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Italy to start providing aid to companies hit hard by coronavirus: minister

ROME
2020-02-14 14:56

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ROME, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Italian government will spend at least 1 billion euros (1.1 billion U.S. dollars) to help Italian companies limit the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli said Thursday.

Of that amount, around 300 million euros (324 million dollars) will be earmarked for Italian companies operating in China, Patuanelli told reporters after leaving a meeting of the Milan chapter of Confindustria, Italy's main industrial association.

The money will be used to suspend mortgage and tax payments for the hardest-hit companies, which, according to Patuanelli, will include those operating in China where operations may have halted or slowed due to concerns over the coronavirus and those in Italy with strong economic ties to China.

Details of the plan, which needs final approval from the Ministry of Finance, have yet to be finalized, reports said.

Three cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy. The Italian government has declared a state of emergency to speed up the fight against the coronavirus and prevent it from spreading.
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