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The first two months of the Meloni government

The first two months of the Meloni government

National elections were held on 25 September to elect the new government and so the day after it was officially known who had won. Today, it is about two months of Giorgia Meloni's government. In reality, the prime minister obtained the confidence of parliament on 20 October, after consultations in parliament and the vote of the president of the chamber and the senate. In reality, it was already known in advance who would win because the polls gave the Fratelli d'Italia a advantage over all the other parties and, barring sensational upheavals in the last few days, the outcome was obvious. Giorgia Meloni is the first female prime minister. An event that did not have much effect, especially for some circumstantial situations: the prime minister's party is clearly a right-wing party, the first in republican history (excluding those that have always taken percentages below 10%) and furthermore the votes took place in a crisis due to war and post covid.

The first measures: anti-rave party law, life imprisonment...

As soon as the new government took office in parliament there were almost imminent reforms in various contexts. One of the first reforms was the one on rave parties. A provision that has caused much discussion and which seems to be more an identity flag than a civil and criminal intervention. According to the new rules that will enter into force, those who participate in gatherings of more than 50 people in private areas and without authorizations will risk up to 6 years in prison. The provision on rave parties has caused much discussion not only because the 6 years foreseen for those who will participate in these gatherings is comparable to the penalty of manslaughter, but because in reality a law to punish participants in rave parties already existed but evidently the government wanted to be even stricter on this. It must be said that rave parties are one of the main occasions in which there is the greatest use of hard or soft drugs. As for the impediment prison, Meloni has decided not to apply benefits to those convicted of serious crimes and who did not want to collaborate with justice. A provision that at least in part finds the support of some exponents of the centre-left but in reality the constitutional court has left the reform dossier to the Consulta, which will soon have to pronounce itself due to a problem of incompatibility with article 41bis of the constitution.

the issue of migrants landing and the confrontation with France

The issue of migrants has always been an ideological and social struggle of the centre-right. Already in the previous government, when the five-star movement was "forced" to ally with the League, the latter's leader, Matteo Salvini, had already shown all his ardor in the fight against landings in Italian ports. By now, landings by migrants are happening more and more often, who starting from the ports of North African countries (Tunisia and Libya among all) venture into risky journeys, even paying an exorbitant amount for boats or ships that sometimes didn't even have the minimal security for life. Already in the first month of the government, attempts were made to "close the ports" by trying to make the landing of the ships give up or at least to limit disembarkation only to people who needed special health care. In the end, however, he succumbed to the moral pressures of the media (most of which are in favor of migrants) and of the European institutions. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has tried to assert her reasons against the European institutions, also trying to mediate with the main leaders of European nations, including France's Macron. After a series of declarations and misunderstandings, there was a clash between Italy and France on which Macron and the French state invites Italy to welcome the migrants who disembark. The issue of migrants landing via the Mediterranean is very complex and Europe has always been marginally concerned with establishing a fair and just regulation for all the states of the continent. Some of the ships that usually disembark migrants in the various ports of the Mediterranean are NGOs that also fly the flag of European states that are very distant from the port country, such as Norway or Germany for example. Furthermore, people who disembark by sea are improperly called migrants because in reality even undocumented people disembark. Unfortunately, Italy is a country geographically exposed to landings. And although Spain is the country closest to Africa, its number landing is really low. Spain is not only stricter in ports but can also boast exclaves on the African continent, in particular Ceuta and Melilla. In reality, Greece is the country with the highest number of landings, which come not only from Africa, but also from Turkey and some Asian countries. And indeed in the second half of 2022 Greece raised its voice on the issue of migrants especially after some diplomatic crises between the Greek country and Turkey, where a large part of the migrants arrive from the latter. Although Europe has conventions on asylum seekers which also give protection to people in need (for example those fleeing the war) as well as those who normally come to Italy for work, it does not have a regulation that distributes migrants among the various countries. For example, in the United States there are precise rules on the quotas of migrants, whereby the country with the stars and stripes takes only a limited number of migrants for each foreign country.

the financial manoeuvre, the expensive bills and the ceiling on cash…

The financial maneuver was promptly drafted mainly due to the increases caused by the crisis. The maneuver obviously contains provisions on all economic and social fields. However, many of the things included in the maneuver have been accepted with reservations by the European Union, especially as regards electronic payments.

Citizenship income

Among the reforms that caused the most discussion is the abolition of the basic income. Nowadays all European countries have a basic income, and before 2018, before the Five Star Movement took office in parliament, there was not even a shadow of a basic income; obviously there were subsidies for families but it had nothing to do with the current basic income. Although the basic income was introduced not only by the Movement but also by the Northern League (centre-right party) since its first months it was much criticized by the right who considered the reform a gift to those who loved being on the couch... In the months in which Draghi ruled, an authoritative technical figure in world finance (he was president of the European Central Bank), the income was at least partly defended by Draghi himself. It was defined as a necessary measure but which required modifications, especially due to the large number of people who received income unjustly. Giorgia Meloni, in the wake of Draghi's positions, stated before the elections, in an open electoral campaign, that she would not remove the income but only apply changes that would make it a fair measure of subsidy. Just a month after her election, Giorgia Meloni abolishes the Citizenship income starting from the following year, from January 1, 2024, sparking the protest of most of the income recipients, especially those of the south, who are the majority of who perceives it and above all are those who are forced to take it due to the scarce job offer. Unfortunately, the gap between north and south still remains enormous.

The Observatory on Citizenship Income and Pension has been published with the data updated to 19 September 2022, relating to the nuclei recipients of CI and PdC in the years 2019-2022. The data relating to the first eight months of 2022 totals 1,479,809 recipients of at least one month's salary of Citizenship Income, with 3,386,231 people involved and an average monthly amount disbursed at national level of 582.04 euros. Between January and August 2022, the benefit was revoked from 42,211 households and 220,941 households lapsed from the right. As of August 2022, there are 1,063,164 households benefiting from the Citizenship Income, while the households benefiting from the Citizenship Pension are 119,144

by INPS - National -italian- Institute for Social Security. 25 October 2022. https://www.inps.it/news/osservatorio-reddito-e-pensione-di-cittadinanza-i-dati-di-settembre

increase in the cash cap

Excluding the United States, where there is no limit to cash, in Europe every country has its own maximum amount for which you can turn around with cash or pay... Until the Draghi government (June 2022) the ceiling on counted money was €2000, i.e. you could wander around or pay in cash for a maximum amount of €2000 without running into criminal penalties. Giorgia Meloni has decided to raise this ceiling to €5,000. A much higher number. Even some European countries have high roofs but they are few: Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece and Poland. Germany, on the other hand, has no limit on cash but its tax system works almost perfectly to the point that it can hardly be compared to any state in Europe, especially Italy which, although it boasts a fairly prosperous global economy, has a tax evasion among the highest on the continent. There could be many reasons for the increase in the ceiling, but the reality is that beyond the true intentions or the benefits it could bring, it risks favoring corruption and evasion because when we talk about increasing the ceiling on cash, we think of the classic scene of the guy who goes around with the briefcase of money or with the roll of banknotes.

stop the obligation to accept electronic payments under 60 euros and the following step backwards: all payments possible with electronic cards

This is another very controversial provision because the parties involved (trader and customer) have different respective positions. In my opinion, removing the obligation of the POS (the famous terminal with which electronic cards are used ) could have its own logic. The truth, as explained by Premier Meloni herself, could be that of avoid making the operator bear the costs for the transaction of the electronic circuit. For example, if I pay €1 for coffee but the dealer pays us a 20 cent commission, the profit is almost negligible. The threshold of 60 has caused much discussion not only among Italian citizens but also the European Union which has formally invited the government to adopt all the reforms and practices that can help keep track of money... Thus, in the initial hesitation of the government, it was hypothesized to lower the threshold to €40 and in the end even to eliminate the threshold with which to pay for the card. It is clear that this is the measure par excellence for which the government has had to backtrack in meeting the European provisions and directives.

other reforms: pensions and abolition of the 110 bonus

Giorgia Meloni during the electoral campaign promises an increase in pensions but at the moment the increase in pensions is only foreseen for people over 75. As for the superbonus 110%, which was a flag and a workhorse of the five-star movement, it has been abolished. A 90% bonus is being introduced which will only be available to families with a certain family ratio, a measure of family wealth introduced by this government as an alternative to the ISEE. The 110% bonus was a provision thanks to which many people, families and condominiums were able to benefit from mega discounts in the renovation of their homes and for the improvement of energy consumption. The 110% bonus was in particular contested by the right because it was considered a waste of money especially if if taken into account of the potential cheating companies that carry out the works.

other considerations

After the elections Giorgia Meloni continued a steady growth in consensus, at least as far as the polls currently say. In fact, according to December 20, Giorgia Meloni and her Fratelli d'Italia party stand at 30%; an enormous percentage if we consider that the party, in addition to being right-wing (the first and true one in republican history) did not even reach two figures until a year ago. At times the polls have proved momentary, but what is certain is that despite all the difficulties of the moment such a consensus was difficult to predict. In addition to random factors, it must be kept in mind that the QatarGate bribe scandal contributed to sinking the PD, causing it to lose further percentage points more than it was losing on its own... In consideration of this, there is currently no left parties in Italy , and perhaps with the PD it never existed if we remember that it was born from the merger of two distinctly different parties.