The League presents a bill to the Chamber which provides for a wedding bonus of up to 20,000 euros, only for those who get married in church. But in the evening, sources from Palazzo Chigi specify that the proposal is a parliamentary initiative and is not being studied by the government and continue: that “within a complex financial framework, the Executive is working to support the family with concrete and achievable measures , which will be contained in the budget law”. And Defense Minister Guido Cosetto reiterates: “The wedding bonus is not part of the maneuver, it is the proposal presented by a deputy. It has never occurred to Palazzo Chigi to give a prize to those who get married in church, it is not a topic of interest to a secular state”. The wedding bonus proposal was filed by Domenico Furgiuele, Simone Billi, Ingrid Bisa, Alberto Gusmeroli and Erik Pretto.
And the controversy immediately broke out with the oppositions who recall how “the state is secular”. The “correction” also arrived shortly after: “The bill that I signed for the first time, aimed at encouraging the wedding sector, which for reasons of costs included a bonus intended only for religious weddings, during the parliamentary debate will be naturally extended to all weddings, regardless of whether they are celebrated in church or not”, said the first signatory, Domenico Furgiuele, in the evening. Among other things, the proposal is based on the deduction of 20 per cent of expenses connected with the celebration of a (religious) marriage: from ornaments in the Church, including decorative flowers, runners and booklets, to clothes for the bride and groom, catering, favors, hairdressing, make-up and photo shoot. The aim of the proponents is to revive the fate of (religious) marriages in decline. Weddings that in Italy (in church or not) have been in decline for years and which, during the pandemic, have literally collapsed, especially religious ones.
And if the provisional Istat data for the first nine months of 2021 show that marriages have doubled compared to the same period of 2020, this recovery is not sufficient to recover the numbers lost in 2020. In fact, comparing the first nine months of 2021 with the same pre-pandemic period the change remains negative (-4.5%) and in line with the decrease already experienced in recent years. In fact, the pandemic has led many, especially young people, to postpone weddings, which have almost halved in just one year: in fact, 96,841 weddings were celebrated in 2020, 87,000 fewer than in 2019, equal to -47.4%. Civil unions, separations and divorces are also in sharp decline due to Covid: the former, between partners of the same sex, have fallen by 33%, separations by 18% and divorces by 21.9%.
The criticisms of the bill presented by the League to the Chamber for the church wedding bonus were immediately strong: for Benedetto della Vedova, a member of Più Europa, the pdl “fits into the trend of bonuses for anything and, in itself, it is not so original. To qualify it in the reactionary groove of the sovereign right is the fact that the benefit should be reserved for Italian men and women for at least 10 years and who have chosen religious marriage, obviously strictly heterosexual: a pearl of constitutional illiteracy”. While the senator of the Democratic Party Enrico Borghi reminds everyone that “Those who believe in certain values do not need to testify to them the invigorating tip: stuff from merchants of the Temple”. Criticisms also from Mara Carfagna: “We are still at Pope King”. Finally, the president of the senators of the Democratic Party Simon Malpezzi speaks of an “absurd proposal and a populist maneuver”.