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Italy's Meloni: new energy tax to raise around 2.5 billion euros

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni speaks during a news conference in Rome

ROME (Reuters) - A hike in a windfall tax on energy companies that have benefited from the surge in oil and gas prices should raise around 2.5 billion euros next year, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Tuesday.

The new 35% levy, which was included in the 2023 budget, follows a framework proposed by the European Commission and replaces a scheme which had triggered criticism and refusals to pay from numerous energy firms.

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Gavin Jones; Editing by Crispian Balmer)