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Italian deregulation plan falls at final hurdle

Italy's government last week withdrew plans to relax environmental impact assessment rules for major infrastructure projects and hand over land protection to private companies just before a vote of confidence in parliament. The plans were part of a "competitiveness" decree, meant to boost the economy. They would have extended the rule of tacit consent to infrastructure works, and allowed such projects to avoid certain elements of environmental regulation. Similar rules aimed at fast-tracking infrastructure projects were struck out by Italy's constitutional court two years ago (EED 06/10/03). See Italian government.

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