Italy's government is confident of achieving all targets in the European Union's post-pandemic recovery fund planned by the end of the year, its economy minister said on Friday.
Italy has so far obtained almost 67 billion euros ($70.6 billion) of the roughly 200 billion euros of EU funds it is due through 2026. It is eligible for a further 19 billion euros at the end of this year, provided it can complete the 55 targets and milestones set for the second half of 2022.
"These days we are working hard to meet the 55 targets for the second half of 2022, to be able to submit the third payment request to Brussels by the end of December", Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said during an event in Rome.
Some government ministers have recently said that Italy is struggling to meet reform and spending targets tied to the multi-billion-euro fund.
EU's Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni urged Italy on Thursday to stick to recovery fund deadlines and targets.
"We are already well on track, and we will definitely reach this goal as well", Giorgetti said. ($1 = 0.9490 euros) (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gianluca Semeraro, editing by Federico Maccioni)