(Bloomberg) -- The European Commission delayed the disbursement of €19 billion ($20.5 billion) of pandemic recovery aid to Italy amid skepticism about it reaching the targets required to unlock the funding.

In recent weeks, Italian media have reported growing concerns in Rome and Brussels about the capacity of Giorgia Meloni’s government to implement the European Union-funded plan of reforms and investments, for which Italy is set to receive €192 billion. 

The money, raised by EU nations in their first ever joint borrowing, is linked to Italy reaching clearly defined milestones and goals.

In particular, the commission will double-check progress on the licensing of port activities, on district heating and on two urban renewal projects, which are linked to the December 2022 installment of the plan. 

“It’s been agreed to extend the assessment phase by one month to allow the commission to complete the technical sampling and verification activities,” the Italian government said in a statement Monday. 

It added that there’s been “significant progress” toward most objectives, and it will continue to work with the EU on the evaluation. 

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Italy has already received €67 billion, but so far it has struggled to allocate and spend the money as quickly as planned, with authorization processes delayed by red tape. Meloni’s government is also planning to reallocate and delay some of the future targets, also to take into account the impact of the energy crisis.

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