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Italy Has a $127 Billion Debt Problem It Can’t Easily Resolve

  • State-guaranteed corporate debt rose in 2Q, bucking EU trend
  • That’s a further burden on top of energy and recession risks

While much of Europe Inc. is shrinking state-backed loans from the pandemic, Italian companies are still sitting on mountains of such borrowings, complicating government efforts to help them surmount the latest crisis: soaring energy costs.

Italian companies had a record €123.2 billion ($127 billion) of Covid-era state-backed credit lines outstanding as of June 30, up from €118 billion in the previous quarter, according to a European Banking Authority report published last month. The country has the most government-guaranteed debt yet to be repaid in the euro zone, even though it’s not the region’s largest economy.