|  NEWS

Italy is due to spend €13 billion less in European post-COVID recovery funds in 2022 than previously anticipated, according to a Treasury document.

The country is eligible for around €191.5 billion in grants and loans from the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), Reuters news agency reports.

The Treasury's annual Economic and Financial Document (DEF) affirmed close to €21 billion of €191.5 billion would be spent by the end of 2022, meaning an additional €170 billion remains for investment until 2026.

This latest prediction is compared to the previous target of €33.7 billion from April, as per the DEF.

Over the past few years, Italy has lagged behind other European nations in utilising financial help from Brussels. The country only spent half of the regular EU funds within the last budget cycle, the second lowest after Spain.

Moreover, the Treasury document said the reduction in spending is down to delays to public works, impacted by soaring costs of raw materials.

Earlier in the year, Prime Minister Mario Draghi allocated some €10 billion to provide support to construction companies with energy costs and other bills, in a bid to avoid delays.

However, the Treasury is confident it can increase EU fund spending in 2023 by €12 billion.

"The most recent update of the public expenditure projections significantly reduces the estimate for 2022, but correspondingly increases the projections in the final years of the plan," the Treasury stated.

Up to now, Italy has secured around €67 billion of European Union funds by reaching the policy "targets and milestones" agreed with Brussels. At least €46 billion has been received to date.

The country is also eligible for an additional €19 billion, as long as it can finalise the 55 targets and milestones set for the second half of this year.

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