Posts Tagged ‘italy’

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A disease called corruption

February 6, 2008

Among the most important newspaper titles today is the statement made by the Italian National Auditing Authority (Corte dei Conti) which talks about Italy as a Country in which the public system is deeply affected by corruption.

As a matter of fact, this is a situation which every Italian citizen knows very well.

In Italy corruption takes several forms: bribing is just one kind.

As an example, every Italian knows well how hard is to win a public competition without having what is here called “raccomandazione” that means a politician acting to advantage you. This is probably the most widespread form of corruption in Italian society today: political parties have hands practically everywhere. A real occupation of society: there are few spaces and contexts in Italy in which politicians still don’t “have the last word”, this meaning for a common citizen to ask for their rights as if they were privileges.

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Permanent Crisis

February 4, 2008

It may be very probable that the ongoing attempts of Italian Senate Speaker Franco Marini of forming a new government to change the voting system will fail in short. This means we will soon vote, probably in spring.

A famous Italian opinonist, Ilvo Diamanti, writes today on La Repubblica about Italy situation defining the country as a “Transitory Republic”, meaning that Italy has been a nation in a permanent crisis for 15 years at least. Rubbish, Corruption, Mafia, Work Insecurity: Italy is a country always struggling to stabilize socially, economically and politically.

The big risk is that the protest attitude becomes a national habit which could finally lead to the birth of a destructive criticism based-culture; in a few words what we call: qualunquismo, meaning an attitude of indifference or lack of trust in politics.

As a matter of fact, this has already became a widespread way of thinking in Italy, mostly in the last years. We are talking about a crisis of democratic participation that has affected Italy in the last years and that shows up in a dramatic social fragmentation, a diffused lack of civic sense, a mistrusting in politicians and politics and the almost total absence of young persons in political parties.

Thus, what observers fear most is the crisis to become a permanent status.

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The Last Shame

January 30, 2008

How can we comment on the final verdict which has absolved Silvio Berlusconi of false accounting charges in the SME trial? Simply as another Italian shame.

As a matter of fact, Berlusconi was absolved thanks to the fact that false account is not considered as a crime anymore according to a bill approved in 2001 by a government headed by the same Berlusconi that the Economist described as “the fruits of office” and a “a bill that would shame even the voters of a banana republic”. This is a very concrete example of the real reason for Berlusconi “entering the field” and of what conflict of interest is and how it works.

I spent some time yesterday reading and watching videos about the P2 Masonic Lodge. This was a secret association with aims of subverting the existing system which seems to have had a consistent influence on many events in Italian modern history, sometimes defined as a “state within the state”. The lodge came to light in 1981 when some investigators found out a secret list of more than 950 members, including politician, generals, journalists, bankers, businessmen and secret services functionaries, and a document called “Plan for Democratic Rebirth” whose goals were, among other things, to submit the Judicial Power to the Executive Power, to consolidate an alternative media power, to rewrite the Italian Constitution and to divide Trade Unions.

And guess what: Mr Silvio Berlusconi was in that list! And today, many authoritative opinion leaders assert that most of that Plan has been implemented right through the political action of Silvio Berlusconi.

In 1982 a law prohibited the existence of PD and other secret associations having political aims. But the shadow of P2 still comes back sometimes.

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and the winner is…

January 29, 2008

Here I am after one week in bed with flu while everything in my country seems to be crashing down: Prodi government finally fell Thursday and the shaming images of Senator Barbato trying to spit and verbal insulting his colleague Cusumano really gave the world the impression of what Italy is today: a country facing a deep and dramatic crisis and no one able to solve it. Bruce Sterling wrote: What collapses faster than an Italian Government? That’s actually how it is: in Italy govs are always so instable and this is so hard to be understood by those who don’t know Italy history.

If I should explain this I would start by saying that my country is still in a difficult period after 2 important historical crisis: the collapse of the Soviet Union which also started the road to the conclusion of the experience of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) which was the most important in Europe (after that the Left hasn’t yet succeeded in finding a new political identity); and Mani Pulite (Clean Hands) a nationwide judicial investigation into political corruption started in the early 90s and that finally led to the demise of the so-called First Republic.

After those events a new and more stable system hasn’t formed yet and Italy is still struggling with the same and even got worse problems. Berlusconism sure hasn’t helped; in fact, it has fed political hatred spreading the concept that adversaries are to be treated as enemies. Beside this, cultural messages diffused by his media have increased feelings of antipolitic and vulgarity everywhere, making Italy a deeply divided country. Mr. Berlusconi is the only winner, of course, yet today. For instance, go check whether its patrimony has increased or not since he “entered the field” and see.

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Crazy Drivers

January 12, 2008

One of the things I remember most vividly about my staying in the USA is the reputation of Italians as “crazy drivers”.

A well deserved reputation, of course, both for the Italian drivers’tendency to constantly break the Highway Code rules and for the definetely excessive speed we practise on our roads.

As an example, I remember my American friends yelling at me because I very nonchalantly seldom stopped at crossroads or because I ued to have the tendency to go over the frustrating 55 mph limit normally enforced on many highways. Beside all, the lack of discipline means thousands of dead and injured persons and that’s too high a price. In 2006, in Italy over 16 dead and 912 injured a day which means up to 5.700 cancelled lives in a year.

Recently, the Italian Minister of Transport Alessandro Bianchi made a revolutionary proposal: to install on cars a speed limit device also through law enforcement. As a matter of fact, it seems to have been demonstrated that in countries where the so called “Tutor” is in use the mortality rate has lowest up to 50%.

The question now is: will the Minister succeed in overtaking the obstacles he will sure find on this road?

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Ciao a tutti!

January 9, 2008

Starting a Blog in English:

– to give myself the opportunity to be in touch with the world

– to give my web-friends the possibility to read about me and my stuff

– to blog about the things I like and see what you think about it

– to let you give a look on a southern Italian girl’s life in a southern Italian little town

– to tell you about my beautiful country and all the things I love about it: food, sea, mountains, people, art, culture, madness

Stay tuned, then. Work’s in progress 🙂