Italy’s New Regional Autonomy Law Undermines Solidarity, Opens Door To Public Service Commercialization


After securing the most votes in the European Parliament election, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni achieved another victory in Parliament. On June 19, members of Parliament voted in favor of a bill on differentiated autonomy. The new legislation will decentralize decision-making and financing on education, health, public services, and culture, among other areas.

The parliamentary discussion preceding the vote was exceptionally heated, culminating in members of Parliament from far-right Lega and Brothers of Italy parties physically attacking a member of the Five Star Movement.

Critics have dubbed the new law the “Split-Italy” law, predicting it will undermine the constitutional principle of solidarity. On the other hand, right-wing parties, especially Matteo Salvini’s Lega, have celebrated the vote’s outcome. Salvini and his allies have long advocated for more regional autonomy by pitting the interests of the northern regions against those of the southern ones, drawing upon stereotypes of the South as a backward, non-contributing part of the country.

The new law technically still foresees minimum standards for public services in all regions. However, the framework means wealthier regions can invest more in these services. For example, Veneto might increase health spending within its borders, while regions like Calabria, lacking financial resources, will be stuck at the state’s minimum level. This disparity could lead to longer waiting lists for patients in Calabria and harsher working conditions for health staff, potentially increasing internal migration to wealthier regions and perpetuating a vicious cycle.

Peoples Dispatch / Globetrotter News Service

Peoples Dispatch is an international media project with the mission of bringing to you voices from people’s movements and organizations across the globe. Globetrotter is an international syndication service for print and digital publications across the Earth.

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