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Italy can't afford to wait until June for approval of EU recovery fund: deputy economy minister

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s Deputy Economy Minister Laura Castelli said on Thursday the country could not afford to wait until June for the approval of Europe’s joint recovery financing after the coronavirus pandemic.

“Thinking of waiting until June means not being aware of the situation the country is in. We are forecasting one of the biggest debts in the history of the country, the virus will not wait,” Castelli told Radio Capital in an interview.

Leaders of the European Union will move on Thursday towards joint financing of a recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commission has suggested it could borrow on the market against the security of the future EU long-term budget, leverage the money using methods tested over the past five years and lend it cheaply to governments.

But once the proposal is presented, leaders would discuss it again with a view to adopting it by June and a final decision may take longer, officials cautioned, because of the complexity of talks over the EU budget.

Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, writing by Giulia Segreti

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