July 21, 2020 / 1:02 PM / 18 days ago

Italy government strengthened by EU Recovery Fund deal - economy minister

FILE PHOTO: Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri attends a meeting in Naples, Italy, February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said the government and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had both been strengthened by the “historic” accord reached on Tuesday among EU leaders for a massive economic stimulus plan.

Italy will be a big beneficiary of the 750 billion euro (676.8 billion pounds) Recovery Fund, with Conte saying earlier that it would get 28% of the resources available in a mix of grants and loans that could “change the face of the country”.

Gualtieri told state television channel RAI 3 that Rome had been rewarded for its determined negotiating and “nobody would have believed” it could clinch such a favourable deal.

“The government comes out of this stronger and so does the leadership of the prime minister who played a decisive role,” Gualtieri said.

Reporting By Gavin Jones; editing by Angelo Amante

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