Premier Sllvio Berlusconi emphasized the need for economic growth and reform of Italy’s aging institutions. His tone was rather moderate instead of the bombastic way he ordinarily talks, but the message was clear that Italy must rethink its administrative structures and become economically more vibrant. He pldged to cut property taxes and reward overtime pay with tax breaks. He vowed to cut the notorious Italian red tape and fight organized crime. Of course, every Italian leader for the past 100 years has promised to fight crime, but there is no evidence any government has done more than “talk” about it rather than actually taking action.
Berlusconi did discuss the garbage collection problem in Naples which remains among the important issues in Italy. His promise to cut government employees is one that has previously been made by Italian prime ministers. We will await such action.