Italy Government Approves Growth Plan Pinned on Infrastructure

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s government approved measures to create more than 3 billion euros ($4 billion) of funds for building roads and railway lines.

The infrastructure spending will create 30,000 jobs, the government said in a statement late yesterday. Other incentives backed by the government include subsidized loans for as much as 5 billion euros for small companies that buy machinery and a reform of the nation’s civil court proceedings to accelerate the resolution of disputes.

Letta, on the job since April, is under pressure to revive an economy that has been in recession since 2011. The European Union should focus more on growth and job creation and less on austerity after cuts to reduce Italy’s deficit worsened the economic contraction, Letta has said.

The government agreed to abolish a tax on small boats and to review port duties, according to the statement. The package also includes plans to allow greater competition in the natural-gas market and lower of electricity charges.

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