Coronavirus: Italy suspends mortgages and household bills

Police officers and soldiers check passengers leaving from Milan’s main train station in Italy on Monday ( as seen in the picture )

Italy will boost measures to soften the economic impact of the coronavirus such as suspending the need to pay household bills, the industry minister said on Tuesday, calling for the European Union to change its rules to allow more government spending.

The whole of Italy, Europe’s worst-affected country, is under lockdown until next month in an unprecedented attempt to beat the epidemic. With the country already on the brink of recession, the government steps come at a huge cost for the euro zone’s third-largest economy and have alarmed financial markets.

The gap between Italian and benchmark German 10-year bond yields jumped above 200 basis points on Monday for the first time since August 2019.

Industry minister Stefano Patuanelli said the government would approve measures worth around €10 billion to help companies and families, telling Radio Capital this would probably cause the budget deficit to rise to just under 3 per cent of national output this year.

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