fitto commented: “It went very well, I’m optimistic. We work positively.”
According to government sources, the Minister for EU Affairs, the South and the PNRR “discussed constructively the global review of the PNRR, including the new RePowerEe chapter. Work on the review will continue in the coming weeks as part of closer cooperation between the Italian government and the European Commission.
As always reported by the Italian side, it is “a first discussion after the summer break on the implementation of the Pnrr”. In addition to the question of revising the Pnrr with the addition of the RePowerEu chapter, “particular note was taken of the positive discussions that took place at the meeting of the Economic Policy Committee on the third tranche of the Pnrr and at the meeting of the Economic and Financial Committee too the changes to the fourth installment, which should allow Italy to shortly receive the payment of the third installment of 18.5 billion euros and submit the request for payment of the fourth installment in the coming weeks.”
by Giuseppe Colombo, Giovanna Vitale
The payments of the third and fourth installments are currently in the “ballo”. The first months of negotiations lasted from Italy’s submission in Brussels late last year to an agreement in July. The final review, expected in the next few days or with next week’s Ecofin meeting, has fallen from 19 to 18.5 billion, with targets for university student bed places pushed back to the fourth installment. This is currently under investigation. Once formally approved, Italy will formally request payment with the aim of recovering the tranche by the end of the year.
As for the broader changes to the plan, before the August break, the government submitted its proposal, which is now being considered by the EU. It is about removing 9 measures from the Pnrr for almost 16 billion euros and instead integrating the new REPowerEu targets for 19.2 billion euros, all dedicated to the energy sector. The planned measures range from the development of national and transnational energy networks to entrepreneurial incentives for the energy transition, from the extended eco-bonus (based on the model of the Superbonus) to the promotion of biofuels, smart grids and photovoltaics. On the other hand, of the missions up to 2026, some rumors appear that have caused controversy in the political world but especially in the local authorities, starting with the funds for the valorization of the municipal area, ending with interventions against flooding and hydrogeological instability. The government gives assurances that alternative sources of funding will be found, but local governments risk being left in limbo as businesses and projects grind to a halt.