Italy’s ‘epochal’ recovery plan targets women, youth, south

ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Mario Draghi is presenting a 222.1 billion euro ($268.6 billion) coronavirus recovery plan to Parliament. The plan is aiming to not only bounce back from the pandemic but enact “epochal” reforms to address structural problems that long predated COVID-19. Italy has the biggest share of the EU’s 750 billion euro ($907 billion) recovery pot. Draghi, the former European Central Bank chief, was put in the premier’s office specifically to make sure the money isn’t wasted since Italy has long had one of the worst records in the EU of making use of available funds. The plan is heavy on investments to modernize and digitize Italy’s economy and bureaucracy and encourage environmentally sustainable development. Both are directed particularly at the tourism industry.