The currently-earmarked 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in state assistance to businesses in Italy is not enough, as many companies are on the brink of collapse due to the pandemic's economic consequences, the Italian Federation of Restaurateurs and Merchants (Fiepet Confesercenti) told Sputnik
GENOA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 27th October, 2020) - The currently-earmarked 2 billion Euros ($2.3 billion) in state assistance to businesses in Italy is not enough, as many companies are on the brink of collapse due to the pandemic's economic consequences, the Italian Federation of Restaurateurs and Merchants (Fiepet Confesercenti) told Sputnik.
On Monday, a new governmental decree entered into force in Italy, banning bars and restaurants from working after 6 p.m., as well as closing theaters, movie theaters, gyms, swimming pools, spa-centers and casinos. The measures will stay in effect at least until November 24.
"The new measures, in fact, put the activities in a state of a lockdown � closing at 6 p.m. makes it impossible or almost impossible to continue working. The government, in fact, must act immediately. We need adequate compensation, solutions for rents and credits, and less bureaucracy. And, above all, it is necessary that the support from the decree on compensations arrive immediately. There is no more time to waste," a spokesperson for Fiepet Confesercenti said.
As announced by Italian Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance Roberto Gualtieri, the government will release a new decree by mid-November addressing compensations to businesses which suffered losses because of the new restrictions. The package is expected to include 2 billion euros.
"The new restrictions will have a strong impact on activities � adequate support is needed, certainly more that the 2 billion euros envisaged," the spokesperson said, adding that the organization had requested that the government hold a working meeting with business representatives as soon as possible to discuss the matter.
Fiepet Confesercenti expects that the situation might still improve if the restrictions are lifted before Christmas and the seasonal increase in household spending in this period compensates for the closure period's losses. If the restrictions remain, however, and a new lockdown is imposed, the negative consequences for businesses will likely be dramatic and irreversible, the spokesperson said.
The daily increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Italy has been on the rise since early October, having already surpassed 21,000 cases per day to date. As of Tuesday, the Italian health authorities have confirmed a cumulative total of over 542,000 cases, including 37,479 deaths.