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Govt coalition reaches agreement on beach establishments

Issue caused considerable tension within ruling majority

(ANSA) - ROME, MAY 26 - The government and the parties supporting it on Thursday reached an agreement on liberalization of Italy's beach establishments, an issue that had been causing considerable tension within the ruling coalition.
    The liberalization is part of reforms Italy has pledged to deliver in exchange for almost 200 billion euros of grants and low-interest loans from the European Union for its post-COVID National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).
    The EU says the contracts to run lucrative beach bars and restaurants that rent out sun loungers and offer other facilities should be put out for tender rather than automatically rolled over to the existing holder.
    Establishments like these occupy most of the best parts of Italy's shoreline. The Commission has said this system has hampered competition and meant the State has gained little in terms of revenue from a precious public resource that has been put into private hands.
    The government has said tenders will be used to allocate the concessions by the end of 2023, but Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia and the right-wing League had been calling for this to be postponed.
    After tough negotiations, the government has agreed that the tenders for concessions in which there is a legal dispute or there are other problems drafting the tender can be delayed until the end of 2024 at the latest.
    Under the compromise, the issue of compensation for the people who lose their concessions will be addressed in a separate enabling act. (ANSA).


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