Source:Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri (Rome)
Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 Updated: Saturday, July 21, 2012
The Italian Government has published the official decree implementing the austerity measures decided at last Friday's meeting No. 150 of the Italian Council of Ministers, and which includes changes in the dates when some public holidays are observed as non-working days.
The text of the aforementioned decree, the "Decreto-Legge 13 agosto 2011, n. 138 (Ulteriori misure urgenti per la stabilizzazione finanziaria e per lo sviluppo)", is quite vague and confusing, but the following points do emerge.
The changes are to take effect, beginning with 2012, and the annual list of Italian public holidays will be finalized by November 30 of the previous year, at the latest ("A decorrere dall'anno 2012 con decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri, previa deliberazione del Consiglio dei Ministri, da emanare entro il 30 novembre dell'anno precedente").
As anticipated (2011-08-13), this annual fixing of a list of public holidays excludes religious national public holidays ("le date in cui ricorrono le festivita' introdotte con legge dello Stato non conseguente ad accordi con la Santa Sede..."), but does seem to include each city's annual municipal public holiday ("... nonche' le celebrazioni nazionali e le festivita' dei Santi Patroni").
The vague and confusing part concerns the conditions under which some of the annual public holidays would be moved. The decree essentially says that some fixed date public holidays would move to either the Friday before or the Monday after, the Sunday that follows the date of a fixed public holiday for the given calendar year ("le stesse cadano il venerdi' precedente ovvero il lunedi' seguente la prima domenica immediatamente successiva ovvero coincidano con tale domenica").
What is particularly confusing in the above quoted text about moved public holidays, is that it seems to apply to all days of the week including Saturdays and Sundays. One could read the above excerpt as excluding Sundays, as it only refers to the following Sunday, but in the case of Saturdays, the decree in its current form would indicate that fixed-date public holidays falling on a Saturday would be moved to the Friday before or the Monday after, something that we are certain was not the intention of the authors of this decree (currently, when an Italian public holiday falls on a weekend, that public holiday remains on the weekend meaning that, on average, in 2 years out of 7, a fixed-date public holiday is "lost").
Links and References
Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "Italy Decrees Public Holidays Amendments" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.