(Bloomberg) — European aid money will help lift Italy’s economy out of a chronic underperformance if it’s targeted properly, according to the country’s minister in charge of industrial policy.
“I am convinced that Recovery Fund money will allow Italy to finally make the leap,” Economic Development Minister Stefano Patuanelli said in an interview in Rome Thursday. Italy will be the biggest beneficiary of the aid, and could receive up to 209 billion euros ($246 billion) in grants and loans.
But Patuanelli acknowledged the challenge of directing the money properly. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government will have to make tough political decisions, even at the expense of angering some supporters, so that it helps the post-coronavirus reconstruction and gives a much needed boost to long-term growth prospects.
“We need to have the strength to avoid distributing it in bits and pieces and instead concentrate it where it’s most effective to