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A new tech-oriented political group, 10 Volte Meglio, or 10 times better, is quietly making its debut on the Italian political scene.
Its founders' professional backgrounds are mostly in technology or digital marketing, and they skillfully use social networks to spread their cause.
"What sets us apart from other political parties is our expertise. All our candidates have a proven professional track record, be it in founding companies or holding high-level positions in other organizations," external comms manager Stefano Tenedini tells ZDNet.
The group's president and founder, Andrea Dusi, is himself a successful digital entpreneur, having funded in 2006 -- together with Cristina Pozzi, now vice-president of 10 Volte Meglio -- WIshDays, an experience gift startup, which he sold 10 years later to market leader Smart Box for an undisclosed amount.
Other high-profile members of the new group, now structured as an 'association' but which could soon become a real political party, include former WHO assistant director for family, women's and children's health, Flavia Bustreo; digital marketing and blockchain expert Gianluca Comandini; open innovation and technology-transfer entrepreneur Emilia Garito; and Palo Alto Institute of the Future's research affiliate Mattia Crespi.
Founded last August, and officially unveiled in November, the 10 Volte Meglio group started campaigning in 2018 for the March 4 political elections, collecting 28,000 signatures in little more than two months.
Those signatures have allowed it to line up 112 candidates in 10 electoral districts, with an all-round political platform deeply focused on innovation, digitalization and emerging technologies.
Specifically, to attract capital from foreign investors and boost collaboration between corporations, startups and smaller businesses, it proposes the creation of areas with highly favorable tax regimes.
"Companies operating in these zones will be subject to only a five percent direct tax for the first 10 years, which would rise to 20 percent afterwards," Rome's district candidate Emilia Garito says.
Another important measure would be the cancellation of the VAT registration requirement and related costs for all companies with less than €80,000 ($97,000) in revenues.
Thanks to other incentives and environmental- and digital-friendly policies, the group believes it would be possible to create, in the next five years, up to 300,000 jobs in the energy sector and 750,000 in the emerging technologies sector.
Revamping the tourism industry could also lead to a significant increase in employment, according to the group's agenda.
The financial resources necessary to make up for reduced taxation could come from simplifying public administration and progressively reducing of the state's role in the country's economy.
While it seems unlikely that 10 Volte Meglio can pass the three percent election threshold necessary to return members of parliament, the group's ambitions are focused on a 10-year timespan, with the next important step coming in 2019. "We are already preparing for next year's European elections," Garito says.
By then, the group aims to have created a more structured internal organization and to have have established itself as a political party.
Garito is confident, judging by the feedback they have received so far.
"We feel we're answering a real need. In many sectors of society we're going to witness fundamental changes in the next few years, and we must be ready to take advantage of this transformation," he says.
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