Monday, May 11

Cleaners...for Every Tough Job


A friend told me that she’s applied for legal status in Italy, versus living on the lam like almost everyone else. [Except that in Italy, if you come from outside of the Europe Zone (and in local parlance, that counts even Eastern Europe), you’re an ‘extra-comunitario’; but if you’re American, somehow, you’re not. I surmise it’s simple payback for the Marshall Plan. Personally, I like to call myself an extra-comunitaria because it feels like extra-terrestial…but, that’s just me.] But I digress.
So, in order to get all her ducks in a row, and all her docs right, she had to sign her ‘Anti-Mafia’ auto-certification. No, it’s nothing like saying you never were and never will be a communist (when trying to enter the USA once upon a time). It’s not even like stating you’re against the mafia and all its activities. It’s basically your word attesting you’ve never been in nor have dealings with the mafia.
I kid you not. These certificates are the Italian equivalent of Spic & Span.
In my long career here, I’ve had to sign dozens of these – every time I entered a public bid. Incredibly, even with all these anti-mafia certificates, articles appear almost daily on how much the mafia is in almost every business in Italy. And the numbers of businesses paying the extortion ‘protection’ fees (e.g. having mafia dealings) is off the charts. So, if we had to line up the certificates against the numbers of businesses actually doing the mafia’s dirty work, I can be pretty sure, it won’t add up.
Incredibly, these certificates are the first order of business for the rebuilding of Aquila. I’m sure the certificates by contractors and cement providers are being reviewed and approved handily as I type. They just sign the forms and, look now! Clean as a whistle.
It's no wonder the Italians have a wonderful saying, 'Gettare la spugna'. Throw in the Sponge (meaning, 'throw in the towel').

5 comments:

bacco1977 said...

they will put sand again in the new buildings..
and we'll keep stating that we have the best houses in the world...

until the next earthquake.

Jacques said...

Doesn't "gettare la spugna" equate to "throwing in the towel" of boxing match fame (referring to the sponge that is used between rounds)?

Francesca Maggi said...

Hmmm...that's a good question, Jacques. I suppose you're right. But, I've always felt it meant less giving up than wipe it all away...
I will correct the entry, anyway. grazie.

lomalinda said...

Silliest document we've had to obtain so far: the certificate of existence - Steve had to go and have a city official grant him this certificate testifying that he does indeed exist.

Francesca Maggi said...

Linda - OMG!!!! That one takes the cake!!!