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Politics – Does the Italian nation itself share the blame?

He calls Italy a shit country: Italians Ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He seems to forget that he was one of the protagonists in the play: “Gettin’ Italy down”. Keeping his macho-image, paying 30 prostitutes for sex services, he has become the asshole of the Italian nation and Europe. His resignation was celebrated around the world.

Italian politicians forced the people to tighten their belts financially while earning top salaries themselves. Although his position is virtually insignificant, South Tirol’s head receives a salary of 320,000 € – 26,000 € more than OBAMA!!! Regional- and province parliamentarians generally earn between 6000 and 16000 per month.

The best example of how overpaid many of the politicians are is Mario Draghi. He used to be the Head of the Italian Bank, where he earned around 760,000 per year. Now he´s the head of the EZB and his salary halved.

224 Mio € of taxes per year flow into the court around President Giorgio Napolitano, from which 66 Mio € go to pensioner. One of the main problems is that many of the positions are not even necessary, they were only created to take care of relatives or friends. Italy needs to get rid of superfluous offices as well as provinces.

La Casta, how the Italian politicians are called, has a fleet of 86,000 Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles which cost the taxpayer 3 Bio. € annually. In Germany there is one parliament person for each 130,000 inhabitants; in Italy for each 60,000. At least now these times need to be past.

Yet the reasons lie deeper. Does the nation itself share the blame? The only reason Berlusconi got reelected was because under him people could keep on cheating their selves. Falsifying balance sheets, tax evasion, building houses without a permit… In Italy, there is 30 % youth unemployment! Graduates with top final grades do not find work… because they don’t know the right people?

In contrast to Germany, people do not write applications and go to interviews. To find work you need to know somebody who knows somebody…

Will the Italian nation vote against their mentality?

Furthermore Italy has barely no sense of a national identity. As David Gilmour describes, the government’s political and economic failures are not the only cause of the malaise that now threatens Italy’s survival. The national structure was inherent in the circumstances of the country’s creation.

The great liberal politician Giustino Fortunato used to quote his father’s view that “the unification of Italy was a sin against history and geography.” He said that the strengths and civilization of Italy had always been regional. If Italy has a future as a unified nation after this crisis, it must build a new political model taking account of its millennial regionalism.


2 thoughts on “Politics – Does the Italian nation itself share the blame?

  1. hey pia! I really liked your post for being so personal and I agree with your opinion.
    I have one question though: what positons exactly aren´t necessary. I didn´t know that and I´m curious what those could be.

    Posted by anne | November 24, 2011, 11:52 am
  2. Interesting… And also another thing which is stressed in some articles I’ve read- when the crisis is coming, the populists like Berlusconi have to make room for the expertise as Monti and his technocrats. And they aren’t even elected by the people…

    Posted by Mattias | November 24, 2011, 7:41 pm

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