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Moving Toward a Quasifederal System: Intergovernmental Relations in Italy

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  • Brosio Giorgio

    (Università di Torino)

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.Larticle illustre lévolution 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 linsatisfaction croissante vis-à-vis de linefficacité du gouvernement central, la quête de plus dautonomie de la part des régions à croissance rapide et lopposition de ces dernières à la redistribution interterritoriale des ressources quopère le gouvernement central en utilisant des instruments opaques et inefficaces.Un degré substantiel dautonomie fiscale subnationale a été réintroduit. Les pouvoirs des gouvernements subnationaux ont été étendus. Limpact principal de la décentralisation provient, cependant, de lélection, directe et populaire, des maires et des présidents de gouvernements régionaux et provinciaux.La transformation est loin dêtre complète. Le gouvernement central reste réticent à abandonner ses pouvoirs. Lautonomie croissante des impôts locaux na pas introduit pour le moment de concurrence fiscale. Plus précisément, les taux dimposition nont pas été réduits, mais plutôt augmentés, en raison de la rigueur budgétaire de lensemble du secteur public.

Suggested Citation

  • Brosio Giorgio, 2003. "Moving Toward a Quasifederal System: Intergovernmental Relations in Italy," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 13(4), pages 1-26, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:13:y:2003:i:4:n:6
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