Seaside concessions, Lega-Pd make a wall: a transition phase opens for liberalization
The summer is approaching and the case “bathing“Re-explodes. While the rush to approve the Competition bill 2022 in good times is becoming more and more dense and tense, the reform on bathing concessions requested by the European Union and unanimously approved by the Council of Ministers in February is likely to skip. This is because, two rapporteurs of the provision, on the one hand the Northern League Paolo Ripamonti and on the other Stefano CollinaSenator of the Democratic Party, yesterday presented an amendment to Montecitorio that introduces a further phase of transition for liberalization.
In detail, the proposal first provides for a first mapping of the coast, then the tender of the Italian beaches, and the guarantee to the owners of the establishments of a period of five years to prepare, together with stronger compensation if they lose the concession. A “plan” that could actually lengthen the time frame of the reform on bathing concessions strongly supported by the government.
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Seaside concessions, the political stalemate
It was in fact February 2022 when the council of ministers gave the green light to the provision on concessions, providing for the competition of the establishments, with the aim of “ensuring a more sustainable use of the maritime state property; favor their public use; promote greater competition on bathing concessions ”, underlined the note by Palazzo Chigi. To date, months later, the knot still remains unsolved.
On the one hand the League he would like to modify the text licensed by the Government with an amendment that provides for a five-year extension of the entry into force of the new system of tendering bathing concessions and a pre-emption for the old concessionaires. On the other hand the 5 Star Movement points out that a new extension of the old regime means sending Italy into infringement and losing the money Next Generation Eu.
“We are also helping tourism entrepreneurs,” he said yesterday Matteo Salvini. Even the Pentastellati want to protect the old dealers, behind which, however, there would also be position rents that prevent the sector from being more efficient and competitive. “A complex issue that has been dragging on for over a decade, without finding a solution,” noted the senator Mario Turco (M5s), vice president of the M5s.
“After years of extensions, from January 2024 politics is called upon to give certainty to a sector that has lived with false expectations for a decade”, he said again. Turkish hoping for “a new course with public tenders and greater efficiency for the whole sector”.
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The Users and Consumers Rights Association is also on a war footing, complaining about a gray and opaque picture on the subject of competition. “It seems that there is an agreement in the government to read in their own way (keep the beach managers good) the sentence of the Council of State which had set at the end of 2023 the start of tendering procedures with market prices for the beach management: the procedures will start for the free and admissible beaches, for the others (almost all of them) a mapping that will last five years is foreseen, and therefore the terms for the competitions will be fixed “.
“Who knows what else they will invent in five years, since this one history has been going on since 2006… but we can already see: the government that places the golden power, a reserve right in the event of a threat to the national interest by subjects deemed harmful for the latter. The whole is in the so-called competition law that should be in the courtroom of Parliament next Thursday. If anyone needed a picture of what liberalization means in our country, this story is the mirror ”, underlines the association.
Seaside concessions, the economic knot
But in addition to the political stalemate, the node it is also everything cheap. The issue of bathing concessions, from extension to extension, has never seen a real regulation in Italy: the establishments have continued to pay derisory rents in the face of services and investments that are sometimes immovable and non-existent. According to a recent report by Legambiente in some well-known Italian beaches, where the cost of sunbeds and umbrellas can even reach a thousand euros a day, rent of the beaches it is not proportionate.
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Just to name a few: a Santa Margherita Ligure Lido Punta Pedale pays 7,500 euros a year to the tax authorities Forte dei Marmi Bagno Felice corresponds to 6,500 euros for 4,860 square meters occupied. Or even the Luna Rossa of Gaeta pays 11,800 while the Blue Bath of Rimini 6,700. In Sardinia, for the 59 concessions of Arzachena, the state brings home only 19 thousand euros. Finally, the Papeete Beach of Milano Marittima pays 10 thousand euros in rent compared to a turnover of 700 thousand.
The latest available data, underlines the report, certify 115 million euros in revenue every year, of which only 83 are actually collected. And there are still 235 million unpaid fees to be paid since 2007. Yet according to the latest data from the Court of Auditorsin 2020 the State collected 92 million and 566 thousand euros for 12,166 concessions “for tourist use” against a turnover that is difficult to estimate with precision, but which in recent years has been quantified in 15 billion euros per year from the consulting company Nomisma. The factual problem, as the Court of Auditors points out, lies in the cost-to-income ratio.
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The rentals they are less than proportionate to earnings. “THE royalties currently imposed are generally not proportionate to the turnover achieved by the concessionaires through the use of state-owned assets given in concession, with the consequence that the same assets do not appear, at present, adequately valued “, writes the Court of Auditors. A situation that has stood still for decades, which now risks another one paralysis.