Using the Italian crisis to impose control: a shift towards a fiscal surveillance state?

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Series Details Volume 15, Number 19
Publication Date August 2013
ISSN 1756-851X
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After taking over from Silvio Berlusconi’s discredited government on 16 November 2011, the "technical" executive led by Mario Monti tackled a number of structural problems with the Italian economy such as widespread tax evasion and a sizeable underground economy. Measures approved during Monti’s 14 months at the helm included: limits on the use of cash; targeted controls by the customs and excise police (Guardia di Finanza, GdF) in exclusive holiday resorts; the introduction of passports for infants and forcing everyone to have bank accounts. A personal bank account - set up by their parents - will be necessary for children to pay for their passports and for pensioners to receive pension payments above 500 euros. Increased control has been coupled with "austerity" measures which range from cuts to public services, eligibility for pensions being delayed, an assault on workers’ rights that undermines the security of employment and a spending review to rein in costs that are viewed as wasteful.

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