Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Letta's govt moves to scrap state party funding

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)
Rome, May 24 - Premier Enrico Letta's left-right
government agreed to scrap public funding of Italian political
parties at Friday's cabinet meeting.
"In the cabinet we reached an agreement to abolish public
funding of the parties," Letta said via his Twitter account
@EnricoLetta.
Guidelines to the reform include "the definition of strict
procedures regarding transparency statutes and budgets of the
parties", "implementing tax breaks for people who donate to
parties," and parameters on lobbying, according to a statement.
Letta, who last month became premier of an unprecedented
left-right coalition after two months of post-election gridlock,
vowed to "revolutionize" party funding after only several days
in office.
Just prior to his election, a group of so-called "wise men"
called on by the president to hash out reforms and policies that
all parties could agree on, advised against cutting party
funding in order "to prevent private wealth from improperly
influencing politics".
Three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi, a dominant figure in
Italian politics, is a multi-billionaire.
But Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement,
which won about a quarter of the vote in February elections and
refuses to accept public financing of any kind, pressed the
center-left Democratic Party (PD) of Letta and Berlusconi's
center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party to adopt the stance.
M5S Senate Whip Vito Crimi called Letta's announcement
Friday "the shot at the end of the election campaign".
Last year a series of public-funds scandals hit regional
and local governments across the country, involving parties
across the political spectrum.
They culminated in the October arrest of Franco Fiorito,
PdL caucus leader in the Lazio region, for allegedly skimming
off millions of euros of public money for personal use.
The case caused the PdL's Renata Polverini to step down as
governor.
If the bill to cut party funding passes, Italy may be on
the verge of adopting a campaign-finance system similar to the
United States, where parties rely heavily on deep-pocketed
donors, and the influence of lobbies is significant.
"It would be wise to move toward the American model, with
transparent lobbies and tax breaks for private donors," said
Daniele Capezzone, PdL coordinator and head of the House
Finance Committee. "That's the best route to sound politics in
the developed West".
Dario Nardella, a center-left MP, said the goal was to "cut
public funding by the summer. The willingness of the government
to present a bill quickly would be a positive development".
Riccardo Nuti, House deputy whip MP for the M5S which has
made party-finance reform a central platform, was less
optimistic.
"I don't think the proposal will ever go beyond the
surface," he said. "(The bill) will certainly be devoid of
content".
Foreshadowing the government agreement Friday, Letta told
the powerful Confindustria employers' confederation at their
annual meeting Thursday that party funding would indeed me
scrapped.
Following that, he said, would be a reduction in the number
of MPs.

© Riproduzione riservata

* Campi obbligatori

Immagine non superiore a 5Mb (Formati permessi: JPG, JPEG, PNG)
Video non superiore a 10Mb (Formati permessi: MP4, MOV, M4V)

X
ACCEDI

Accedi con il tuo account Facebook

Login con

Login con Facebook
  • Seguici su
X