Business


Italy: Sluggish legal system 'costs firms almost €3 bln annually'




Mestre, 18 August (AKI) - Italy's slow-moving system of justice and cumbersome bureaucracy cost companies a staggering 2.66 billion euros in a single year, according to an association of small firms and artisans in the northeastern city of Mestre near Venice.

The total includes fines for missed deadlines during bankruptcy procedures (1.03 bln euros) lengthly trials which can go to several levels of appeal (1.09 bln euros), and the bankrupcty procedures themselves (532 million euros).

"Out of 972,555 pending trials, the average length of time a trial takes is 2 years, 5 months and 21 days. Of the 51,000 appeals pending, these take an average 2 years and 3 months," said Mestre's CGIA association.

"For bankruptcy cases, the average timescale is 8 years, 3 months and 23 days," CGIA added.

The data relates to 2007 - the most recent year for which figures were available, the CGIA noted.

"The situation in the southern regions is the most worrying," it said noting that in Basilicata trials take an average 1,463 days compared with 614 days in the best-performing region of Valle D'Aosta in northern Italy.

"Italy's judiciary needs to function more efficiently," said CGIA's secretary Giuseppe Bortolussi.

"It is one of the biggest obstacles for foreign investors."




 

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