ITALY REIMBURSES RAIL FREIGHT COMPANIES FOR LOSSES DUE TO COVID-19
Following the approval of recovery funds by the European Commission in June, the Italian government has implemented a scheme on 16 September to compensate rail freight companies for the losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Italy follows Germany amongst the first European countries to publish a concrete plan of this kind.
The decree, which was published jointly by the Ministry of Sustainable Infrastructures and Mobility and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, also specifies the calculations for said refunds with regard to the month of March 2020. Italy’s refunding strategy was already approved in the Budget Law for 2021, in which the Italian government authorised the allocation of €5 million every year between 2021 and 2034 to help rail freight companies. Whilst Italy originally aimed at reimbursing companies for the economic struggles caused by the pandemic between 23 February and 31 December 2020, the Commission stated in June that the refunds would cover the period between 12 March 2020 and 31 May 2020.
For reference, in June, the European Commission had allocated €374 million euros to compensate rail freight transport companies for the damage suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic. The categories included in the scheme are rail freight carriers, rolling stock owners and leasers, and freight forwarders.