After more than two months from the “Mother of all Elections,” the two leaders of the Northern League and the M5S appear close to reaching agreement on a common program and names of the cabinet Ministers of Italy’s new Government, which for most Italians is a synonym for the “Premier” and his Cabinet. They are expected to succeed and, when they do, will present their new baby for the blessings of Italy’s Head of State, Mr. Mattarella. The problem seems to be over the name of the lucky fella that will preside over this new, collegiate and collective “hybrid” “government” constitutionally led by a “President of the Council of Ministers” whose powers are those of a primus inter pares minister equal in rank and power to any of the other ministers of the Cabinet.
The first of its kind in the history of the Italian Republic, the coalition of the League and M5S looks very much like a “Constitutional Congress” in the making, one comprised of representatives from Italy’s two relatively new, non ideological parties of the “right” and “left”. In its present constitutional form, however, it makes relatively little difference who sits in the chair of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. Indeed the Office is, like that of the Head of State, largely ceremonious. What makes Italy really tick is the State Bureaucracy, over which the Executive Branch has little control. Indeed, in the Italian “system” control over the bureaucracy was designed to be largely in the hands of the Legislative Branch or at least so the Founding Fathers had planned.
According to this morning’s press the two “coalition” partners appear to have reached agreement on a 10 point program that includes:
- a flat tax (comprised of two tax brackets, instead of one);
- a minimum yearly income of Euro 780.00 for the unemployed, provided they continue looking for work. (The actual mechanism has yet to be revealed but there is talk the income will be lost if an unemployed person refuses two job offerings within a specified term.)
- The Dublin EU agreements will be reviewed by the new Italian government that will seek to get a better deal from the EU Authorities.
- The Fornero labor reform Act that reduced the pensions of many Italians, while failing to adequately protect the jobs of many after the 2011 political coup that forced the resignation of Berlusconi and his government in order to put Mario Monti a Eurocrat in Office. (See my article “What Next for Italy”, published on January 2, 2013 on “The Globalist”)
- People seeking work as teachers at all levels will no longer have to go to Rome to take a civil service test but all such tests will be organized on a regional level and teachers that pass the test will be hired to teach in local schools;
- There is talk of pushing new infrastructure in general including new roads, bridges and tunnels by means of public works contracts, etc.;
- VAT is not expected to increase and some tax brackets may be eliminated altogether such as VAT on baby foods, clothing and other such goods;
Time will tell but we should all know more come this afternoon.