The Powers that Be have a rather annoying habit of announcing new laws before they have been written, discussed or even thought about for more than a fleeting moment. This week we have had three.
Last year on the back of the elections, the M5S announced that they were going to end all Sunday opening, to allow people to spend time with their families. Immediately there was a chorus of disapproval, and they decided that 8 Sundays a year was permissible. This grew to 16, with an exemption for food stores, and has now reached 26 Sundays with a total exemption for larger cities and tourist destinations. The Lega has now announced that it’s all to rewrite from scratch, because its just occurred to them that people like shopping on their only day off, and some people quite like the money they earn. The revolutionary new law will no doubt finish with 52 Sundays in every town of more than 100 inhabitants.
The TAV – the high speed line between Turin and Lyons which is half way through digging through the Alps may be cancelled. Or not. Some experts say it’ll make a loss. Others say it won’t. What is sure is that most of the money is European and the penalties for not finishing will cost more than finishing it. There is no decision, despite various pronouncements, and it will no doubt linger on until it’s open at which point they will decide to close it.
The third of the great non-announcements this week regards regional autonomy, which is possibly what Salvini has been aiming for since his ascent to power. It’s just occurred to the M5S that autonomy for what we used to call Padania (and the raison d’etre for the existence of the Lega Nord) might lead to a two tier country. Notwithstanding the certain constitutional problems the plan provokes, Salvini is pushing ahead with financial independence for his homeland. Sicily, Sardinia, Aosta and Trentino are regions at special statute for decades, granting a sort of independence and a huge budget for their regional parliaments. If Padania is added to this, Italy will consist of a few earthquake prone regions and Tuscany. (Possibly balm to Renzi’s soul as he could run for King of Florence) It’s got to be all or nothing – and people are just waking up to the fact that for all his posturing and bullying Salvini is exactly the same as he was 5 years ago. He wants an independent north, out of Europe and the euro, and be king of Padania. He doesnt give a toss about Italy. It will be this that brings about the rupture in the government and lead to another round of elections. Unfortunately there is no opposition. Salvini wearing his black military jackets is going to walk it.