forty days to reformulate the objectives for 2026 -

forty days to reformulate the objectives for 2026 -

The path of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan looks more and more like a Via Crucis. An itinerary in stages, from semester to semester, from bad to bad every time Brussels has to verify compliance with the commitments made and proceed with the payment of the relative tranches of loans. A Via Crucis that the Meloni government, despite itself, finds itself following along a course designed by others and which becomes more demanding from semester to semester. Partly because doubts are growing in the European Commission about Italy's ability to achieve all the objectives of the Pnrr up to 2026 and to which funding for a total of 191.5 billion euros is linked. Partly because, objectively, the further you go, the more difficult the targets assigned to individual semesters become, since it is no longer just a question of approving rules and regulations as it was at the beginning, but of assigning jobs and opening construction sites. And the methods of verification by the EU commission have also changedas the Minister of European Affairs, Raffaele Fitto, experienced first-hand on the 55 objectives that the Plan envisaged would be achieved in the second half of 2022 to obtain the third installment of 19 billion.

For the first time, random checks were carried out from Brussels with on-the-spot inspections to verify, for example, the opening of new housing for university students, with the complaint made to our government that a part of the same accommodations reported as new were instead pre-existing. The government has learned its lesson. I had to take as many as 47 measures of various types just to fix the 55 goals for the second half of 2022, lamented Fitto. Now, after overcoming the stalemate on the third and fourth installments with a compromise with Brussels, the minister wants to avoid problems with the next ones. So let's see where we stand. The Pnrr envisages, in all, 527 objectives divided into ten semesters and as many installments, up to 30 June 2026 for a total of 191.5 billion. So far, in addition to the payment of the 24.9 billion advance, Italy has obtained the first two installments of 21 billion each, for a total of 66.9 billion. Assuming that our country will also obtain the third and fourth installments, a total loan of 101.9 billion will be reached, against 178 objectives achieved within the first half of 2023.

There will still be 349 targets to be achieved, divided into six semesters, from the second of 2023 to the first of 2026, for 89.6 billion to be collected. By 31 August, but at Palazzo Chigi they say they will do it sooner, the government will present the proposals for modification of the entire Pnrr, including the inclusion of the chapter on RepowerEu, which the commission wants to give substance to Europe's energy autonomy after the war in Ukraine. Here, in the light of the state of the art, our Plan will be rewritten. Not to change the philosophy or the goals set by the EU, but to take note of all the changes that have taken place which – as Fitto has repeatedly said – make part of the objectives included by the Draghi government in the Pnrr unattainable within the deadlines. The government has just asked Brussels to change about a third of the targets for the first half of 2023 (10 out of 27). Imagine if this level were maintained on the remaining 349 of the Pnrr. The work of Fitto's technicians is in progress.

The potential correction proposals involve investments of several tens of billions of euros. But the selection still ongoing. The starting point is the government's annex to the report recently presented to Parliament on the state of implementation of the Pnrr, where there is a detailed list of all the measures of the Plan which, to date, show elements of weakness. There are 64 in all, including the 10 for which changes have already been requested in Brussels, which however often provide for steps also in the coming years. Sorting will not be easy. Giving up certain investments, perhaps shifting the financing to the national resources of the complementary fund and to the cohesion funds, which have longer maturities than 2026, means facing difficult negotiations with the individual ministers who own the projects, who do not want to appear responsible for the delays in the implementation of the Pnrr, especially after repeating that we will spend all the resources assigned, such as for example the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Matteo Salvini.

There are therefore resistances to overcome and compromises to reach. And, however patient and skilled in mediation Fitto is, the premier is always ready to intervene if necessary. Time is running out. At Palazzo Chigi they are convinced that, given the experience of the last year, from now on we must play in advance with Brussels, with the aim that it will never again take 7 months to complete the checks that unlock the payment of an installment. For this it is necessary to rewrite the Pnrr.

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