Italy approved, on Wednesday, a package of measures worth about 3.3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) to help families and companies cope with a sharp increase in energy costs, in conjunction with a lack of Russian supplies, according to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and an official draft showed it. .
The new package comes on top of more than 30 billion euros earmarked since last January to cushion the impact of sharply rising electricity, gas and gasoline costs that are putting pressure on growth prospects in the euro zone’s third-largest economy.
The Italian government’s plan mainly focuses on extending measures to reduce electricity and gas bills for businesses and households to the third quarter of the year.
The draft showed that under the plan, gas importers would have to pay a contribution every month until March 2023 to reduce consumers’ energy bills.
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Family Minister Elena Bonetti told reporters that the government is also planning to extend a 25-cent-a-liter cut in fees on sales at gas stations, which is due to expire on July 8.
On the other hand, Italy says it plans to make the country’s gas storage system full at least 90% by next November, which is in line with the level targeted by the European Union, up from 55 percent currently.
Italy imports about 40% of its gas needs from Russia, and began efforts to diversify its energy sources in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.