Sicily, maneuver arriving at Ars. And the municipalities remain dry


By John

A maneuver to be brought to the Chamber by April, before the European elections. About thirty million, no attacks on the diligence, but only a few rules, such as the recapitalization of AST and aid to farmers, to cover the most urgent requests. Which, however, will not include the aid – just over 108 million – long awaited by the mayors to cover the extra costs of waste disposal abroad (60 million) and energy costs (48 million), which hinder the budgets of municipal administrations. This was announced by the President of the Region, Renato Schifani, who plans to bring the accounting document to the ARS before the electoral session, when the deputies will then be busy in their respective territories. And in this regard, Schifani himself specifies: “I don't want a pre-electoral chamber.”
The response from the ANCI was immediate and, having been on a war footing for months, now considers it “very serious that a second measure is approved before the elections, without having provided the funds for the Municipalities”. «Also because – explains President Paolo Amenta – out of 391 Municipalities, by the deadline of 15 March, only 44 managed to approve the budgets». A very complicated situation, without those funds there is a risk of blocking the machinery of local authorities. The number one of the ANCI then returns to ask for a meeting with Schifani and, in the absence of a “prompt response”, he does not rule out “a permanent mobilization of the mayors, to prevent the critical issues from being resolved once again, by putting their hands in their pockets of citizens.”
But let's go in order. One of the cornerstone rules of the maneuver is the recapitalization of Ast: 10 million allocated to provide the investee company with the liquidity needed to transform it into an in-house company. Then there will be aid to farmers, around 10 million, and probably also the replenishment of the fund for Agrigento Capital of Culture: initially the Schifani council had foreseen 10 million but the Ars had reduced it to four.
«It will be a minimalist maneuver, not a maxi financial one – explains Schifani -. No attacks on the diligence, only indispensable measures, using the little treasure (between 10 and 20 million) resulting from the missed expenses linked to the rules challenged by Rome”. Others could be added to these funds if last year's fiscal revenue trend is confirmed. «The surge of 2023 has allowed us to reduce the deficit – continues the president – ​​and I am waiting to have the first data from the Accounting Office, but we must be cautious in endorsing new expenses before the fiscal flows become official, because we cannot make a maneuver without cover”.
Bad news, however, for the Municipalities: «As regards the mayors' requests – confirms Schifani – the hundred million are not there. We will listen to them if necessary, but these resources are not available at this time. In September, with the budget adjustment, we will be able to make a better budget, when we will have a clear picture of the sums committed and those not spent. What we are about to do now, however, can only be done with the resources deriving from the expenses not made.”
Let's take a step back. To compensate for the increase in costs incurred by mayors to send rubbish abroad, the Region had provided 45 million to the Municipalities. Funds which were revoked last November due to bureaucratic problems, «creating – continues the president of the ANCI – holes in the budgets of the Municipalities, forced to repay these sums. Then there are the 60 million that the government had committed to finding and which are not yet available. And then there are another 48, linked to extra energy costs. We are sorry – concludes Amenta – to have to acknowledge that all our appeals have fallen on deaf ears. We asked for a meeting with President Schifani to find a solution, but to date we have received no response. We are one step away from default and a general increase in taxes and we remain disoriented by the silence of the regional government.”