Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks during an interview with media. File photo
Italy will ramp up spending to help the economy cope with the impact of the coronavirus, earmarking 25 billion euros ($28.3 billion) to tackle the growing crisis, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday.
"We have allocated emergency resources amounting to 25 billion euros," Conte told reporters after a meeting on the government response to the health crisis.
Last week the cabinet said it would need just 7.5 billion euros, but since then the emergency has escalated dramatically and the entire nation is under lockdown, freezing much economic activity in a nation that was already flirting with recession.
Conte warned that already tough restrictions on movement might be tightened further after the northern region of Lombardy asked for all shops to shut and public transport to close.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte enforced an economically crippling shutdown in early March to counter a pandemic that has so far killed more than 31,500 people in Italy. The shutdown halted all holidaymaking in a country heavily dependent on the tourism industry.
Conte is hoping to get President Sergio Mattarella’s support for forming a new coalition government that can steer the country as the Italia Viva party headed by former premier Matteo Renzi, quit in a row over the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and economic recession.
The frequent changes in coronavirus rules and lack of tourists has hit the businesses of some entrepreneurs very hard.
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