Italy might cancel an incentive for rail freight rolling stock

Image: Flickr. Wronny

An incentive regarding the acquisition of rail rolling stock in Italy is on the verge of being cancelled, despite the funds being already allocated and having generated huge investments. “We lack certainty about the rules”, Fermerci general manager Giuseppe Rizzi told RailFreight.com.

The amount being cut is 70 million euros, and it would be retroactive to 2021, covering 20 per cent of the costs. In addition, Rizzi pointed out that the measure initially entailed 115 million euros, but it is not yet clear what happened to the remaining 45. This initiative led to significant investments. “Companies spent a lot of money, 700 million euros if we only include investments for locomotives, if we’d consider the wagons this figure would be even larger”, he highlighted.

What happened?

The measure was approved by DG COMP, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, with a slight delay only in July 2023, Rizzi specified. An Implementing Decree from the Italian government was expected last month, but nothing happened. The decision to cut the funds is now being discussed by the Italian Chamber of Deputies, despite the funds had already been allocated. Fermerci sent amendments to try and stop it but the government still hasn’t responded.

“It is not possible to cut already allocated resources that have generated investment”, Clemente Carta, president of Fermerci said, highlighting that such initiatives threaten the survival of operators. “The decision to cut these funds goes against the goals set by the EU Green Deal and it would be a grave mistake”. A couple of weeks ago, he underlined how subsidies for the rail freight sector in Italy are vital and should be increased to keep the industry competitive, especially with the road

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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