'To Do' decree passes Senate, must return to Lower House

Justice reforms amendment included, stoking govt tensions

'To Do' decree passes Senate, must return to Lower House

Rome, August 7 - Italy's Senate on Wednesday approved the so-called "to do" decree that included a hot-button amendment with reforms to the country's justice system. Justice reform is a hot political debate, with Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party demanding radical changes after the ex-premier's four-year tax fraud conviction was upheld by the supreme court last week. The decree also includes an amendment foreseeing a 25% pay cut for managers of listed companies under public control. The decree was approved with 190 votes in favor, 67 opposing and one abstention. The 'to do' package cuts red tape and frees up around three billion euros for public works projects this year and should create 30,000 temporary construction jobs. It also allocates money to finance improvements to the national rail network, school buildings and roads. The measure also cuts energy bills by a total of 550 million euros, in part by slashing a tax to finance renewable energy initiatives.

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