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The municipalities managed better from a financial point of view? They are all from the North: Parma, Cuneo and Treviso. While in the last places there are Potenza, Cosenza and Terni. These are the results of the new report of Fondazione Etica which for the second consecutive year compared local administrations to a sample. The analysis is based on the data that the administrations themselves are required to publish in compliance with the regulatory obligations on transparency, efficiency and anti-corruption.

The second Report on the Rating of Municipalities, which will be ready at the end of the year, refers to 2015 data but the Foundation anticipates the results concerning the first macro-area analyzed: the budget and the economic-financial profile. The analysis concerns a provincial capital for each Italian Region, taking into account the geographical distribution between North, Center and South; of the demographic dimension (large, medium and small municipalities) and per capita income. The results? As in 2014, also in 2015 the municipalities of the North are more virtuous than those of the South. A commonplace that proves to be founded even if there are exceptions: Olbia and Campobasso, for example, qualify among the municipalities with above average ratings (59.7 out of 100) surpassing municipalities in central Italy such as Grosseto and Ancona.

However, if it is true, on the one hand, that some municipalities in the South have ranked among those with better ratings, it is also true that no Northern municipality ranked among the worst. The municipalities of the Center do not excel, nor, contrary to what one would have expected, those of the Regions with special statute (apart from Olbia, fourth in the standings). That remains however, it must be said, with a very high overall performance.

On the other hand, the myth that the municipalities with lower fiscal pressure are more virtuous is debunked: for example, Parma has one of the largest taxes on the sample, with over a thousand euros per capita. Yet it is first in the standings. “It means – explains Paola Caporossi, co-founder of Fondazione Etica – that taxes are not automatically negative for citizens, it depends on how the relative revenue is used in terms of services”. Nor is it true that municipalities that spend less on staff are more efficient. Indeed where, for example, there are few managers, the municipality is more penalized in its performance. “Cuneo, for example, has more executives than everyone else – explains Caporossi – but is in second place in the standings, a sign that competent and prepared managers are performing well”.

At the level of investments, on the other hand, most of the municipalities that spend the most are not from the North: the highest percentage for 2015 lies in Frosinone and, after Cuneo, also in Brindisi. But Frosinone was subjected to a financial rebalancing procedure to remedy a “hole” of 50 million euros in debts and Brindisi was commissioned until the next elections. “A sign once again – underlines Caporossi – that the how is not important but the how”.

Here to see the study.

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