Saturday, December 17

Italy: Closed for Business

In this Age of Austerity, Italians have been taking to the streets to protest the various measures which are leaving the middle class to foot the bill for the excesses of their political class (comprising some of the wealthiest in Italy & the most coddled politicians on earth).  While I'm all for protests, like sit-ins on the capital, or the SNOQ Se non ora quando marches by women across the boot,I for one cannot tolerate the endemic strikes that wreak their havoc on daily life in Italy [and moreover, the summer strikes that bring the French truckers & farmers to occupy that entire country's highway systems for weeks on end.]
Today I don't strike
In the first place, I think it's a big brand image mistake.  I cannot for the life of me comprehend just how pissing off millions who would otherwise rally your cause helps you make your case.  In the last few weeks we've seen all the buses, trams & subways shut down, thankfully operating during rush hours as they are forced by law.  Nonetheless, it still took me 6 1/2 hrs. to go to two different appointments located on polar opposite sides of Rome.  The last thing I wanted to do by the time I walked in my front door was feel warm fuzzies for the strikers.  In fact, my solution would be Ronald Reagan's:  Fire them all and hire a whole host of hard-working Bangladeshis, Poles, Libyans & Romanians who just want a job.
If you want us on your side, take your woes to the Ministry of Transport - occupy their house - throw rotten eggs - broadcast propaganda against cuts on your buses for all I care, but leave the rest of us well enough alone.
One of the most incredible things I heard over the radio was the fact that, like many other sports before it, Italy's horse racing venues are all drastically in the red.  Counting on payoffs - errr...support by the local or national governments to keep them alive, these places have also been hit by the budget cuts.  In the 1900s, horse racing was the biggest sport in the USA.  People bet on their horses by the thousands, jockeys were revered like our basketball & football players today.  But, market forces changed all that and out it went to be something that only Arab horse breeders now contend for.
Our knighted Chairman of the Ippica Foundation offered his own solution for the decline in interest in his sport - while lamenting the fact that people no longer flock to the tracks, he offered, We're planning to go on strike.
At least no one will be bothered by this audacious act of dissent.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Complimenti! Sono d'accordo!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Benvenuti ancora a la Grecia! Welcome back to Greece! :-)

Francesca Maggi said...

Are you inviting me to Greece, or are you saying to us poor souls in Italy...Welcome to Greece!?