(Bloomberg) -- Italy’s government plans further measures to cushion the impact of high energy prices, including extending a fuel tax holiday to the beginning of October, Il Messaggero newspaper reported.
The package, likely to be approved in the second half of July according to the newspaper, would be worth around 8 billion euros ($8.3 billion). The cost would be covered by Italy’s better-than-expected economic and financial performance this year.
Overall, the new relief would bring Italy’s total spending to abate the energy crisis to almost 40 billion euros, Il Messaggero reported, citing several sources working on the draft law who it didn’t identify.
On June 30, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government approved measures to support long-term contracts for gas imports, a tax cut on energy bills for households, and a 4-billion-euro loan to energy market operator GSE SpA to speed up the filling of gas storages ahead of next winter.
Read More: Italy Approves Energy Relief as Draghi Battles Spike in Prices
According to Il Messaggero, the package currently being prepared will:
- Extend a 0.3-euro-per-liter cut on fuel taxes to early October from the current end date of Aug. 2.
- Refinance a tax rebate for companies proportional to their gas and power spending. The rebate ran out on June 30 and would be extended for another three months.
On Saturday, Italy’s ecological transition minister Roberto Cingolani told SkyTg24 that Russia has reduced gas exports to Italy by 15% from normal levels. While Cingolani expects prices to rise further after a planned closure for maintenance of the Nord Stream pipeline, he said that filling gas storage to 90% by the winter remains a “feasible” target.
Draghi’s government on Monday is expected to appoint a czar to streamline the response to Italy’s current drought, which is crippling agriculture and hydropower production. The prime minister is also expected to meet his predecessor Giuseppe Conte to smooth out recent government tensions.
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