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'To do' decree approved by House after filibuster marathon

M5S upheld progress with three days of debate

26 July, 15:36
'To do' decree approved by House after filibuster marathon (ANSA) - Rome, July 26 - The Italian government's 'to do' decree of urgent measures to help revive the recession-hit Italian economy won final approval by the Lower House on Friday after a three-day filibuster marathon.

The anti-estasblishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) had held up the legislation's progress by extending debate after it passed a confidence vote on Wednesday.

The M5S was furious at the confidence vote, which effectively ended the House's ability to amend the decree, calling it a "slap" to parliament.

The movement is also unhappy about a government bill related to changes of the Constitution to revamp Italy's public institutions and make the country easier to govern. It wants examination of this bill postponed until September, after parliament's summer break and has threatened to continue obstructionist tactics in parliament.

Movement representatives are expected to meet Premier Enrico Letta for talks.

The M5S, the third-biggest group in parliament after capturing around a quarter of the vote in February's general election, opposes Letta's left-right government and its stated aim is to revolutionise the existing party system it blames for bring corruption and economic decline.

The 'to do' package, which now moves to the Senate, cuts red tape and frees up around three billion euros for public works projects this year and should create 30,000 temporary construction jobs.

It also allocates money to finance improvements to the national rail network, school buildings and roads.

The measure also cuts energy bills by a total of 550 million euros, in part by slashing a tax to finance renewable energy initiatives.

The government put the decree to a confidence vote to speed its passage through parliament after hundreds of amendments were presented, many by the M5S.