ROME — In its budget maneuver, Meloni’s government backed token fund cuts to balance differentiated autonomy with one stroke of the pen without much fanfare. The so-called equalization fund, which amounted to 4.4 billion euros, was used up. It means that there will be no euro for the regions and municipalities of the regions, which have to make up for the gaps in services and infrastructure compared to other areas of the country. If we add to this the cuts in Pnrr projects and the budget maneuver Matteo Salvini to redirect the development and cohesion funds of Sicily and Calabria to the strait bridge, the result is that the national government took 15 billion euros from the South in a few months for works already underway and projects ready to start. In the face of these cuts, many noted the complete silence at the Prime Minister’s press conference Giorgia Meloni In the south, the picture is really grim.
Goodbye Autonomy Equalization Fund
What is certain is that only in the last few days, an examination of the tables attached to the budget has shown that the equalization fund, originally worth 4.4 billion euros, has fallen to just 800 million. Already in the delegation on differentiated autonomy with the Conte Due government, the fund was included as a guarantee for the south of a minimum state investment to correct the differences in citizenship. Now that the autonomy dear to the League is fast marching through Parliament, funds are disappearing. In short, a clear political signal.
8 billion euros removed from Pnrr from the south
This cut contributes to some policy decisions made recently by the government. Meloni’s government reshuffled 16 billion euros from the PNR, half of which goes to municipalities in the south for urban planning and energy efficiency. Some major urban renewal projects were therefore skipped, such as the Restart of Scampia (156 million) and Taverna del Ferro in San Giovanni and Teduccio (106 million) in Campania, or interventions in the San Berillo and Librino neighborhoods in Catania and the former Città del Ragazzo in Messina on Sicily, to give a few examples.
Pnrr, the paradox of the south
by Isaiah Sales
FSC Calabria and Sicily diverted to Most
Another €1.6 billion was forcibly taken from the Development and Cohesion Fund of Sicily and Calabria in a budget maneuver and redirected to the construction of the Bridge across the Strait, a project revived by Salvini’s poaching of the old Messina Straits company with contracts attached. with the Eurolink consortium. Governor Renato Schifani thundered against the choice to redirect these resources without an agreement, Salvini nevertheless continued, and therefore funds intended for hydrogeological instability and infrastructure, such as the extension of the Syracuse-Gela highway in the Scicli section, were lost: “In billions of euros it was stolen from Sicily, CGIL calculated.
Remodulation of infrastructure
The Ministry of Infrastructure remodulated (i.e. reduced for 2023) approximately 2.5 billion euros. Among them, the Rome-Pescara railway line in the Abruzzo-Chieti-Pescara stopover section for 568 million and in the Sulmona-Avezzano section for 277 million euros. And again the doubling of the Falconara-Orte line for 326 million, the strengthening of the Tivoli-Guidonia section for 179 million, the closure of the Roman railway circuit for 175 million. But also the acceleration of the Lamezia Terme-Catanzaro line and the Sibari-Porto Salvo line in Calabria. The line Florence – Pisa was also reimbursed for 299 million. The only funded works in the north are the €77 million Novara junction and the €277 million doubling of the Maerne-Castelfranco Veneto line. Money that will immediately be redirected to other works: 1.1 billion, almost half of the entire reconstruction, will go to the Verona-Padua high-speed line and the Vicenza crossing. Another 462 million for the Terzo Valico node in Genoa. And again 563 million to cover construction sites and tenders ongoing in 2023.