Italy’s government is to present a controversial law today that establishes new rules on the use of wiretaps by investigators.
Critics have branded the legislation as a “gagging law”, which they claim will help criminals and muzzle the press. Supporters say it is needed to protect privacy.
But such is the anger triggered by the move, the government yesterday evoked a parliamentary procedure known as a confidence vote. This effectively forces its own centre-right side to toe the line and back the bill.
Journalist Piero Sansonetti is highly critical of the use of the confidence vote tactic.
He said: “The frequent use of confidence votes reduces the function of parliament. For the past 30 years its power has hardy existed at all. There are now two holders of power instead of three: the government and the judiciary fighting against each other. The role of parliament has almost vanished due to the confidence votes.”
Opposition politicians claim the law is being pushed through after newspapers recently printed leaked transcripts from a high-profile graft probe into public works contracts which have tainted several cabinet members.