Italy’s government has approved a $60 stimulus package to help businesses and families reeling from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Your cry of alarm didn’t escape us,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a national address Wednesday night following a cabinet meeting.
Under the package, hotel owners won’t have to make the next payment of real estate taxes, while parents would receive money to pay for babysitting or summer recreation centers since schools won’t reopen in Italy until September.
Once the worst-hit country in Europe, Italy was the first nation in the world to impose a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 222,000 people in Italy have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 31,106 have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Last week, Italy began to slowly lift the strict lockdown by easing some restrictions. The country’s economy is forecast to contract by at least 8% this year as a result of the epidemic.