Convened on 12 May together with the top management of the Milan, Bologna, Rimini / Vicenza and Verona trade fair players, the Aefi press conference took stock of the refreshment situation.
The president of the Italian Exhibition and Fair Association, Maurizio Danese, said: “The Sostegni decree did not take into account a regulatory limit that conditions the disbursement of funds reserved for the sector, while the German fairs will receive 642 million euros by the end of June. non-repayable euro.
We are concerned because not only the future of the Italian trade fair system is at stake, but also of a made in Italy tool that generates 60 billion euros in business every year. To date, the 4 main national exhibition centers have received refreshments for only 8.5 million euros, the equivalent of 5% of the losses incurred in 2020 and just over 1% of the funds allocated, which with the current system will remain largely ineffective “.
For some time the four major operators present at the Aefi press conference – Fiera Milano, BolognaFiere, Italian Exhibition Group (Rimini-Vicenza), Veronafiere, which alone determine 70% of turnover – have been representing the limits of a system to the Government and politics. fund management which will largely inactivate the appropriations in favor of the sector (more than 700 million euros).
The rock of the “de minimis”
In addition to the delays in disbursement, even at full capacity, the maximum support in favor of the 4 poles cannot in fact exceed 40 million euros, compared to 170 million losses in 2020 alone. Fault of the limits imposed by the so-called “de minimis”. In fact, a maximum disbursement of 10 million euros per applicant is envisaged, which Germany has managed to exceed under Article 107 (paragraph 2 letter b) of the Treaty. It provides for an exemption in the event of “natural disasters and exceptional events”.A move that will allow the Germans to recover not only the losses suffered, but also the lost margins encountered last year, with a total disbursement of 642 million euros.Finally, according to Aefi, there is a need to increase the availability of funds provided to the Ministry of Tourism, as those available to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are reserved only for international events.
The Aefi Danese press conference concluded: “The last call is that of Sostegni bis, for this reason there is expectation and attention regarding what President Mario Draghi will say in today’s question time (May 12, ed). We need to overcome the Brussels rule designed to avoid unfair competition between states which, paradoxically, is benefiting our main competitor, Germany. This is the boomerang effect of the EU standard, with strong repercussions on the future of the flagship events of Made in Italy. What we are asking for is simply an alignment with the German aid regime ”.