Published on August 5, 2020 in News + Media

The Italian news agency ANSA managed to take a look at the draft of the so-called August decree, concerning the new measures Italy will take in order to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. They concern different fields, from schools to health and taxation.

The draft is made up of 91 articles and the Italian government is supposed to launch the new legislative decree by the end of the week. Among the measures, Rome has allocated more funds to the health sector and the national health service, so as to pay for overtime and make it possible for personnel to catch up on examinations, operations and screening activities that were not performed during the coronavirus lockdown. In this regard, according to the decree, the extra fund will amount to 480 million euros and will allow the Regions to increase spending limits by 1%. In addition, it will be possible to increase the extraordinary remuneration for medical, health, veterinary and healthcare professions, recruit new temporary staff and increase the number of hours of expert assistance.

Another measure is related to the extension of a halt on the authorities serving demands for outstanding taxes until October 15 and the suspension of payment of an instalment of property tax IMU for hotels and beach establishments, as well as for cinemas and theaters. Moreover, between 2021 and 2022, another billion will be allocated for schools, in order to guarantee the safety of the activities, with the proper number of teachers and staff members. More in detail, the draft of the August decree provides for an increase of 400 million euros in 2020 and 600 million in 2021 of the Covid-19 epidemiological emergency fund set up at the Ministry of Education, doubling the funding of the relaunch decree, equal to 377 million this year and 600 million in 2021.

Within this framework, Education minister, Lucia Azzolina, declared, on August 5, that she had signed a decree whose goal is the recruitment of 50.000 teachers and other staff members for the Italian schools. Actually, schools need extra staff to help them cope with rules that will be in force to make sure the risk of coronavirus contagion is at a minimal. According to minister Azzolina, nursery and primary schools will have priority, and also the number of pupils in each class will be gradually reduced.

Despite of the new measures, Italy’s big three trade union confederations, that is CGIL, CISL and UIL, declared, on August 5, that that they will hold a general strike if the government does not extend a ban on dismissals until the end of 2020. Otherwise, the Italian government “would take on the whole responsibility for the risk of a social clash”. The leaders said they have organized an initiative on September 18 “that can be turned into a general strike” depending on the decision of the government and industry association Confindustria. The current idea would be to stop the ban when the state of emergency will finish, that is October 15, and for the unions this is not acceptable. Moreover, in the August decree there are several exemptions.

 

This article was first published on August 5, 2020

Piera Laurenza