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‘Heal Italy’: Conte’s govt wins Senate confidence vote on decree to help virus-hit economy

‘Heal Italy’: Conte’s govt wins Senate confidence vote on decree to help virus-hit economy

The Italian government won a confidence vote in the Senate on Thursday over an emergency decree that lays out measures worth €25 billion ($28 billion) to support an economy battered by a severe Covid-19 outbreak.

The ‘Heal Italy’ package, presented by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on March 16, suspends loan and mortgage repayments for hard-hit companies and families via state guarantees for banks. It also increases funds to help firms pay workers temporarily laid off as a result of a lockdown imposed by the government to try to curb the spread the coronavirus.

Italy’s ruling coalition, dominated by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party, won the Senate motion by 142 votes to 99.

The decree was contested by the opposition, spearheaded by Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League party, which said the package was insufficient and “bedeviled by bureaucracy” which made it hard for people to access the funds available, Reuters said.