“They are selling off the Italian beaches”. Here’s what’s going on

We return to talk, after several years, of the so-called Directive Bolkestein. In the past few hours, the leader of the League Matteo Salvini intervened clearly in the face of the prospect, envisaged by the European directive in question, of banning the concessions state-owned and especially those of the beaches.

It all started with an apostille inserted by an unspecified official of the presidency of the council who, within the competition decree, put the bathing concessions to tender. Immediately after the discovery of the new paragraph, a firm condemnation of the initiative came from the League. But also the other parties of the majority, starting with Forza Italia and the Democratic Party itself, have arrived important distinctions.

What is the Bolkestein directive

Formally it is called directive 2006/123 / EC, but the document has always been known by the name of the competition commissioner of the Prodi commission, the Dutchman Fritis Bolkestein. This is the standard, approved in the EU in 2006 and implemented in Italy in 2010, with which Bruxlles reformed the service market within the EU.

There is a passage of the directive that in Italy immediately aroused controversy. In particular, according to the Community document, the concessions of the bathing establishments should also have been put up for tender. A prospect that has alarmed hundreds of concession holders. In fact, in our country the beaches are entrusted without real competitions, but with direct agreements between public and private.

The launch of tenders for bathing concessions would have had the effect of shock therapy in this particular market, with multi-year rights suddenly canceled and with the impossibility for many small businesses to carry on their work. Hence the protests that have been going on for several years. Until then a first compromise was found in 2018, with the law 145 which extended the current concessions until 2033.

The new political diatribe

A large part of the parties have always expressed opposition to the opening of concessions. For this reason, the apostille added by Palazzo Chigi in the concessions decree in which, among other things, new immediate tenders were instituted did not go unnoticed. A sponge blow to freezing until 2033 provided for by law 145/2018.

“The League has always and forever against the sale of beaches, concessions and the Italian sea, as Brussels would like to impose – thundered Matteo Salvini in a note in the past few hours – If any PD minister tries again, the League will oppose it, everywhere and in any case. No to Bolkestein and yes to work ”.

But another demarcation from the initiative of Palazzo Chigi came precisely from the dem. “I think it is appropriate to clarify a bit – said the deputy Pd Umberto Buratti in a video – on the rumors that are chasing each other in these hours on the hypothesis by the government to insert the reform of the maritime domain in the competition decree, and that this decision was taken by Undersecretary Vincenzo Amendola. Well, this is not true ”.

Even from Forza Italia there have been harsh criticisms of the tendering of bathing concessions. “One thing is certain: no laws on competition will introduce rules hostile to seaside businesses and commerce – said the Italian senator Maurizio Gasparri – Clear rules have been approved. The dispute with Europe has not yet been formalized and will be discussed, if ever discussed, in future decades. There is no need to enact rules that in parliament would be crumpled up like waste paper and thrown into bins. If any backroom technician takes initiatives that do not compete with him, he will go home ”.

Eventually the offending footnote was removed and the current status quo will be maintained. However, new future controversies on the issue cannot be ruled out.


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