Rome (AFP) – Companies are barred from laying off workers and rents have been reduced under Italy’s economic survival plan for life at the European epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte hailed his 25-billion-euro ($28-billion) programme as the “Italian model” that the rest of Europe could adopt as it imposes its own painful lockdowns.
Italy’s 2,978 official COVID-19 deaths account for more than half of those reported outside China.
Its nationwide containment measures are meant to see death rates that hit a global one-day record of 475 on Wednesday plateau and start to come down this month.
Other European nations are now taking on Italy’s painful social distancing measures — and Conte believes they will also adopt his remedy for families and businesses hurt by the fight against the invisible killer disease.
“When we talk about the Italian model, we are not only talking about health but also the economic response to the crisis,” Conte said while unveiling his “Cura Italia” (“Italian Cure”) plan at the start of the week.