(ANSA) - Rome, December 16 - The cost of Italy's political
machinery has risen to 23 billion euros annually, according to a
study released Monday by the Italian trade union UIL.
The trade union said that at least 7.1 billion euros could
be cut through reforms to render the national and local
political apparatus more efficient.
Some of the measures to be implemented would include
eliminating some of the provincial governments, which would save
3.2 billion euros, and using provincial funds solely for their
legislative functions, which would lead to 1.2 billion euros in
The study shows that some two billion are spent every year
on cars and taxis for government officials and 2.2 billion on
On the upside was a 293-million-euro reduction, 4.6% on the
year, of operational costs for institutions, mostly due to the
halving of funding for parties supported by the government of
former premier Mario Monti.
On Friday Premier Enrico Letta's coalition government
approved a decree to phase out public funding of Italy's
It is a response to a long series of high-profile
corruption scandals that have hit various parts of the country's
political spectrum and contributed to widespread disenchantment
with its political class.
Under the terms of the bill that was presented to
parliament, party funding will be reduced to 60% in the first
year, 50% in the second and 40% the third year before it is
subsequently abolished altogether.
Public funding will be replaced by private donations, with
limits set on how much an individual or firm can give to any
party to avoid excessive power going to lobbies.