EU's Gentiloni says Italy can't afford any delays on recovery plan

Italy can't afford any delays in the implementation of its post-COVID recovery programme, the European Union's Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said, as the country heads to the polls this month to elect a new government, reports citing Reuters.

Asked if changes to the EU-wide recovery programme could be considered to take into account the energy crisis facing the bloc, Gentiloni said energy transition was already a core objective of the programme and only a fine-tuning of the recovery plans countries have agreed was possible.

"What we certainly cannot afford is to stop and start all over again," he said on the sidelines of the Ambrosetti business forum.

"For countries receiving large contributions such as Italy or Spain the recovery plan really is a matter of a race against time," he added.

Rome is entitled to some 200 billion euros ($199 billion)($205 billion) in cheap loans and grants from the fund set up to help the bloc's 27 countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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