|picture by Gianni Falcone|
With no irony at all, Mr. Monti, who professes to usher in a new era of meritocracy, because of his merits in salvaging the Italian train wreck of government and reviving the economy in just a few months' time, was being denied what might be a nice reward for his efforts [it remains to be seen if he even wanted to run for Prime Minister in the first place].
Just like FIAT's Mr. Marchionne, who will do more than Garibaldi for heralding in a new era in Italy by thumbing his nose at the politicos who want to hold his puppet strings, Mr. Monti is being tied down by the very politicos who now realize he actually is the puppeteer.
Only one party said they would welcome him to run - they weren't afraid of what that might bring. Now, we're left with both left and right fighting to see which side Monti might choose.
As for me, there won't be true meritocracy in Italy until politicians dismiss outright the idea that votes = favors. It's high time they stop being involved with or on the take for every minor decision that gets made; from deciding on what art shows can come into the country, to who manages the ice skating rink, to who gets hired as a street cleaner or bus driver. Without Italy's marked "raccomandazioni" (recommendations), it's not what you know, it's who you know. Even Monti, who seems to know a great deal, seems to lack friends in the right places. And no amount of laws he gets passed, until this very pillar of Italian society is knocked down truly, will assure that change has in fact finally come.
In the meantime, if you want to know about Meritocracy in the Bel Paese, try joining the discussion group of a former head of McKinsey Italy, who has penned many a rich tome on the issue:
As Berlusconi prepares his theme song to run for office come election time, saying that after 17 years in the public eye, he still needs time to bring in the much-needed change only a corporate man could bring, maybe someone will finally see that a meritocracy- based system indeed, has its merits.
*there is a stupendous graphic floating around the web...Showing how 1) the Banks' predatory lending & derivatives caused 2) the financial crisis, which provoked 3) a political crisis, which then allowed 4) the very bankers who caused country's to fail in the first place to come in and act as the country's saviors...