Assofermet asks Italian government to accelerate financial help

Italian steel trade association Assofermet is urging the government to ease, and therefore speed up, the procedure with which steel companies can access the government’s guaranteed funds. This was a scheme put in place to ensure that Italian industry would be able to survive the current crisis.

In a letter to the government copied to Kallanish, Assofermet says that it is “… inappropriate that banks are analysing the credit status of companies. Funding will not reach companies in time and banks will be literally inundated with requests without being able to deliver for several months”. It adds that credit institutions should become instrumental in passing the funds on. They should be paid for their administration work but not for a “… risk-free” service.

No assessment of the applicants’ credit rating should be carried out, the association adds. The absence of clear financial or judicial issues in the case of the applicant and compliance with the requirements established by the decree should suffice to obtain the funding, Assofermet says.

The association is also asking the government to allow the Italian steel industry to resume work by reopening mills and warehouses on 20 April. A further delay in resuming work will inevitably expose the sector to serious economic and financial damage “… without considering the loss of competitiveness and presence on the market towards European competitors who, although with reduced capacity are still operating without ever having ceased trading,” Assofermet claims.