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January 2009
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on squatters under the berlusconi government

When Berlusconi came to power he promised to cut taxes. Being the italian economical situation ok but not abundant he had to find the money somewhere. Also his government had the effect of alarmingly slowing down growth further diminishing the tax flow. So he had a serious monetary problem. Where to find all this money? Much came in selling houses and palaces from the state and much through special one time only taxes called condono. condomo means permission or forgiveness and the idea was that people that have unsolved situation from the past, like, for example, had done some illegal work on their house, or haven't paid all the taxes in a previous year could play the condono card, say now, pay some extra money and be safe from the law. This line of law tend to favour illegality as italians know that as soon as a government from the right is in power we can get away with most things. It is particularly bad for the ecology as all post of villa it the most wonderful places tend to get condon ate d. The writing in the pic says dont sell public houses. Those are houses who have been built for people who cannot afford a normal, very high, rent. They were proprietary of the state and rented next to nothing to people in need. Berlusconi government is selling them to private companies. Those companies are not renting them so that when they are all empty they can demolish them and build nicer less cheap houses. And people are protesting. Some people are squatting them. Some of the squatter then in to the post office and send the company some money for the rent. 30 euro or so. Since the company does not send back the money then they are effectively renting the house with no legal contract. And the situation gets more complicated legally. Some time the company is able to convince a judge that the police must intervene. This can happen in full daylight, through the door or in the middle of the night, breaking in through all the windows and the door at the same time. Not fun. Regardless on how they break in after the police, following the company desire, proceeds to destroy the apartment. Not always, but sometimes. They break what they can. Fill the tubes with foam that expands, breaking them inside the wall. And generally make the apartment unusable to make sure it does not get squatted again.
The result of all this was: around 3 euro less per person this year.