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Draghi: “Naples and the South Are an Engine of the Country”

The premier signs the agreement to cover the deficit and the relaunch of investments: "Bridging the now unbearable territorial gaps". To the Municipality of Naples 1 billion and 231 million euros in twenty years

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Atotal non-repayable grant of 1.231 billion disbursed in annual installments up to 2042 . This is foreseen by the Pact for Naples, an agreement between the State and the Municipality to cover the deficit and the relaunch of investments , signed today at the Maschio Angioino, by the Prime Minister Mario Draghi and the Mayor of Naples, Gaetano Manfredi. The disbursement of the quota, explains the Municipality, will take place by March 31 of each year. In the first five years (2022-2026) 486 million will be awarded, or 40% of the total contribution.

A long applause greeted the arrival of the Prime Minister in the ancient Sala dei Baroni at the Maschio Angioino in Naples. The premier, in the company of the president of the Campania Region, Vincenzo De Luca, the Neapolitan mayor Gaetano Manfredi and the president of the city council, Enza Amato, crossed the hall to then take his place among the benches. In the hall all the municipal councilors as well as civil and ecclesiastical authorities. With the premier also the undersecretary to the presidency of the Council Roberto Garofoli.

“Municipalities are at the center of the development perspective we have for Italy , the government wants to put them in a position to be able to plan the growth of their communities with greater serenity. The Pact for Naples coincides with the most significant investment program in recent history del Mezzogiorno ” said Prime Minister Mario Draghi. “The aim of the plan is to bridge the territorial gaps, which are now unbearable. The per capita income of the South is in fact just over half of that of the Center-North and the unemployment rate is more than double “, underlined the premier.” We must admit the existence of a ‘southern question’, but we must at the same time to avoid being reduced to sterile claims. We must face it with urgency, determination, unity. Because all of Italy needs Naples and the South to be an engine of the country “.

“With the Pact for Naples we are allocating one billion and 231 million euros to the Municipality of Naples in twenty years ” specified Draghi. “We contribute significantly to the consolidation of the City’s accounts and, as explained by Undersecretary Garofoli, we link payments to the achievement of certain objectives”, he added.

Among the planned investments Draghi indicates those on local public transport , “to reduce traffic and improve air quality. Only 10% of southern citizens use local public transport”. “In Naples, we invest in the subway, in the tram network, in buses. We are experimenting with a new concept of urban mobility, based on sustainability and digital technologies”.

On the risk of waste and mismanagement of funding, the premier warns: “Public funding is a necessary, not sufficient, condition for the relaunch of the South. The PNRR requires all of us to make a qualitative leap in managing spending . The plan must be completed. by 2026. We cannot let this money be lost or wasted, as unfortunately has happened to many other European funds in the past “. The premier then thanked “the Guardia di Finanza, the judiciary and in particular the Court of Auditors for the work they do and will continue to do to combat fraud .. Spending well and honestly is an obligation we have towards Europe, but above all towards our citizens “, she said, after reiterating that” the government does not intend to tolerate mafia infiltrations in the management of PNRR money “.

“The PNRR is a historic opportunity to address many of the problems that remain unsolved in the country . And to do it starting from the requests of the communities, with shared solutions and proposals. Too often in the history of Italy, citizens have heard distant institutions and have perceived development projects – especially the most impressive ones – as imposed from above. With the PNRR, we reduce the distance between institutions and citizens, and together we build the future we want for our community. To do this, we need enthusiasm, ingenuity, imagination, “recalled Draghi.

“The signing of the Pact for Naples represents a fundamental moment for the relaunch of administrative action and the construction of a better future for our city” said the mayor of NaplesGaetano Manfredi during his speech. “The current situation can be summed up in a bleak picture – says Manfredi -. Dramatic budget conditions with the highest per capita debt in Italy and a high current account imbalance. A strong deficit in administrative capacity with small and very old staff. media, major shortcomings in digitization processes, great weakness in the ability to acquire and spend external funds “. The mayor adds: “The consequence of all this reverberates in a very modest collection capacity and in the lack of resources for the maintenance of the city and the management of essential services. This structural crisis, in a difficult external environment aggravated by the pandemic, it has determined a progressive impoverishment of the city with an increase in absolute poverty and a dramatic diaspora of young people who leave ”. Then the invitation to a common responsibility. “Now it’s up to us to show that we are up to the challenge, as an institution and as citizens with the awareness that we are no longer alone and with the certainty of taking back the place we deserve”.

The second stage of the premier’s visit is the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità and the meeting with a group of Ukrainian refugees who were hosted by volunteers from the San Gennaro Foundation . Subsequently Draghi will visit the catacombs of ‘San Gaudioso’, managed by the La Paranza social cooperative, also in the Rione Sanità, in the heart of the ancient center of Naples. Waiting for the Prime Minister, a massive array of police forces and a hundred unemployed people who demonstrated with banners and placards, in Piazza Municipio. And other protests from social centers with choirs and smoke bombs lit a few meters from the basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità.

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