Italian firms have been given a
seven-month extension to join a moratorium scheme for their loans
and leases.

Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance,
the country’s banking association ABI and employers’
representatives have agreed to postpone the deadline for the
moratorium to 31 January, 2011.

The scheme enables firms to obtain a
12-month payment holiday on loans and real estate leasing
agreements and a six-month holiday for all other leasing

By end of April 2010, Italian banks and
lessors had received a total of 185,000 requests to join the scheme
– of which 142,000 have been approved.