(Sept. 29, 2011) On September 14, 2011, the decree that the Italian government had issued in August on an “anti-crisis” package was converted into law by the Parliament. The law is designed to correct Italy's fiscal deficit of €45.5 billion (about US$64.8 billion) by imposing spending cuts and tax hikes. (Ulteriori disposizioni urgenti perla stabilizzazione finanziaria, Legge 14 settembre 2011, n. 148 (It.), 216 GAZZETTA UFFICIALE DELLA REPUBBLICA ITALIANA (Sept. 16, 2011), Italian Parliament website.)
As part of the cuts, the municipalities of towns and villages with populations of less than 1,000 will not cease to exist, but will be forced to merge with neighboring communities and form “unions of municipalities.” The new unions will be in charge of all the public services and administrative functions that were previously attributed to the single municipalities, particularly their budgets. The administrative organs of the unions will be the council, the president, and the committee. The council will be composed of the mayors of the municipalities that are members of the union as well as two councillors representing each municipality. The union president will be elected by the council from among the members. The committee will comprise the president and the aldermen, who will be chosen by the president from among the mayors. (Id.; see also Wendy Zeldin, Italy: Government Approves Austerity Package, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (July 20, 2011).)
Prepared by Laura Andriulli, intern at the Law Library of Congress, under the guidance of Nicole Atwill, Senior Foreign Law Specialist. Ms. Andriulli graduated with honors from the University of Florence and the Sorbonne University (Paris 1), where she earned a Double Degree in Italian and French Law. She recently earned her LL.M. degree from Penn State University's Dickinson School of Law.