Here’s how much Italy’s top politicians earned last year

Who is the richest member of the Italian cabinet? And which politician earned five times less than they did last year? Now we know.

Here's how much Italy's top politicians earned last year
The newly appointed Italian government ministers pictured in December. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Italian politicians have published their tax returns for the 2015/2016 tax year, revealing exactly how much they earned.

The figures are available on the official website of the Italian parliament, so you can check out the earnings of the country's MPs and senators in full, but here's a quick rundown of who earned what – and there are a few surprises.

Premier Gentiloni earned €109,607 in the last tax year, taking home slightly more than his predecessor Matteo Renzi, who declared earnings of €103,283. Renzi himself saw a €5,000 dip in earnings compared to the previous year.

But that figure made Gentiloni only the fifth highest earner in government – so who brought in the most money last year?

Valeria Fedeli, Minister for Education, takes that title, having earned a total of €180,291.

The next highest earner was Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, who declared taxable income of €148,692.

And in third place was Anna Finocchiaro, the minister of relations with parliament, with a taxable income of €144,853.

READ ALSO: Meet the key figures in Gentiloni's government

At the other end of the scale, Maurizio Martina emerged as the lowest earner in government. The agricultural minister declared taxable income of only €46,750.

And in penultimate place was Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who declared €49,958.

After Gentiloni, the next highest earners in government were Transport Minister Graziano Delrio (€104,473), Labour Minister Giuliano Poletti (€104,432), Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano (€102,300), and Economic Development Minister Carlo Calenda (€102,058).

Declaring earnings of below €100,000 were Public Administration Minister Marianna Madia and Justice Minister (€98,816), Sports Minister Luca Lotti (€98,471), Regional Cohesion Minister Claudio de Vincenti (€97,728), and Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti (€97,631).

They were followed by Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin (€97,576), Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti (€96.663), Secretary of the Council of Ministers (€96,571), and Interior Minister Marco Minniti (€92,237).

As for the PD's rival parties, Five Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo earned €71,957, a significant decrease on the €355,247 he declared the year before. One of the main reasons for the massive drop is that in 2015 the anti-establishment leader sold a property.

NOW READ: Italian MPs earn 122 for each hour spent in parliament

Italian MPs earn €122 for each hour spent in parliament

Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

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Who can vote in Italy’s elections?

With Italy's next general election scheduled for September 25th, who is eligible to vote - and how can those who are do so?

Who can vote in Italy's elections?

Who can vote in Italy?

For the upcoming election in September, the answer is simple: only Italian citizens are eligible to vote in Italy’s general elections.

Foreign EU nationals who are resident in Italy can register to vote in municipal and European parliamentary elections, but national elections are reserved for Italians only.

Until recently, not even all Italian adults could participate fully in the process: just last year, voters needed to be over the age of 25 to take part in senate elections.

That finally changed with a reform passed by parliament in July 2021. It’s now the case that any citizen over the age of 18 can vote for their representatives in both the lower house and the senate (both ballots are held at the same time).

READ ALSO: An introductory guide to the Italian political system

You don’t need to be resident in Italy to vote; Italian citizens living abroad can register to vote via post.

In fact, Italy is unusual in assigning a set number of MPs and senators to ‘overseas constituencies’ that represent the interests of Italians abroad.

These constituencies are split into four territories: a) Europe; b) South America; c) Northern and Central America; d) Africa, Asia, Oceania and Antarctica. Each zone gets at least one MP and one senator, with the others distributed in proportion to the number of Italian residents.

Up until recently, there were as many as 12 MPs and six senators dedicated to overseas constituencies. This will drop to eight MPs and four senators from September, thanks to another reform enacted in late 2020.

READ ALSO: Why has Italy’s government collapsed in the middle of summer?

How can you vote?

While Italy has a postal vote option for citizens living abroad, Italians resident in Italy must vote in the town in which they are registered to vote (i.e., their comune, or municipality of residency), at the specific polling station assigned to them.

What's behind Italy's declining voter turnout?

Italian citizens who are resident in Italy can only vote in person. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP.

The lack of a postal vote for Italians in Italy is thought to be one of the main factors behind Italy’s declining turnout in elections, and a parliamentary committee on elections has advised introducing one to help remedy the situation; but for now, only in-person votes count.

READ ALSO: What’s behind the decline in Italian voter turnout?

Italians living abroad who are on the electoral register should receive their ballot papers (pink for the Chamber of Deputies, yellow for the senate) from their consulate in the lead up to the election. Their completed ballots must arrive back at the consulate no later than 4pm local time on September 22nd.

Those who haven’t received their ballot papers by September 11th should contact their consulate to request that the documents be resent.

Italians in Italy must have a tessera elettorale, or voter’s card, to be allowed to vote in person. The card contains the holder’s full name, date of birth, address and polling station. Every time the holder goes to vote, the card – which takes the form of a piece of reinforced folded paper – is stamped.

The tessera elettorale should be automatically sent out to Italians at their home address when they reach the age of 18; for those who acquire citizenship and move to Italy later in life, it should be automatically sent to their address by the comune where they are registered as a resident.

If the tessera gets lost, damaged, or becomes filled up with stamps, the holder should request a new card from their comune. 

When an individual moves towns, they should turn in their tessera in order to receive a new one from their new comune. For those who move house but stay in the same town, their comune should send an official slip confirming the new address that can be used to update their tessera.

Anyone who hasn’t automatically received a tessera elettorale and is entitled to one should contact their comune to claim theirs.