Italy observed special. But other countries on the Pnrr are the Franti of Europe -

Italy observed special.  But other countries on the Pnrr are the Franti of Europe -

Of Francesco Verderami

Finland is bad among the many, Poland and Hungary are very bad. And then, surprisingly, Germany. Well, among others, Austria, France, Greece and Spain

Reading the Brussels report cards on homework for the Pnrr, Italy does not seem like the Franti of Europe. There are other countries in the odor of rejection and Germany stands out above all. In the table that collects the Commission's recommendations on the Resilience Plan and on the funds of the EU Repower, the European states appear on the whole as a class that is applied little and in which some excellences and many deficiencies stand out. It appears from the registry. Well among others Austria, France, Greece and Spain, urged to maintain the momentum and move forward with the implementation of the objectives. Finland is bad among the many, Poland and Hungary are very bad. And then, surprisingly, Germany.

Berlin seems to have lost the traditional Teutonic efficiency: entered a technical recession, even trudges on the Pnrr. Although there are few tasks - given that he has asked for just over 25 billion in subsidies - he is currently in significant delay, without having asked for even an installment of the funds made available to him. So much so that Brussels, drawing up a note from which the negative judgment emerges, invites the Germans to accelerate rapidly.

As for Italy - where the GDP is growing - one sees the threat of insufficiency due to the poor administrative capacity of the country, particularly at the local level. And as with the Pnrr, the Commission is also waiting to learn about the projects and to verify whether the new governance decided by the government is effective with regard to funds for the energy transition. Because there is the risk that Rome will not be able to follow the established pace. But a risk, indeed. While many others are formally late. The only ones who have already delivered the changes to the Plan are in fact Estonia, France, Malta, Slovakia and since yesterday also Portugal.

The point is that Italy is the special observer of Europe for the amount of funding requested: 191 billion euros, of which over 122 in loans. A record compared to other EU countries, given that Spain follows at a distance with 69 billion. And just subsidies. Palazzo Chigi ensures that we will arrive ready for the exam, and ahead of the deadline of August 31st: Between June and July we will present our changes. Also because, according to Minister Fitto, we are ahead in the dialogue with the Commission. And although the government has noticed the sometimes exploitative attitudes of the technical offices in Brussels, there is collaboration at the political level.

But compared with the tasks of others, Italy must support a degree thesis, given the large amount of money requested. In addition, Rome suffers from the false start of the Conte government - which had to rewrite the Plan - and the difficulty of the Draghi government to fix as much as possible (and in a few weeks) what had been left to it as an inheritance. This is why in the last parliamentary discussion Fitto underlined that the problems cannot be traced back to the last six months.

The work to keep up very heavy. In government meetings, each minister assumed written responsibility for respecting the roadmap for his share of the Pnrr. Going fast doesn't mean being hasty. Meloni does not intend to show off effective coups today, because she sees the political trap of tomorrow, in 2026, when the opposition could accuse her of not having been able to use Brussels funds.

In any case, for now Rome doesn't look like the Franti of Europe. The Commission's tables say so. Of the eighteen States that have made payment requests, for example, Italy in the third installment together with Spain and Greece. Croatia, Portugal, Slovakia and Romania are in second place. Eleven other countries, including France, Austria and Denmark are in the first installment. Apart from the fact that the last Italian coupon has not yet been paid, that is not enough to already obtain a positive vote on the Pnrr. Which is essential to avoid a negative opinion of the country on the markets.

But the overall performance of the entire class which worries Brussels, if it is true that in the corridors high technocrats were heard discussing the solutions to be found to solve the problem, including among these also the hypothesis of moving the expiry date of the Plan beyond 2026. However, it is not a topic on the agenda, also because it would not be a topic of this commission. What is certain is that the Union does not want (and cannot) afford the failure of its project.

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May 26, 2023 (change May 26, 2023 | 10:30 pm)

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