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Opportunities for Italy in the Juncker Plan

A new wave of support tools towards Italian SMEs

Opportunities for Italy in the Juncker Plan

Claudia Astarita

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Italian authorities and Dario Scannapieco, vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), have recently signed an important agreement: the Investment Plan for Europe, also known as "Juncker Plan".

The agreement launches the EFSI Thematic Investment Platform for Italian SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), which is the first in Europe to be promoted by EIB. The platform promotes several initiatives concerning guarantees and risk-sharing, activating SME's investments for more than 6 billion euros. Furthermore, Junker Plan aims at adopting a new strategy for a more effective management of public resources, both at the national level and at the communitarian one.

Investment platforms are important financial tools because they promote the cooperation between different investors within the framework of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), such as National Institutes and the EIB group.

The European programme COSME ("Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises") also plays a pivotal role in this context. In fact, it has devoted 112,5 million euros to facilitate credit access to Italian companies and to support new investments in the country. The amount was then raised to 225 million euros thanks to the Italian governmental contribution.

The first Italian actor to benefit from the new wave of aids will be the Central Guarantee Fund for SMEs, which will purchase a new portfolio of guarantees worth 3 billion euros, raising, therefore, its capacity to finance Italian companies.

All authorities involved have enthusiastically commented on Juncker Plan and its related these initiatives. For instance, Jyrki Katainen - vice-president of the European Commission and responsible of Employment, Growth, Investments and Competitiveness - declared that "to facilitate the access to credit for Italian SMEs is a key element of our strategy...so that Italian companies will be more active in the future, growing in significance and providing new job opportunities".

Also Pier Carlo Padoan - Italian Minister of Economy and Finances - has given a very positive feedback towards Juncker Plan, stating that "Juncker Plan is an excellent platform to foster private investments in Italy".

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