ESM particularly advantageous for Italy - Gentiloni

Commissioner say conditions have been removed

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 28 - Economic Affairs Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni reiterated on Monday that he thinks Italy would be wise to apply for money from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to invest in its health system.
    The parties supporting Premier Giuseppe Conte's government are split over whether to take up the option to obtain around 36 billion euros in low interest grants from the EU bailout fund..
    The centre-left PD is in favour but the 5-Star Movement (M5S) is against due to fears the money could come with strings attached further down the line.
    "I have repeated several times that the work done in Brussels (on the ESM) has taken away the conditionality that was in the general economic programmes of the last decade," Gentiloni said.
    "So this loan is not subject to conditionality.
    "The decision is up to the individual governments.
    "But Italy certainly needs to improve its health system, which gave an excellent show of itself during the crisis but the need for improvements was highlighted.
    "Italy is certainly among the countries that can have greater advantages with respect to others, given our interest rates".


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