Rome

Govt vows to get rid of provinces

Letta announces bill to change Constitution

Govt vows to get rid of provinces

Rome, July 4 - The Italian government on Thursday vowed to get rid of provincial administrations, widely seen as an unnecessary and expensive layer of administration. Eliminating the provinces would leave the central government to deal with the regions and municipalities without having to go through the provincial level, cutting costs and red tape. Italians voted to drop provincial governments in a recent referendum and the Constitutional Court last month ruled it was against Italy's Constitution to keep them. Premier Enrico Letta's left-right government has pledged to cut political spending in the face of widespread voter ire over pork-barrel scandals that produced a huge protest vote in February's general election. Letta said Thursday the government would present a bill to change the Constitution to remove provincial governments. Skeptics claim the savings from the move will be less than hoped and provincial workers will have to find jobs elsewhere in the civil service.

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