Italy readies new support measures for COVID-hit firms – Reuters

ROME, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The Italian government is preparing new support measures to be approved next week to help companies whose business is being hit by a surge in coronavirus infections, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The main beneficiaries of the measures, worth some 2 billion euros ($2.27 billion), will be the tourist and leisure sector, with discos and trade fairs among businesses affected by government COVID curbs.

The package will not weigh on public accounts because some other spending items already budgeted for by the Treasury are proving less costly than anticipated, the sources said.

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Italy has seen a steady climb in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, fuelled by the highly contagious Omicron variant. read more

Mario Draghi’s government is forecasting the public deficit to fall to 5.6% of gross domestic product this year, down from a targeted 9.4% in 2021.

($1 = 0.8807 euros)

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Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gavin Jones

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