Italy Approves Justice Reboot That Caused Rift in Government
(Bloomberg) -- Mario Draghi’s cabinet has approved a contentious plan to speed up Italy’s chronically slow justice system.
The overhaul seeks to address civil and criminal justice proceedings and is part of Italy’s commitment to unlock the first tranche of European Union recovery funds.
The cabinet approved to plan on Thursday even as the Five Star Movement -- the biggest party in Draghi’s large government coalition -- has long been against the re-introduction of statutes of limitation on trials.
The Italian justice system is among Europe’s slowest in resolving civil or commercial cases, according to a 2021 report by the European Commission.
The country is set to receive the lion’s share of EU recovery funds, about 191.5 billion euros, and Draghi has been steadily pushing forward with measures aimed at cutting red tape and making sure that the grants won’t be trapped in Italy’s bureaucracy.
Next up will be an overhaul of the fiscal system, a theme which has already stirred tension between the League and the Democratic Party -- both part of the government coalition.
The third largest eurozone economy has been hit hard by the pandemic, with an 8.9% contraction last year, but the government is becoming more optimistic about this year’s growth prospects as lockdowns end.
Finance Minister Daniele Franco on Wednesday said that growth exceeding 5% seems reachable and that a pre-pandemic expansion level is expected by the third quarter of 2022.
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