Controversy over name of area affects passing of law

Photo credit: Il Giornale

 BOLZANO – The replacement of the name “Alto Adige” with “Province of Bolzano” in draft legislation may be sufficient grounds for the Italian government to challenge a new law.

 Il Fatto Quotidiano reports that the change was suggested relates to law 30 and could lead the Italian government to appeal the law. 

 Francesco Boccia, Minister for Regional Affairs and Autonomies, has said that, because constitutionally the Italian and German versions must be identical, if “Alto Adige” has been changed and in the German version the equivalent “Sudtirol” has not been changed he would feel obliged to challenge the law, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano.

 The new law is particularly important to local ruling party Sudtiroler Volksparei, as it includes a measure they have long been fighting for: the equalisation of German with Italian for signing up to professional registers.

The crucial issue is whether knowing only German would be enough to practice as a doctor in the area.

 Sudtiroler Volksparei and president Arno Kompatscher are in favour of allowing this, as one way to prevent small hospitals in the area from closing due to a lack of doctors would be to employ medical staff from Austria.

 Whether the controversy caused by the change to the name will be enough to derail the legislation remains to be seen.