NewsEconomicsMunicipalities in financial difficulties, the photograph in the Csel...

Municipalities in financial difficulties, the photograph in the Csel / Adnkronos dossier


In Italy, one municipality out of 8 is in financial distress, or pre-instability, precisely 1,083 out of a total of 8,389: a reality on which the sentence of the Constitutional Court no. 80 of 29 April last, which defined the rules that allowed the debts of local authorities in financial difficulties to be spread indefinitely (up to 30 years), establishing an obligation to close them down as unconstitutional. Providing the photograph of Italian local authorities in financial difficulties is the report prepared by Csel (Center for local authorities studies) and Adnkronos, from which emerges, at a regional level, the clear prevalence of Calabrian municipalities, followed by those of Sicily and Campania. The sentence risks causing a real uproar. The entities that had resorted to those sums to honor their trade debts, are now faced with a worsening of the accounts which could, in the most critical cases, determine the need to start a multi-year rebalancing plan for entities that are currently healthy or the crash for entities already in the limbo of the predissesto. According to estimates by Anci, which raised an alarm in this regard to the Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese urging her to intervene, there are “about 1,400 municipalities involved in the establishment of the liquidity advance fund”, of these “about 950 are in deficit in 2019, as well as 8 provinces “. The extent of the backlash will clearly depend on the amount of resources used and the health of the institution’s accounts, but it goes without saying that the level of tension will tend to be higher in those 400 municipalities (data updated to 31 December 2020, Report Ca ‘Foscari based on Viminale data) which are currently in financial rebalancing. In this category, also called pre-instability, there are maxi administrations such as Naples, Catania, Messina, Reggio Calabria, Foggia, Pescara, Terni, Andria, Lecce, Alessandria, Brindisi and Guidonia, but also a whole series of small and medium-sized, most of which concentrated in Calabria (86), Sicily (83) and Campania (64). Valle d’Aosta and Friuli are the only regions that do not have institutions in failure or rebalancing Italy? Again according to the aforementioned report, at 31 December 2020 there were 683. Also in this case the lion’s share is made by the South which sees Calabria again wearing the black jersey with 193 municipalities in default, followed by Campania (173) and Sicily ( 80). A step away from the little coveted podium, Lazio, with 53 ruined municipalities, followed by Puglia which has 46. Leading the ranking of virtuosos are Valle d’Aosta and Friuli, the only Italian regions that do not appear to have entities failing or rebalancing, followed by Trentino, which has only one pre-instability, and by Sardinia which stops at 4 failures and has zero rebalancing assets. Looking at the percentage incidence of the two conditions it emerges that they are currently failing or rebalancing almost 7 out of 10 Calabrian municipalities (279 out of a total of 411) and more than 40% of Campania (237 out of 552) and Sicilian municipalities (163 out of 390). Followed by: Lombardy with 43 entities, which however in percentage terms represent only 2.7% of the total; Puglia and Lazio, both with 41 municipalities in failure or pre-failure; Abruzzo (36); Basilicata (34); Molise (32); Piedmont (20); Tuscany (18); Emilia Romagna and Marche (14); Umbria (10). Veneto closes the ranking, with 4 entities (3 failing and one rebalancing); Sardinia (4) and the aforementioned Trentino Alto Adige with only 1 municipality in predissesto. The report recalls that the subject of the dispute is, specifically, the ways in which the municipalities have accounted for those resources (liquidity advances) put in place by “Unblock debts decree”. The law, launched in 2013 by the Monti government, was issued to meet the solicitations of Brussels that had beaten our country for the enormous mass of trade debts accumulated by public administrations. At the time, estimates of the size of the PA’s overall debt to companies ranged between 90 and 130 billion euros (which later proved to be excessive by about 30% compared to the actual amount thanks to the ‘disclosure’ operation in the public accounts carried out by the new universal accounting system introduced in 2016 for local authorities and regions, which made it possible to remove from the initial estimates only potential debts represented by investments for public works only budgeted but not realized). Staggering figures that crushed theoretically sound companies that were not in a position to survive the biblical times of payment of our municipalities and our provinces. That rule and its subsequent ‘re-editions’ have meant that over the years more than 11.450 billion were allocated, broken down as follows: 2013 – 3.411 million euros; 2014 – 7,189 million euros; 2015 – 850 million euros. Money that in some cases has only helped entities in slight difficulty to honor the overdue trade debts but which, in other cases, were real oxygen for administrations that would otherwise collapse. One case above all is, in fact, that of the municipality of Naples which has benefited from it for almost half a billion.According to the Constitutional Court, this continuous shift forward in the repayment of debts and the recovery of financial imbalances has in fact violated constitutionally guaranteed principles such as intergenerational solidarity and balanced budget. Put simply – the judges of the Court warn – we are continuing to put on the shoulders of future administrations and generations, debts incurred in the past and therefore the time has come to break this vicious circle.



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