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Italians pay for research with taxes

This year, taxpayers in Italy have the option of donating 5 euros to research for every 1,000 euros owed

Marta Paterlini
For the first time, Italians have the option of donating money for research when they file their 2005 taxes at the end of June. The new bill has sparked mixed reactions among Italian scientists, some of whom expressed concerns that the initiative is not well organized, and the money will be spread too thinly among too many institutions. At the end of last year, the Italian government approved the 2006 financial bill, which introduced the so-called "5x1000." Starting with last year's returns, Italians have the option of donating 5 euros to Italian research institutions and non-profit foundations out of every 1,000 euros they owe in taxes.Currently, Italy invests only 0.9% of its gross national product in research, about half the European average. The new bill resembles the "8x1000" law in place since 1985, which lets Italians donate 8 euros for every 1,000 euros owed to either the Church or publicly-funded...

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