Not to do list

by Lorenzo Piccoli

This is a list of all the policies of the current Italian government (1 June 2018 – ongoing) that I wish were not there.

  • In June, the government blocked all NGO rescue ships from entering into Italian ports. Critics of the NGOs boats say they are a pull factor for immigration, encouraging and helping people to make the dangerous sea journey; charities say that the NGO boats are a vital lifeline, rescuing more than 88,000 people in the past two years (link)
  • In September, the government abolished humanitarian protection for asylum seekers. This is a form of protection for those not eligible for refugee status but who for various reason cannot be sent home. Over the last years, about one-fourth of asylum seekers has been granted humanitarian protection status, allowing them to have a residency permit and enabling them to work (link)
  • In September, the government approved the annual budget for the country. In the words of my friend Fabio, “the problem with it is not the amount of money spent but the way in which the money is spent. The problem is that rather than forecasting productive expenditure, this budget gives alms to that part of South Italy that lives out of welfare assistance and provides large tax amnesties for tax evaders of the North. More than change, this is berlusconi-2001 reloaded” (link)
  • In October, prominent members of the government expressed their support for an administrative measure taken by the mayor of the town of Lodi, who moved to deny the children of non-European citizens the free school meals and school buses provided for “locals” : foreign parents are required to meet near-impossible thresholds to prove they do not have income abroad. Lega leader Matteo Salvini welcomed the move, falsely suggesting that many of these families had “two, three, or four houses in their own country” and thus ought to pay themselves (link)
  • In October, minister Matteo Salvini endorsed the house arrest of the mayor of Riace, who in the last years has played host to thousands of migrants though employment and training programmes. As the mayor was under accusation of “aiding and abetting illegal immigration”, Matteo Salvini publicly welcomed the arrest by saying it “would serve as an example for others” while also vowing to dismantle the Riace model (link)
  • In October, the government announced the approval of a large tax amnesty proposal. However, the minister of the economic development Luigi Di Maio announced that the tax amnesty had been secretly sweetened into the final proposal without his consent as a “fudge by a mysterious hand” (!) and said he would report the matter to prosecutors (!!)  (link)
  • In October, the government announced it would suspend the working on the tunnel of the Brenner Base Tunnel, a planned 55-kilometre-long railway tunnel at the border between Austria and Italy. The tunnel is aimed at reducing pollution and traffic congestion in the area as the motorway on the Brenner Pass, one of the most important traffic connections between northern and southern Europe, is infamous for its frequent traffic jams and pollution. The hope was to relieve this situation by improving the railway connection between North Tyrol and South Tyrol with the new tunnel, which will allow trains to cross the Alps much faster. Working on th (link)

Updated: 19 October 2018