thank you, pierluigi bersani

Many, sincere thanks to the former Italian ministry Pierluigi Bersani (and now secretariat of the Partito Democratico)

September, 2006: Decree transformed into a law

Things went better than I could have expected. Only taxy drivers got some favourable (to them of course) modification to the decree. The government conserved the spirit of the decree and a few (pseudo)pharmacies already started to sell medicines, with some difficulty. Let's hope now that the process can continue.

18 July, 2006: Beware, reader

The "Bersani decree" will be modified. No additional taxicabs. No additional competiveness. No lower prices. The government accepted the taxicab drivers complains. We citizens get worste rules. You can read the article "Tassisti-governo, salta il cumulo delle licenze" by the Corriere della Sera newspaper. Now the question: how long will the Italian government take to accept also the complains made by pharmacies and attorneys? Shame, shame, shame!!!

A note about the problem in taxicab licenses in Italy: Taxicab licenses should be issued by city councils. If you want one, you apply when licenses are available. This means never, as licenses exist in a maximum number: therefore you buy one from some taxi driver. How much does it cost? 250.000 Eur in Florence, 190.000 Eur in Milan, 170.000 Eur in Rome, 20.000 Euro in a small town. How can you get one? read the listings in one of the taxicab association. Who pays such amout of money? if the average taxi fare were 10 euros, 17.000 customers were enough to pay for a license. From and to the airport (40-80 Euros per way), about 1.000 rides (2.000 customers) should be enough. Now, when you come to Italy, you know why you have to avoid taxicabs as hell, and take the 5.00 Euro train that takes you to the center. Just my opinion.

30 June, 2006: Decree of Italian Government about competiveness

Today, June 30, 2006, the Italian Ministro dello sviluppo economico (Ministry for the development of the economy) Pierluigi Bersani proposed a decree about competiveness, decree that has been readily approved by the whole government. Today is saturday and the decree has been discussed during the night in order to approve it in little time. The decree has been prepared  discreetely, that means that very few people knew about it: probably, just the Prime Ministry, Romano Prodi, and the sottosegretario di Stato Enrico Letta knew about it in advance. 

European Union initiated several infraction procedures (i.e., put fines) against Italy because Italy was protecting corporate interests - this corporate interests were against the interests of italian and european citizens (and against the interests of customers, as the same Bersani pointed out in an interview).

The corporate interests

Among the corporate interests, I can remember many of them that were very irritating because they were both money and time consuming, but irritation mostly came for the lack of respect for the rest of us (those of us not involved in the same corporate interest). I comment here some of them.

Taxicab drivers.

In Italy, taxicabs are vere expensive. My experience actually comes mostly from Rome, I do not know much about little towns. But in Rome, forget taking one, unless you're really in need for one. Really in need means, for me, that you are feeling very bad because of your health, not so much to justify an ambulance  call and a hospital ride, but to justify a comfortable return at home. There are other chances you can think of taking a taxi. For example, you are a businessman, or you are around the town for your own business not-money-related and really need to do many things in little time - sometimes taking a taxi may save you long time and can avoid you returning to the center of the town. Or you may really need a taxicab if you are seriously at risk of missing a flight and have no time to think of a different solution. But if is the case, get prepared to pay the ride possibly more than you have payed for the flight ticket. 


Medicines in Italy belong to classes (fascia in italian terminology), according if you need a doctor prescription to buy the drug of if you can buy it by yourself (automedicazione), and if the price of the medicine is payed by you or by the government (some information can be found, with a bit of searching, on the Health Ministery website). In Italy you can buy medicines only in pharmacies, with the assistance of a farmacista doctor. In Italy medicines cost much more than abroad. 

Last winter, more than 170,000 citizens proposed a simple law to allow other shops, like supermarkets, selling medicines - the ones you don't need a doctor prescription. A law proposed by citizens is called legge di iniziativa popolare, and it is proposed to the chambers because of people initiative, by collecting a 50,000 citizens' signatures.  Such a simple law was prepared by COOP, an italian supermarket chain that is interested in selling also medicines, and has been supported by many italians - many more than those who signed for it.

The Bersani Decree

Among the sectors affected by the decree, competition can improve in professional services, commerce, bread-makers, medicine shops, taxicab drivers, car insurances, fruit-and-vegetable shops, banks. In addition, the decree gives more power to the antitrust italian agency. More information about the decree are avaiable in a document from the italian government website.

A good start

Finally something is moving in Italy. I hope that this decree will become a law before it expires, as demanded by the article 77 of the italian constitution (a decree satisfies a urgent need, so it is an act made by the government and is valid only for 60 days).

In the meantime, thanks.

25 October, 2009: Bersani leads the Partito Democratico

Pierluigi Bersani is the new secretary of the Partito Democratico. I am not going to make any political advertisement, here, and I am a bit skeptical about the possibility that any party can make any good to Italy at the moment. However, I feel that Pierluigi Bersani can have a chance. Good luck.

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