Napolitano repeats call to reform lawmaking process

President wants to simplify, speed up decrees

Napolitano repeats call to reform lawmaking process

(ANSA) - Rome, August 8 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano's recent calls for reforms aimed at slashing bureaucracy and simplifying the process of turning decrees into laws have gone unheeded, according to a statement from his office Wednesday following his ratification of a law to curb public spending in Italy. The president on Wednesday ratified Premier Mario Monti's 26-billion-euro spending review, which was introduced in July in his bid to salvage the eurozone's third largest economy from a fate similar to Greece's. Decrees come into effect almost immediately but then require parliamentary approval to remain in force after an initial 60 days. Once approved, the president has to ratify the parliamentary approval before the law is officially effective. "It is undeniable that continued requests made by the president for parliament to push through constitutional change and regulatory reform to ensure a more certain and faster pathway for ordinary decrees has not been subsequently taken up in initiatives and action by both houses of parliament," the statement said. The spending review was approved in the cabinet on July 6 and subsequently went through changes during the process of parliamentary approval. The House on Tuesday gave definitive approval to the measure which, among other things, aims to avert a 2% increase in VAT scheduled for October. According to the statement, the president appreciates that the "frequent recourse to decrees and confidence votes is an age-old practise, but Napolitano has often expressed his concerns about this, and attempted to impose some form of limits on them". It is also "undeniable that during the course of the last year" the two governments that have headed Italy have had to "face emergencies and urgencies that have no precedent".

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