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Moving Toward a Quasifederal System: Intergovernmental Relations in Italy

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  • Brosio Giorgio

    (Università di Torino)

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    Abstract

    The paper illustrates the evolution of the territorial system of government in Italy. A traditionally centralized state is turning into a quasifederation. The reasons underpinning this transformation are the growing insatisfaction with the inefficiency of the central government, the quest for autonomy by the fastest growing regions and the opposition by the latter to the interterritorial redistribution of resources made by the central government with the use of nontransparent and inefficient instruments.A substantial degree of subnational tax autonomy has been reintroduced. The powers of subnational governments have been expanded. The main impact on decentralization derives, however, from the direct, popular, election of mayors and of presidents of regional and provincial governments.The transformation is far from complete. The central government is still reluctant to relinquishing its powers. The increased local tax autonomy did not yet introduce substantial tax competition. More precisely, tax rates were not reduced, but rather increased, due to the fiscal stringency of the whole public sector.L’article illustre l’évolution du système territorial de gouvernement en Italie. Un Etat traditionnellement centralisé est en train de devenir quasi-fédéral. Les raisons fondamentales de cette transformation sont l’insatisfaction croissante vis-à-vis de l’inefficacité du gouvernement central, la quête de plus d’autonomie de la part des régions à croissance rapide et l’opposition de ces dernières à la redistribution interterritoriale des ressources qu’opère le gouvernement central en utilisant des instruments opaques et inefficaces.Un degré substantiel d’autonomie fiscale subnationale a été réintroduit. Les pouvoirs des gouvernements subnationaux ont été étendus. L’impact principal de la décentralisation provient, cependant, de l’élection, directe et populaire, des maires et des présidents de gouvernements régionaux et provinciaux.La transformation est loin d’être complète. Le gouvernement central reste réticent à abandonner ses pouvoirs. L’autonomie croissante des impôts locaux n’a pas introduit pour le moment de concurrence fiscale. Plus précisément, les taux d’imposition n’ont pas été réduits, mais plutôt augmentés, en raison de la rigueur budgétaire de l’ensemble du secteur public.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 1-26

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:13:y:2003:i:4:n:6

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