January 3, 2012

Those Overpaid Italian Parliamentarians

Enrico Giovannini
“In short,” writes today the Corriere della Sera newspaper, “Italy’s deputies and senators pocket 60% more than the European average.” That’s no surprise, of course. The big news, if anything, is that this is what has just been posted by the Giovannini Committee on the Civil Service ministry website (.pdf, in Italian). The working group chaired by Enrico Giovannini, the president of Italy’s ISTAT statistics institute, and made up of experts in the field including a representative from Eurostat, was required—by a rule introduced by former Economy minister Giulio Tremonti and adopted by the leaders of both houses—to conduct a study of the institutional and organisational structures of seven countries, included Italy, in a few months “to a level of detail never hitherto achieved in the literature.” Needless to say, the committee came up against some problems… As a result, in the committee’s own words, the data included—from which it emerges that Italy’s elected representatives cost from 20% to 400% (!!!)  more than their colleagues abroad—are to be considered “provisional and of insufficiently high quality for the purposes indicated by the law.” As the song suggests, “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.”

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