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South Tyrol's Special Status within the Italian Constitution

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Chapter Summary

The 1948 Italian Constitution had to face a complex situation with regard to regional diversity. In terms of asymmetry, two aspects must be outlined. The first is political in nature: especially since the 1990s onwards a strong factual, economical and political asymmetry among the ordinary regions has emerged, mirroring the cultural and economic divide between the north and the south of the country. The second fact is of a legal nature. The constitutional reform of 2001 took into account the ?differential aspirations? of the regions. The strong northern regions in particular exerted increasing political pressure to achieve some constitutionally guaranteed special status. The special safeguards of self-government against unilateral state interventions, together with the political attitude favouring bilateral negotiations instead of a nationwide implementation of the regional system, established a fundamental constitutional guarantee for South Tyrol and, although to a lesser extent, also for all other Italian special autonomies.

Keywords: Italian constitution; Italian special autonomies; regional diversity; South Tyrol

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