Even as the whole of Italy went on lockdown due to the coronavirus, there is some good news for families and small businesses in the form of the suspension on mortgage payments.
The move was made to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the economy, the deputy economy minister said.
“Yes, that will be the case, for individuals and households,” Laura Castelli, Italy’s deputy economy minister, said
ABI, Italy’s banking lobby, also said that lenders would be offering debt moratoriums to households and small firms. These lenders represent 90 percent of total banking assets.
The announcement comes as Italy has double the amount meant to tackle the coronavirus to £6.5billion while raising the current year’s deficit goal to 2.5 percent of the national output, up from the current 2.2 percent.
Similar moves are being instituted across the world. The Bank of Scotland is also offering similar financial respite to individuals and SMEs affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Prime Minister Conte told La Repubblica that they would institute a “massive shock therapy” to help the Italian economy in the face of the widespread industrial and business shutdown.
Since the outbreak in northern Italy, the Milan stock market plunged by 17 percent. But it took an even further beating with the national lockdown with the FTMIB blue-chip index down 11 percent.
Conte also called for loosened European Union borrowing limits so that they have more financial room to maneuver.
“Europe cannot think of confronting an extraordinary situation with ordinary measures,” he said.
The European Commission informed Italy that the planned extra spending to respond to the coronavirus outbreak would not be included in measuring its compliance with the EU’s budget rules.
“The economic measures in the works will be vigorous, commensurate to current needs, but temporary,” the economy ministry said and added that the country was fully committed to quickly reducing its debt.
The economic measures were announced just as the whole of Italy was placed on lockdown.
The streets and piazzas in Italy were empty but the supermarkets were full as people prepared to settle down for a lengthy quarantine.
Queues in supermarkets stretched outside because of a mandated 3-foot gap between shoppers even as panic-buying continued.
Police circled the streets in Naples warning people to “stay indoors, avoid unnecessary outings and avoid crowded places” because of the “coronavirus emergency.”
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