Italy’s Meloni Grants Home Renovation Amnesty in EU Vote Run-up

(Bloomberg) -- Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government is granting an amnesty for unsanctioned home renovation projects, helping a coalition ally fulfill an electoral pledge in the run-up to next month’s European Union election.

Most Read from Bloomberg

“This is a common sense decree,” Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini said Friday, claiming the measure will free local governments from complicated bureaucracy.

Italian governments have a long history of issuing last-minute pardons for building code infractions to boost consensus, and administrations on both sides of the aisle have liberally employed the measures, known as “condono” in Italian, to drum up votes.

EU elections have little direct effect on the balance of power in Rome, which is unlikely to change much barring a major upset. But the June vote will have a significant effect on the European coalition that chooses the bloc’s next commissioner — a pivotal figure for Italy, whose debt will likely remain a key political issue.

The amnesty announced Friday is the brainchild of Salvini, the head of the League party, a key coalition partner in Meloni’s right-wing government.

Once viewed as the rising star in Italian politics, Salvini has been eclipsed by Meloni since she led the right to electoral victory in 2022.

The latest polls available before a blackout period show the League scraping to muster at least 10% of the vote next month.

Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party led voting intentions for the EU poll in the week to May 23 at 26.9% support, 0.2% less than the week before, according to the most recent survey. The opposition Democrats gained the most in the survey, rising 0.4 point to 21.3%.

Salvini’s League scored 8.6%, a touch lower than the 8.79% result in the 2022 general election. Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani’s Forza Italia, a coalition party founded by the late Silvio Berlusconi, polled at 8.8%.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.