Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte intervened in the Parliament on the Government's initiatives for the resumption of economic activities. With reference to the document of the Scientific Technical Committee, PM Conte reiterated the precautionary principle, arguing that the reopening of all activities and schools would lead to an exponential and uncontrollable increase in infections, which would saturate the capacity of intensive care. On this regard, aiming at assessing evolution of pandemic, the Minister of Health has just released a decree with criteria to monitor the health risk flow. As regards the economic and fiscal measures of the next April decree, there will be the elimination of the increase in VAT and excise duties. Moreover, for the collection of the credits that the companies have towards the Public Administration, 12 billion euros will be allocated. The Government is studying a scheme to guarantee non-repayable loans for SMEs. For medium-large companies, the PM expects a significant intervention by the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, with a temporary entry into the capital to cover the debt. Furthermore, Conte urges that the engine of public and private investments be restarted, through a drastic simplification of the administrative procedures in sectors crucial for the relaunch of investments: contracts, construction, trade, civil legislation. A further direction of action, Conte continues, which will be fundamental to undertake is a strategy for selecting strategic investments and strengthening the country's design capacity, placing emphasis on the European resources available to finance projects in the Green New Deal areas, digital innovation, school construction, basic and applied research in the sectors, in particular but not limited to, mechanics, food, pharmaceuticals. Finally, Conte announces that the Government intends to present a second decree in the coming days, in addition to the April Decree. As per the liquidity Decree, Minister Gualtieri and Minister Patuanelli will be heard on Monday at Commissions Finance and Productive Activities of Chamber which fixed the term for amendments on May 5, at 18.00.
Meanwhile, Matteo Renzi and Matteo Salvini lashed out an attack on PM Conte’s speech. Matteo Renzi, leader of Italia Viva within the Government majority, made the case for the need of politics to take more responsibility in the phase 2. According to Renzi Conte seemed confused and not willing to assume responsibility, discharging it on the various task forces. Besides, Renzi lamented that Italy has never had such a large derogatory framework as at this time, not even during terrorism. Matteo Salvini, coming from a night of the occupation of the Parliament’s aisles, lashed out the statalism and bureaucratism of the Government, to which Salvini opposed a laissez-faire economic program, mixed with massive deregulation scheme especially in construction sector.
At the European level , the ECB confirmed the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain, as expected. To cope with the tensions on the interbank market linked to the pandemic crisis, Frankfurt is ready to pay even more generously to the banks that use its financing. Moreover, the Governing Council is fully prepared to increase Pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) size and adjust its composition, as appropriate, to ensure that inflation moves towards its aim in a sustained manner, in line with its commitment to symmetry. Meanwhile the first preparatory meeting of Eurogroup scheduled for May 8 has concluded, as per insights, the discussion could lead to the abrogation of macro-economic conditionalities on ESM resources uses, with light check and controls instruments.