Italy will submit to the EU Commission an update of its spending plans related to European post-COVID recovery funds by July following the guidance agreed with Brussels, Italy's Treasury undersecretary was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Italy, the biggest beneficiary of the EU's 724 billion euro ($797 billion) post-pandemic recovery fund (RRF), is struggling to meet the goals laid down by Brussels to receive the money and is falling behind with implementation of its projects.

The EU Commission on Wednesday expressed concern over the delays and called on Italy to act swiftly to address its problems with the funding programme, which expires in 2026.

Treasury undersecretary Federico Freni told La Repubblica daily that he does not see liquidity problems despite the fact that Italy has not yet received a third installment of funding worth 19 billion euros.

The third installment was due at the end of last year but was frozen by the EU pending clarification about Rome's efforts to meet the "targets and milestones" needed to unlock the money. Italy said it answered all the EU Commission's questions and believes the cash should come shortly.

The plan will not be "overturned", but "optimised", Freni added, citing the need to adjust the targets factoring in the impact of the war in Ukraine and changed economic scenario.


(Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi, editing Federico Maccioni and Simon Cameron-Moore)