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Sicily governor says civil unrest likely due to budget block

Commissioner creating crisis in southern region, warns Crocetta

24 January, 16:35
Sicily governor says civil unrest likely due to budget block (ANSA) - Palermo, January 24 - The possibility of civil unrest is growing as Sicily's new budget law continues to be blocked, Governor Rosario Crocetta warned Friday.

"In Sicily there is an ongoing attack on the social order by the State," that has effectively halted implementation of budget measures, said Crocetta. As many as 40,000 people are at risk as the State Commissioner continues to block two-thirds of the region's new budget law, affecting about 500 million euros in spending, said Crocetta.

Earlier this week, Crocetta complained that the Commissioner, the highest state official in Sicily, was blocking its budget for reasons that were "ideological, conservative, discriminatory, and incoherent with respect to European Union directives".

Crocetta told ANSA that the region was mulling an appeal to the European Court of Justice and to Italian courts.

The State Commissioner on Thursday contested more than two-thirds of the contents of the new budget law passed by the regional assembly of the Southern Italian island, a move which effectively blocks its execution.

The proposals that have been challenged include some that were personally supported and promoted by Crocetta, including a law that recognizes unmarried couples as forming a family, as well as a measure that would assist poor families by guaranteeing them a minimum subsidy of 400 euros a month that would have involved some 15 million euros of state funding.