The Pnrr needs to be redone, says Fitto to the press. Then he denies. Minister's words
"Recovery needs to be dismantled, funds for infrastructure are useless", headlines the Turin newspaper, to which the minister in charge of the dossier gave an interview. Pd and Action invite him to clarify in Parliament. Here's what he said at the Criminal Justice Festival the day before
Pnrr to be dismantled and redone also in the objectives, with projects that will not be completed, and funds for infrastructure defined as useless. The words released by Raffaele Fittoin his first interview as minister, they caused a certain political turmoil in La Stampa (the Pd and Action asked him to go to Parliament to explain) and an immediate denial of the person concerned. “The article, relating to my speech yesterday at the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena, contains sentences and summaries that I did not pronounce. Starting from the title, which refers to the uselessness of funds for infrastructure and the dismantling of the Pnrr”, claims the minister.
Fitto's quotation mark reported by the Turin newspaper is very clear and equally harsh. "We are working and will bring facts to Europe, not rumors, to explain why the Pnrr must be dismantled and profoundly changed also in its objectives. Otherwise we get very, very hurt", he says. In short, it is not a question of cosmetics, but of a "dismantling with the structural revision also of some objectives set two years ago and now overtaken by events". A choice that follows from the "objective finding that much of the Pnrr is not expendable". "We are imagining some important changes. This will involve the definancing of a series of non-strategic interventions, on which we have acquired the certainty of not being feasible". Specifically, Fitto says he intends to withdraw part of the funds destined for infrastructure to dedicate them to businesses. As for the former, the minister told the press, "the big ones are not all feasible" and therefore provides for a cut of 30 percent of the big works. Speaking of minor jobs, however, Fitto argues that the problem is "the pulverization in tens of thousands of projects".
On Sunday 21 May, at the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena, Fitto explained that the government "has put in place a monitoring action to understand what is the use of the European and national responses of the 2014-2020 programming". Reflection must start from the data, says Fitto. And the numbers are those also mentioned by the Press. "Of the 126 billion of the 2014-2020 European funds, three years after the deadline, we have spent 34 percent. We want to re-propose this scheme with the funds of the Pnrr which are almost double (to the 220 billion we must add the 30 of the complementary fund ), with less than half the time spent, much stricter rules and constraints?”.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the increase in the cost of energy but also the increase in the prices of raw materials and inflation, said Fitto yesterday in Modena, has changed things: "We continue to keep the pre-war programming or imagine instead the need and the obligation to update this programming to a new scenario: that of the energy crisis"?. And he continues: "We have to imagine a revision of the Pnrr, modifying it. I think it is responsible to understand which interventions will not be completed in three years. Today we have the duty to review the Pnrr not only by linking it to spending capacity, but also to the ability to implement reforms and achieve objectives. Also going to intervene on the modification of the objectives". Fitto then points out some critical issues with the "so-called 'existing projects', those projects that are worth around 70 billion euros and which were prior to the Pnrr but which have been included in it", and therefore subjected to more stringent rules. These projects, explains Fitto, "must be carefully evaluated". The large infrastructure system, for example: is there an entrepreneurial system in our country capable of tripling the amounts achieved up to last year, statistically, by the major stakeholders in the sector? If it doesn't exist, then we need to evaluate what to do today."