Rome

EU fund use surge last year

More in 14 mths than previous 58 mths

EU fund use surge last year

Rome, January 9 - Italy saw a sharp rise in its use of European Union structural funds in the 14 months between October 2011 and the end of last year, Territorial Cohesion Minister Fabrizio Barca said Wednesday. Italian governments have been trying for years to solve a failure to exploit EU funds, most intended for the poorer south of the country. Barca, who took over the ministry responsible for fund usage in November 2011, said 9.2 billion euros were spent on a raft of development projects in the 14 months, more than in the previous 58 months. He said 51 out of 52 programmes were above their spending targets but a programme to boost cultural, nature and tourist attractions was losing 33 million euros.

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