Italien beweist, dass es nicht am Geld liegt

Es darf niemanden wundern: Italien ist auf dem besten Weg, den Geldsegen aus der EU – vor allem aus Deutschland – zu verplempern. Ich selbst habe in den letzten Wochen genug Beispiele gesehen. Da werden Gebäude saniert, Dorfseen neu gestaltet, ganze Dörfer modernisiert … Alles nette Maßnahmen, die aber nicht dazu beitragen, dass Italien künftig schneller wächst. Aber darum muss es doch gehen, will man die Schuldenlast tragbarer machen.

Die FINANCIAL TIMES (FT) kommentierte das so:

  • Even before Italy received the first tranche of its €191.5bn package of grants and loans under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility there were doubts over its ability to use the cash windfall effectively. Rome has consistently underspent and failed to put EU funds to good use. At the current run-rate, it may end up spending only a quarter of its total RRF allocation — the largest of any recipient — by Brussels’ mid-2026 deadline. For an economy that is roughly the same size as it was just after the 2008 financial crisis, with a debt burden of 144.4 per cent of its gross domestic product, that would be a huge wasted opportunity.“ – bto: Und die Gelder, die ausgegeben werden, sind nicht dazu geeignet, das Wachstumspotenzial des Landes zu heben.
  • „(…) the package — its biggest aid programme since its post-second world war reconstruction – (…) included plans to strengthen the country’s fraying physical and digital infrastructure, alongside important structural reforms to boost its long-term growth potential.“ – bto: Geld gegen Reformen.
  • But Rome has failed to keep pace with the agreed timetable. Italy was originally meant to spend just over €40bn by the end of 2022 — it managed less than 60 per cent of that, according to Capital Economics. The bulk of funds went towards tax incentives for construction and digitalisation, which supported the Italian economy last year. But spending on actual investment projects has so far been small. With Italy recently reporting problems on 118 of its 527 objectives overall, additional tranches from Brussels have been delayed.“ – bto: Das Problem ist nicht nur das Ausgeben von Geld, sondern auch die Prioritäten.
  • The reasons cited for falling behind include managerial problems, high costs, and shortages of workers and materials. (…) Absorbing funds amounting to 10 per cent of its GDP in five years was always going to be a tall order. For example, the aim to build over 200km of new green public transport infrastructure in 16 cities was particularly hopeful.“ – bto: Das kann man so formulieren …
  • Meloni’s government has already sent ‚corrections‘ to Brussels which scrap some public investments, including for urban renewal, and redirect funds towards energy infrastructure and green tax credits for businesses and households. Channelling more spending to these areas via the private sector is sensible, but the cancellation of much-needed public investment into dilapidated infrastructure would be a bitter blow.“ – bto: Wir finanzieren dann also „green investments“ – auch diese sind aber eher ein Konjunkturprogramm für Handwerker als alles andere.
  • Yet Meloni also wants to water down some structural reforms. These include improving public sector efficiency, boosting competition, and targets for cutting court backlogs and tax evasion. Many reforms are designed to support higher productivity growth, which can help put Italy’s public debt on to a more sustainable footing. Rowing back on these promises would be a mistake.“ – bto: Aber diese Reformen sind schwer zu realisieren.
  • Italy is a marker for judging the success of the EU programme. It is in Brussels’ interest to rework the plan with Rome. Prioritising the most essential infrastructure projects, supporting green energy incentives and not letting structural reforms slide will be important. What happens in Italy — the bloc’s third-largest economy — matters for the European economy and its financial stability.“ – bto: Wobei wir doch schon einen italienischen Euro haben.
  • Italy needs more than €191.5bn to turn its fortunes around. But utilising the RRF effectively would at least bring it a step closer towards jumping out of its decades-long low-growth malaise. If it fritters this package away, it is difficult to see the country rising out of its economic funk any time soon.“ – bto: Und das bedeutet … genau: dauerhaft mehr Transfers. (Anmeldung erforderlich): „Italy risks wasting its cash windfall“, 5. September 2023