Italy is urging the European Union to let it spend what it has to on mitigating the country's dramatic coronavirus epidemic and resulting economic damage, foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said on Monday.
"We are simply asking the EU to allow us to spend all the money needed to tackle the emergency caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19)," Di Maio told state broadcaster Rai 1.
"As a nation we have always give a lot to the EU - now is the time to be able to ask and to receive," Di Maio added.
Italy is the global epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 101,739 confirmed cases since the start of the country's outbreak in late February and 11,591 deaths.
The coronavirus outbreak in Italy has killed more people than in any other country including China and prompted a drastic lockdown that has brought much of the economy to a standstill.