Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Berlusconi's letter

We've had a quick look at Berlusconi's already (in)famous letter to EU leaders, setting out the type of reforms the Italian government plans to introduce.

Following a swift translation, here are the key points:

The Italian parliament (in a first reading) reading will adopt the following Constitutional reforms within the next 6 to12 months:

- Abolition of provincial administrations;

- Significant reduction in the number of parlamentarians (currently 630 MPs + 315 Senators);

- Reform of those articles in the Italian Constitution dealing with the freedom of economic initiative and the safeguard of fair competition;

- Introduction of the balanced budget rule (aka the "golden rule").

The letter specifies that the adoption of each change to the Italian Constitution must take at least three months.

In addition, the letter states that the Italian government vows to:

- Adopt a plan to reform Italy’s tax system, i.e. abolishing hundreds of tax breaks currently in force, by 31 January 2012. This will save €4bn in 2012, €16bn in 2013 and €20bn a year from 2014. Failing this, the Italian government would resort to "horizontal" cuts to tax breaks – very controversial as it would basically mean abolishing tax reliefs right across the board.

- New rules on the dismissal for economic reasons of workers on permanent contracts.

- Creation of “structural conditions favourable to growth” within the next 8 months (no concrete measures yet) - a plan will be presented by 15 November.

- Adoption of a plan for selling off of state assets by 30 November 2011. This is expected to raise €5bn a year over the next three years.

- Finalisation of a plan to re-organise and rationalise public spending by 31 December 2011 (no concrete measures).

- As already announced, retirement age will be raised to 67 by 2026.

The letter concludes by saying that the Italian Government will "intervene readily" with further measures, should the situation continue to worsen.

Right, so it's all okay then.

1 comment:

Peripatetic Scribe said...

I believe the original letter took up 15 pages of text. Isn't it amazing how long it takes to say nothing?