World Economy

Italy Pledges €8b to Juncker Growth Plan

Italy Pledges €8b to Juncker Growth PlanItaly Pledges €8b to Juncker Growth Plan

Italy will commit eight billion euro ($8.6b) to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's plan to boost economic growth, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Tuesday.

EU leaders last December approved the broad outline of Juncker's 315 billion euro investment plan, intended to kick-start growth in Europe by financing hundreds of projects, AFP reported.

Renzi said Italy was pledging "eight billion euro" to the program, matching a commitment from France this month and 1.5 billion euro promised by Spain at the end of February.

Germany has also committed 15 billion euro to the plan, though other EU member states have been slower to react.

"The ball is rolling. Italy is the fourth member state to pledge a sizeable contribution to our investment plan for Europe," European Commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen said.

"I am delighted that member states are putting their money where their mouths are, helping us to make the most of the plan and to create jobs and lasting growth in Europe," said Katainen, who is responsible for growth and investment.