Italians may get to suspend mortgage payments: Minister

Commuters, some wearing a respiratory mask, travel in the underground metro in downtown Milan, Italy, on March 10, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

ROME (AFP) - Italy may allow citizens to suspend mortgage and some tax payments to help deal with the economic shock of the new coronavirus, the deputy economy minister said on Tuesday (March 10).

The family support measures will be included in a government decree to be published on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting, Ms Laura Castelli said in statement.

"The measures (will apply) for all of Italy," she said.

They could involve "the suspension of the payment of (salary) withholdings and contributions" in order to help families during the economic downturn, she said.

"We are worried about this and for this reason we pushed the banking system to give as much as possible (on the) suspension of mortgages," she said.

"You will see the details in the next few hours."

Italy on Tuesday imposed travel restrictions and a ban on public gatherings to help fight the spread of a disease that has killed 463 in the Mediterranean country in just over two weeks.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.