Brussels

Italy could access four billion in untapped EU funds

Cohesion funds could be used to fight youth unemployment

Italy could access four billion in untapped EU funds

Brussels, June 25 - Italy could access about four billion euros in so-far untapped European Union cohesion funds for the 2007-2013 period, EU sources told ANSA Tuesday. Premier Enrico Letta's government is struggling to find money to finance many of its policy goals, so the EU funding could be very useful, especially for programs aimed at reducing Italy's high rate of youth unemployment. As much as one billion more could be recovered for programs to fight the recession, including help for small and medium-sized businesses. To date, of the 27.9 billion of EU cohesion policy funds available for Italy, approximately 17.5%, or five billion, have been used for programs that focus employment and development of human capital. About eight billion, or 27.4%, has been directed at small and mid-sized business. Italian governments have been trying for years to better exploit EU funds.

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