October 31 2012
'Crescita 2.0' is the body of rules comprising the second Growth Decree that was proposed by the minister for economic development, infrastructure and transport and recently approved by the Council of Ministers. The decree aims to make Italy a place where innovation is the driving force behind sustainable growth and one of the key factors of its industrial competitiveness.
Among the most forward-looking measures are additional provisions to the financial plan aimed at reducing the broadband digital divide and significant simplifications to the installation process for broadband optical fibre. More specifically, the target is to establish a connection of at least two megabits in as-yet uncovered and business failure areas. The decree will provide €150 million in funding for financing initiatives in the centre-north of the country, in addition to the funding already allocated to the south (approximately €600 million). As far as ultra-broadband diffusion is concerned, the decree provides for simplification of procedures and exemption from tax for soil and subsoil occupancy.
Apart from the satisfaction shown by government officials and the premier himself - who asserted that the digital agenda "is fundamental to fill Italy's technological gap" - there are still several knotty issues as to the decree's enforceability. The first issue relates to the amount of funding yet to be found; the second to doubts raised about governance and, more specifically, the crucial role of the Agency for Digital Italy, which has yet to be established.
Around 100 names have been submitted to the government as candidates for the directorship of the Agency for Digital Italy. Under the first Development Decree, the appointment will be made by Prime Minister Mario Monti upon consultation with Ministers Corrado Passera, Francesco Profumo and Filippo Patroni Griffi.
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