chapter  13
11 Pages

Local government

Italian local government is based on a hierarchy. The comuni is very different in size: they range from major cities such as Rome or Milan to small communities of a few thousand citizens. The province is constituted by a main town or city and its surrounding comuni. From the very beginning there was an extensive conflict between local authorities and the central government. Between 1970 and 1976, 25 per cent of regional laws were delayed or vetoed by the central government. Behind the regional system there was also a wide coalition which saw the regions as offering a way out of the crisis of the Italian political system. Nevertheless, it is clear that the bulk of the planners were in the Christian Democrats (DC), the Socialist Party (PSI) and the Republican Party (PRI), in other words the political parties which had constituted the backbone of the centre-left coalition.