Premier Giorgia Meloni’s cabinet on Monday is set to examine the so-called Omnibus decree. The decree has measures for a variety of sectors, including taxis and air transport.
In the government’s last major piece of business before the summer holiday break, they are to consider the Omnibus decree. Business and Made in Italy Minister Adolfo Urso said the reform of Italy’s taxi sector will usher in “greater efficiency and transparency” to a “sector of strategic importance for the country”.
Urso also said this was important given the “significant growth in foreign tourists and the big challenges that wait us in the coming years”, citing the Catholic Church’s 2025 Jubilee in Rome and the 2026 Milano-Cortina Winter Olympics.
The reform will enable councils to issue extra taxi licences to cope with high demand linked to major events or peaks in tourist arrivals, according to a draft. Furthermore, big cities and those that host international airports will be able to increase their taxi licences by up to 20%. However, applicants for the new permits must use non-polluting vehicles, the draft said.
Italy’s Antitrust authority opened a probe into the nation’s taxi sector last week, It had found major problems with the services in Rome, Milan and Naples.
Urso has said the package is also set to clamp down on airlines’ “unfair” use of algorithms to set the price of tickets.
Omnibus decree draft to clamp down on pricing algorithms
A draft of the omnibus ‘assets and investment’ decree would ban dynamic price setting on the basis of booking time in some circumstances.
“We have identified a distorted commercial practice when it comes to expensive flights with an algorithm that profiles the user and then creates a sort of flight auction which, in recent days, has led to prices for routes like the Rome-Cagliari one to go as high as 980 euros,” Urso told Sky television.
“That algorithm has been deleted. It will no longer be possible to use it.
The decree is also due to bring in exemption on the €240,000 cap on the annual salary of public-sector workers for the Messina Strait Bridge company (Società per il Ponte sullo Stretto), the company tasked with building a bridge to connect Sicily to the mainland.
Pietro Ciucci, the CEO of the Messina Strait Bridge company, said Sunday that the exemption will not apply to him or the board. However, it will make it is possible to hire top experts for the project.
Cgil union threatens strike over taxi reforms
The Unica Cgil trade union on Monday threatened strike action over the government’s plans to reform the taxi sector and boost the number of licences for taxis.
“As it is, this decree must not be converted into law,” Unica Cgil said. “Our response will be a general strike and mobilisation. The laws that are in force already allow mayors to intervene over the number of taxis and to improve services and make them more efficient,” the union added.