Draghi is ‘certain’ that parts of recovery fund are here to stay

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said he’s “certain” that the successful implementation of the EU’s recovery fund would lead to making some parts of the jointly-backed debt instrument permanent.

The European Commission today endorsed Italy’s recovery plan, making it the largest beneficiary by far — with over €209 billion — from the bloc’s recovery package. In the plan, the Italian government commits to 58 reforms and 132 investments over the next five years.

“If this goes through, and it is a great responsibility for Italy … then I am certain that some parts of the effort made by the Commission and European countries will remain structural, because the trust that has been given to us will have been shown to be well placed,” he said, speaking in Rome’s movie complex Cinecittà at a press conference alongside Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The notion of permanent EU debt will be a hard-sell in the Council, where last year skeptics including Austria, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands only agreed to issue around €800 billion in joint debt to reboot the EU’s economies after the coronavirus pandemic on the premise that it would be a one-off instrument.

“It is a responsibility for us, and a reason for pride, a reason for success, the beginning of a new phase in which Italy will change, growth will rise,” Draghi said, adding: “But it is also an occasion in which what has been done for the first time … in European history can also remain permanent — some parts of this plan.”

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