Italy approves $ 4.8 billion measures to reduce energy costs

Italy approved on Friday a package of measures to help consumers and businesses cope with rising energy costs exacerbated by the Ukrainian crisis.

The measures, enacted with a wide-ranging decree, are the last step to contain energy and fuel prices and are added to the almost 16 billion euros allocated in budget since last July to reduce electricity and gas costs for businesses and families. The costs of these measures amount to 4.4 billion euros (4.86 billion dollars).

“We have taken important and stimulating measures to respond to the aftermath of the war in Ukraine on our country “, said Prime Minister Mario Draghi in press conference after a cabinet meeting on the issue.

“We tax a part of the extraordinary profits that producers make thanks to the increase in the cost of materials primeand we redistribute this money to businesses and families in great difficulty, “added Draghi.

For his part, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Daniel Franco, stated that the tax will be 10% on the additional profits made.

A government source said the tax refers to additional profits made over the past six months, comparing them to profits from the same period last year, AFP reported.

Draghi indicated that the funds that will be raised will help finance a package of measures worth € 4.4 billion to mitigate the rise in energy prices.

European countries are trying to develop new strategies to reduce the cost of energy prices, which were already high and increased further after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Italian economy grew 6.6% last year after a contraction record by 9.0% in 2020 due to the prolonged closure due to the Corona virus, and is currently facing increasingly weak growth expectations.

An Italian government source said the Treasury is preparing to significantly reduce the target growth rate to less than 4% questyear compared to the previous rate reached last fall and equal to 4.7%.

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