Policy Briefs

C. Bastasin: The German lessons about the “reddito di cittadinanzà”

The German government has put forward a proposal to introduce Bürgergeld, or basic income, in the country, a proposal that, due to its characteristics, contains useful information for Italy’s political forces wishing to modify the Italian measure, similar at least in name, introduced during the yellow-green government coalition after 2018.

The German proposal aims at transforming the basic insurance measures for the unemployed, introduced in 2005 with the Hartz IV reform, with broader support, subject to less stringent conditions and substantively oriented towards retraining the beneficiary. For the Social Democratic Party (SPD) this is a vital reform: Hartz IV, introduced by Gerhard Schroeder, paved the way for Angela Merkel's victory and led to the detachment, never healed, of the working-class base from the SPD.

The proposal was approved by the Bundestag but rejected in the Chamber of Länder where it met with opposition from regional governments led by the Christian Democrats. It will now be up to parliament's mediation committee to resolve the deadlock.

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