Political and Legal System of Italy

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Political system
Italy represents a parliamentary republic with strong Parliament, strict separation of branches of power, titular President and the Government which is very dependent on the parliamentary support. All the above mentioned in fact allows us to consider Italy to be a classical parliamentary republic with all its benefits and disadvantages. Now let's try to describe every key element of political system of Italy. The Italian Parliament is elected once per 5 years and consists of two chambers: the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies having 315 and 630 seats correspondingly. The elections system changed several times, it has different mathematic formulas for each chamber and is quite complicated. The main point is that the coalition of parties which has won the elections automatically receives minimum 55% of seats (Manuel Alvarez-Rivera, 2010) allowing it to work effectively not being dependent on permanent absolute presence of all the members of the coalition while voting. Also, a threshold system makes the task of getting into Parliament more complicated for small parties not having strong support higher than 2% of voters. Two key features mentioned above lead Italy to the traditional for Western democracies in fact bi-partisanship within which the right-centre big party (or a coalition of small ones) competes every elections with the left-centre one and the winner receives the full power in the country until the next elections. It represent two important outcomes for us. The first one is stability. Whatever party takes the power, it will keep it until the next elections, leaving in such a way the business legislation unchanged for at least several years. Solid rules of game always help, especially if you want to make investments from the opposite side of the planet, as in case of Coles Supermarkets. Another one is predictability. Having in mind the power of the opposite camp and no guarantees that the opposition will not transform into the power on the next elections, no leading party will make radical or unreasonable steps which can be very popular now but lead to the political death of party in the future. So, even if the left wing coalition comes to power and strengthens the tax burden, a foreign company like Coles Supermarkets will definitely know that the taxes will not increase so significantly as to make the business in this country unprofitable. According to the Constitution of Italy (Official web-site of the Senate of Italy, n.d.) the President of the country is the Head of the State and represents national unity. In whole, the functions of the President who is elected by Parliament for seven years are the protocol ones, like receiving diplomatic representatives, granting pardons or conferring the honorary distinctions. All his political actions, such as promulgating laws, appointment of officials and making declarations of war are necessarily to be approved by the Parliament. And it leads us to another important conclusion: there can be no conflict of interests between the President and the Parliament and their political views if they differ can't become the ground for intensified political warfare paralyzing the life of the country which is not so rare in other political systems. No conflict of interests means that foreign investments will not become a hostage of domestic politics what is really significant for such big investors as Coles Supermarkets. The Government in Italy (Council of Ministers) like in other parliamentary republics is formed by the coalition of parties which has won the elections. Due to the titular status of the President, the Italian Prime-minister (President of the Council) is in fact the main political figure in the state. The current Italian Government consists of Prime-minister and 21 Ministers of whom 9 are without portfolio (Official web-site of the Government of Italy, n.d.). Italy is well known for its fast changing governments since the end of World War II until the...
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