Use crisis to redesign country - Conte

Credibility will depend on how we use EU cash says premier

(ANSA) - Rome, June 3 - The coronavirus crisis should be used to redesign Italy, Premier Giuseppe Conte said Wednesday in explaining the next phase of the emergency.
    "The crisis should now be used to redraw the map of the country", he said, saying that key structural reforms would be introduced.
    "We must act with the spirit of Republic Day and of sharing," he said.
    Conte said Italy's credibility would be proved in "how we use EU money", referring to the Recovery Fund and other schemes.
    He said the government would ask to access SURE funding and European Investment Bank funding too, while on the European Stability Mechanism, the government would weight the regulations and then parliament would decide. Data on the coronavirus emergency have been "encouraging" since May 4, he said. "We deserve happiness after all the sacrifices," said Conte after inter-regional travel was resumed on Wednesday.
    Conte said "it's good that we have rediscovered social life but we must respect the rules" after lockdown has been progressively eased since last month.
    He said there had been "delays" in the issuing of coronavirus benefits but "we will make their issuance quicker".
    Conte said the government would "stake a lot" on the right to study and would provide broadband Internet access to the whole country. The premier said the tax system was currently "unfair and ineffective" and a "serious" reform was needed.
    As for a revived proposal to build a bridge across the Messina Strait to Sicily, Conte said "I will evaluate everything without prejudice".
    Conte said a plan to relaunch the Italian economy would have to be drawn up with the opposition.


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