Bloomberg News

Monti’s Cabinet Approved Measures to Cut Italian Red Tape

January 30, 2012

(Updates with details of the decree in last three paragraphs. For more on Europe’s debt crisis, see {EXT4 <GO>}.)

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s Cabinet approved measures to reduce bureaucratic red tape, his third major legislative effort since taking office in November.

The measures “improve the quality of life of citizens who deal with the public administration and also improves the competitiveness of the economy through gains in productivity from these simplifications,” Monti said at a press conference in Rome today after the Cabinet meeting.

The decree law seeks to abolish hundreds of laws and simplify rules regulating companies and new businesses. Monti said the revamp was important because the European Union and “international observers give more and more importance to structural reforms to judge the sustainability of public-finance consolidation.”

Monti pushed through budget cuts worth 20 billion euros ($26 billion) in December, including higher levies on fuel and a tax on primary homes, in a bid to convince investors Italy can tame the euro-region’s second-biggest debt and curb record borrowing costs. To kick-start the economy, the government last week passed a second plan aimed at boosting competition and growth by opening up so-called closed professions, including notaries, lawyers and taxi drivers.

Internet Push

Today’s decree will allow Italians to carry out many bureaucratic tasks online, according to an e-mailed statement from Monti’s office. These steps include changing official places of residence and obtaining or renewing birth certificates and identification documents.

Use of the Internet will also be expanded throughout the public administration, and red tape will be eased for companies that “on average, present the same documents 27 times” to state officials by posting key information about firms online. That change will save an estimated 1.3 billion euros a year, according to the statement.

The wide-ranging decree will also allow bakeries to stay open on Sundays and holidays, and facilitate the process for hiring workers from outside the EU. While the decree takes effect immediately, it requires Parliament’s approval within 60 days to remain in force.

--Editors: Jeffrey Donovan, Dan Liefgreen

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey Donovan at jdonovan26@bloomberg.net

To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Vasarri in Rome at cvasarri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net


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