Italy plans to extend relief measures to soften energy prices

FILE PHOTO: Italian Economy Minister Giorgetti at news conference in Rome

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's government plans to review and extend existing relief measures aimed at helping families and firms cope with sky-high energy prices, Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said on Thursday.

"We'll intervene before April," Giorgetti said, adding Rome was studying measures to encourage savings in energy bills.

The government is working on a temporary cap on energy prices under the so-called "two-tier approach" laid out by the European Commission.

The Italian budget for this year has already earmarked over 21 billion euros ($22.91 billion) to cut electricity and gas bills.

In separate remarks, Giorgetti said Rome could change capital gain taxation when asked about the issue of fictitious capital gains in sports clubs.

He also said Rome should demonstrate caution in budgetary policy and take into account the impact of the recent interest rate hike by the European Central Bank (ECB).

($1 = 0.9168 euros)

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; editing by Gianluca Semeraro and Christina Fincher)