Italy was one of the countries most affected by the first wave of the Covid-19 virus this spring, with nearly 250.000 cases diagnosed and 35.000 deaths. It was also one of the most affected economically, with a drop in its GDP of more than 12%, without taking into account the effects of the current second wave. It is also the European country best off in the Brussels recovery plan, with no less than € 209 billion allocated to it to rebuild its economy, almost 30% of the overall budget of this plan. In spite of this, or perhaps thanks to it, the Italian authorities have announced a spectacular 9,6% increase in their military spending for 2021, making the army budget jump from € 14 billion to € 15,3 billion.
It is the budget devoted to acquisitions that will absorb most of these new loans, going from € 1,9 billion to € 2,8 billion. Italy wants to secure its industrial subsidiaries and in particular the precious brand new F35 assembly line, built in Cameri in Piedmont, which resulted from Rome's commitment to order 90 aircraft. Moreover, more than € 900 million, or a third of the acquisition budget, will be devoted to the F35 program alone in 2021, in particular for the delivery of the first aircraft of the first tranche involving 28 aircraft.
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