Rome

Debate on Italy's institutional reforms to start May 29

Measures to include new election law

Debate on Italy's institutional reforms to start May 29

Rome, May 15 - The Italian parliament will start debating institutional reforms designed to make the country easier to govern on May 29, Relations with Parliament Minister Dario Franceschini said Wednesday. Premier Enrico Letta has said these institutional reforms are a priority for his left-right coalition government, which was sworn in last month to end Italy's two-month post-election political deadlock. The parliamentary debate will be based on a draft of measures Letta's cabinet agreed on during a 24-hour 'retreat' at a former abbey in Tuscany on Sunday and Monday. It will include a new election law to replace the much-criticised current one that failed to produce a clear winner in February's general election. The measures will also look to change the current parliamentary set-up in which all laws must be approved by both the House and Senate. This is blamed by many for being one of the major sources of dysfunction for Italy's institutions. Letta's government aims to keep the Lower House as the main political chamber of parliament, while turning the Senate into an assembly of Italian regions. "These institutional reforms have failed to come to fruition for 30 years," said Franceschini, who announced the date of start of the debate after a meeting with party whips on Wednesday. "Now the government is actively working to make this path of reform concrete, with full respect for parliamentary sovereignty. "The issue of reforms may seem abstract to the public, but in reality, the lack of reform has produced a situation of paralysis that the whole county is paying for".

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