Italy’s Unione Nazionale Comuni Comunità Enti Montani (Uncem), the national organization of mountain municipalities, is calling for the creation of a new post of minister or undersecretary for mountain areas – “Ministero alla Montagna e alle Aree Interne” (Minister for the Mountains and Internal Areas), it suggested. The new government department would be in charge of developing specific policies for these areas, which account for 54 percent of Italy’s territory and more than 10 million inhabitants. It would also help overcome the inequalities between urban and mountain areas in Italy, which are no less serious than the imbalances between the North and the South of the country, Uncem said. Several municipalities and businesses in the Italian Alps and Apennines have been severely impacted by the shutdown of ski lifts and other ski facilities, which is currently ongoing due to the coronavirus pandemic.