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On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week

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On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week
An electric SUV charging at a station in downtown Milan in March 2023. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

Deadline to opt out of TV licence fee and details of Italy’s ‘green’ car bonus – here’s what to expect in Italy this week.



Italy eyes energy deals with African nations

Italian PM Giorgia Meloni was set to meet with the leaders of African countries on Monday, January 29th as part of a two-day Italy-Africa summit.  

Meloni was expected to present the so-called Mattei Plan – a blueprint of energy cooperation deals with African nations which critics say favours European interests.

Meloni, who came to power in 2022 on an anti-migrant platform, hopes to posit Italy as a key bridge between Africa and Europe, funnelling energy north while forging political deals aimed at preventing irregular migration to Italy, AFP reported.

Critics say the government aims to strike advantageous anti-migration or migrant repatriation deals after electoral campaign promises to curb sea arrivals went unfulfilled.


New piracy blocker

A new anti-piracy platform designed to block illegal streaming within 30 minutes of detection will first come into effect on Wednesday, January 31st.

Known as ‘Piracy Shield’, the platform will reportedly improve upon previous blocking methods by covering more internet providers and allowing for quicker handling of piracy reports.

The digital tool, which is set to be managed by Italy’s communications authority AgCom, will come after broadcasters' calls for tougher legislation on piracy amid growing numbers of illegal streams.

Pirated content is estimated to cost Italian football broadcasters alone some 350 million euros every year. 

Users caught streaming pirated content in Italy currently face fines of up to 5,000 euros.

Broadcast, football

A TV cameraman is pictured during an Italian Serie A football match between AC Milan and Hellas Verona in June 2023. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP


Opt-out deadline for Italy’s TV licence fee

Homeowners in Italy will have until Wednesday, January 31st to opt out of the national TV licence fee (or canone).

The 70-euro fee is based on a peculiar opt-out rather than opt-in system, with the charge being automatically added to a household’s electricity bill. 

READ ALSO: Who can opt out of paying the Italian TV licence fee?

This means homeowners who don’t have a TV set need to complete and submit the payment exemption form with Italy’s Agenzia delle Entrate (tax office) by the end of January each year.


Italy to unveil new ‘green’ car bonus

Italy's business minister Adolfo Urso is set to unveil a new round of state incentives for the purchase of non-polluting vehicles on Thursday, February 1st.

The scheme is not the first of its kind as similar incentives ran last year with a fund of 650 million euros in total. 

Urso said last week that the latest incentives are intended to “favour the purchase of ecologically sustainable vehicles” and “boost national production” by offering discounts of up to 13,750 euros for customers buying cars with low CO2 emission levels (less than 135 grams per kilometre, according to the latest reports). 



Viareggio Carnival starts 

The Viareggio Carnival – one the most spectacular carnival festivals in the country – will start on Saturday, February 3rd. 

Though it may not be as well known abroad as the Venice Carnival, carnevale in Viareggio, on Tuscany’s northern coast, has little to envy from celebrations in the Venetian lagoon. 

Every year the town sees masked participants carry hundreds of colourful papier-mâché floats, including large-scale caricatures of politicians and celebrities, along the seafront followed by a variety of music and dancing performances.

The parade will take place on six different dates this year, with the last available date being Saturday, February 24th.

Viareggio, Italy, Carnival

A float featuring caricatures of political leaders Giorgio Napolitano and Mario Monti during the Viareggio Carnival in February 2013. Photo by FABIO MUZZI / AFP

Italy faces England in Six Nations Rome opener

Italy’s national rugby team will start their journey in the historic Six Nations Championship by facing England at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico at 3.15pm Italian time on Saturday, February 3rd.

The game will be broadcast free of charge on TV8 (channel eight on most TV sets in Italy). Those wishing to see the Azzurri in action from up close can grab tickets for the game here.



Free museum openings

People around Italy will be able to visit state-run museums and archaeological sites free of charge on Sunday, February 4th under the popular Domenica al Museo or ‘free museum Sundays’ national scheme.

The initiative applies to hundreds of sites, including world-famous attractions like the Colosseum, Pompeii, Florence's Galleria dell'Accademia, the Reggia di Caserta and Trieste's Miramare Castle. 

Find more information about how it works in our article.


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