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Covid recovery funding pits Italy’s dying towns against each other

Programme that involves small communities bidding for slice of €420m fund sparks controversy and division Perched on a rock surrounded by a vast nature reserve, the hilltop hamlet of Trevinano sent tremors across the Lazio region when it was announced this month that it and its 142 residents were in line for €20m (£16.73m) from a Covid recovery fund to save small villages on the verge of extinction – equal to a whopping €140,845 per resident. “This initiative is generating a lot of envy and bad feeling,” said Alessandra Terrosi, the mayor of Trevinano, who has the responsibility for spending the millions before 2026, when the funding programme ends. The hamlet’s good fortune has fuelled rancour among its neighbours who missed out, raised questions over how efficiently Italy will invest some of the €191bn coming its way from the EU’s post-pandemic recovery fund and had critics asking if €20m is just too much money for one small village. Continue reading...

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