Italy to hike spending in ‘massive shock therapy’ against coronavirus – PM

FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks to media as he announces a decree that will close cinemas, schools in order to contain the coronavirus, in Rome, Italy March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s government will further increase spending in a “massive shock therapy” to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the prime minister said on Monday.

“We will not stop here. We will use a massive shock therapy. To come out of this emergency we will use all human and economic sresources,” premier Giuseppe Conte told daily la Repubblica in an interview.

Conte added that the government would use the flexibility envisaged by European budget rules “in full”.

Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri last week pledged some 7.5 billion euros ($8.55 billion) in measures to help the economy withstand the largest outbreak of the illness in Europe, raising this year’s budget deficit goal to 2.5% of national output from its current 2.2%.

Reporting Elvira Pollina, writing by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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