Italy, as seen by the New York Times

New_York_Times.jpg

Today, the New York Times published an article on Italy floundering and on V-day. The newspaper’s website contains a long article, a video and a series of photographs entitled “A life less dolce”.
From the article entitled “In a Funk, Italy sings an Aria of disappointment”:
“A low-tech lifestyle may enchant the tourists, however, the use of Internet and e-commerce is amongst the lowest in all of Europe, as are salary levels, foreign investment and growth. Pensions, public debt and administration costs, instead, are amongst the highest.
The latest data depicts a nation that is increasingly ageing and poor, to the point where the country’s most eminent bishop has proposed an increase in the number of food parcels for the poor.
70% of Italians between 20 and 30 years of age is still living at home with Mom and Dad, condemned to an increasingly lengthy and unproductive adolescence. Many of the most intelligent ones are leaving Italy, just as many of their predecessors did just a century ago.
American Ambassador Ronald Spogli, who has an intimate knowledge of Italy dating back some forty years, warns that Italy is at risk of seeing its international role diminish, as well as its relations with Washington. America’s best friends are its business partners, and Italy is not one of the most important of these. The country’s level of bureaucracy and its unclear rules have led to USA investments in Italy dropping to only 16.9 billion Dollars in 2004, while investments in Spain stood at 49.3 billion.
In Denmark, 64% of people have faith in their Parliament, while in Italy, this figure drops to 36%. Statistics show that 11% of all Italian families are living below the poverty line, and that 15% of them find it difficult to survive through to the end of the month on their salaries”.

This is how the world sees us. All things that frequent visitors to the blog already know, but it is comforting to see the facts being confirmed by an international newspaper.

At 10h30 today, I will be taking a three-person rickshaw to Palazzo Madama in Rome, in order to deliver the signatures, in support of the popular demand for a “Clean Parliament” Law to be passed, to Senate Chairman Franco Marini. I will be pedalling, bearing the boxed forms, down Via Giuseppe Zanardelli, along Via Sant’Agostino, Corso del Rinascimento, Via Santa Giovanna D'Arco and Via della Dogana Vecchia. I will ask Franco Marini to table the popular law before the Senate as soon as possible. Stay tuned.

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I'd assume they don't have an alternative, all the problems out there come from incompetent personal who don't really cares who they are. The videos is just perfect. Anyway the future is looking not so bright for all of them. Thanks.

Posted by: Todd Martin | April 27, 2012 4:56 PM


I have to agree with most of the participants of this interesting discussion. It is sad, but Italy loses its influence for real. The Italy's national debt is extremely high expensive now. This can lead to some irreparable consequences, I may assume.


Dylan,
Mp4 to mp3 converter

Posted by: Dylan Baker | January 19, 2012 9:43 AM


L’ ITALIA E I COLLI DI BOTTIGLIA
LA DIVARICAZIONE CON LA U.E.

Il presidente Ciampi alla fine del ‘99 autorevolmente indico’ agli Italiani la necessità di liberare il Paese dai “colli di bottiglia” esistenti, al fine di permettere all’economia di riprendersi (“colli di bottiglia”, dall’inglese, sta per strozzature)

Poiché concordo col presidente Ciampi, ritengo utile riassumere in maniera concisa come, dall’estero, si intravede l’effetto dei “colli di bottiglia” sulla vita civile del Paese. Il fenomeno, indicato nell’allegato in maniera molto concisa, non riguarda tutti gli Italiani, ma una percentuale comunque troppo larga di cittadini. Esso, visibile in maniera macroscopica agli Italiani che vivono in Paesi avanzati, é un segno evidente della divaricazione Italia-Unione Europea.

ALLEGATO
I PRINCIPALI COLLI DI BOTTIGLIA

Inadeguata chiarezza
“ riflessione
“ progettualità seria
“ trasparenza
“ rigore e precisione
“ organizzazione
“ promozione del merito e esperienza nelle attività pubbliche
(talvolta nel privato)

CONSEGUENZE

a) sia le attività economiche che i servizi resi al cittadino (includendo in essi anche la definizione di leggi e regolamenti) sono spesso accompagnante da:

confusione
improvvisazione
classe dirigente selezionata non per esperienza, ma per allacci
personali (l’eccezione della U.E.)

b) a differenza degli altri Paesi della U.E., le seguenti difficoltà sono ormai estese nella vita sociale del nostro Paese, con riferimento al settore pubblico, ma anche al privato:

- per raggiungere i proprii obiettivi si aggirano le leggi, spesso arretrate o confuse, e i regolamenti, con metodi improprii
- bassa qualità dei servizi resi
- basso rendimento delle attività economiche
- incertezza sul possibile raggiungimento di obiettivi economici
- incertezza sulle possibilità di supporto adeguato per le imprese
- diffusione di omertà e connivenze, con l’aggiramento della legge
- incertezza frequente sulla capacità e volontà dello stato di far rispettare i diritti del cittadino
- intrusione della criminalità e della corruzione negli organi dello stato
- molte autorità nazionali o locali e alcuni imprenditori ricercano nicchie sicure per una vita di rendita, cioé senza sfide né rischi
- il livello di guardia per i comportamenti accettabili é paurosamente basso e sembra calare sempre di più.

RISULTATI FINALI

Degradazione in gran parte del Paese di:

- certezza del diritto
- qualità della vita
- competitività in ambito U.E.
- potenzialità degli attori dell’economia
- potenzialità dell’occupazione
- emigrazione dei migliori cervelli iniziata da un pezzo (credo che cominciano a emigrare anche i Q.I. non elevati, cioe l’uomo comune). Sarebbe interessante chiedere al ministro competente l’andamento dell’emigrazione negli ultimi anni, forse accelera ? Essa non riguarda, come agli inizi del secolo scorso i manovali, ma la manodopera qualificata.

CONCLUSIONE

In poche parole: un cittadino che vive all’estero ha l’impressione che la vita sociale é bloccata. Quella economica sta cominciando a bloccarsi. Sarà il momento di aprire gli occhi ?

Antonio Greco (disponibile per una presentazione delle cause dei guai nostri)
ANGREMA@wanadoo.fr

Posted by: Antonio Greco | December 20, 2007 12:44 PM


Hello everyone,
Why Italians are so depressed?
Easy, I don’t think depressed is the right word.
It should say, “Disenchanted” , with the Credibility Italy has, the reputation and Italian Politicians (Personal Businessmen that can’t even manage their personal bank account that is why it get managed by their secretary or bortaborse as their called over there!) what do all of you expect!
That is why as soon as credible Businesses publish something about Italy it echoes all over Italian publications.
The other way around doesn’t work, Italian publication publishes anything and everything, although the world doesn’t even flinch.
The future looks bright wear very dark and polarized shades.
Thanks

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | December 18, 2007 12:46 PM


Hello everyone,
I sat this many times over, Italy is a wonderful Country, I am a little bias because I was born there I realize that, and Italians are many times better than the people running the Country.
The Institutions and Managers running the show, are a completely and separate part of Italian Society.
That is why when someone experience Italy and connect to the real Italy, the experience is wonderful still today, but when anyone and I really mean anyone tries to work the system, it become an impossible task.
Purposely Italian Institutions are inefficient, Incompetent, Inept and Powerless, and the reason is very simple, Control.
From news, to telephone, to energy and transportation any Italian has to depend on the Monopolized Institutions.
Citizen have no alternatives, Institutions turns into pools of votes, stuffed with incompetent and unmotivated people, and the cherry on top are the Managers running the show.
These Managers running the show, usually Politicians, corrupt, incompetent, inept, with some Honorees Cause Degree in a complete different field of the Institution they run.
Well I am from there, but for the life in me I haven’t yet figure out, where is the common sense in all this.
On the other hand, I am very confident if anyone follows the flow of money from the coffins of Italian Treasury it will make all the sense in the world over.
The perfect example:
Mr. Mastella, minister of Justice, gradated in History and Literature, has no clue on Law, has his own Private Party, he is in Government Coalition, Minister of an Institution which has no clue about, resulting with a complete disaster and a worthless Justice Institution.
Take this example and multiply it for the number of Institutions and you’ll get the whole Picture.
In Italy thing are done not based on functionality and performance, but at a Political/Party and Personal level, and with absolute irresponsibility.
When things do not work as intended, no-one will be held accountable, this is the best part.
No wonder nobody ever leave Office, no wonder so many Party, no wonder nothing works, no wonder in the third Millennium and Italy is stuck in the renascence time.
Mr. Prodi inaugurate TAV from Milan to Bologna, 1 hour train ride, the same day a train from Rome to Lecce was stuck in the mountain for 12 hours with no heat and stranded for power (Responsible no one!)
The future looks bright wear dark shades.
Thanks

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | December 18, 2007 10:20 AM


Giacomo Chiametti: I saw your post. I don't know why it was deleted. It caught my attention especially because two weeks before I left Italy (where I worked the last 5 years in Rome as an astronomer), my purse-wallet was stolen, all documents for identification including my California Driver's License. My new job position is in the Colorado, but first I needed to have a duplicate of my driver's license reissued, so I went to the California DMV. The time for the DMV to issue me a duplicate took about 8 minutes. Not bad for a 50 million person database.

Why are Italians unhappy? While I can guess, I don't know others' reasons, but I left due to the unlivable salary, lack of resources to do a good job, high living expenses, high taxes, the smallest request turned into a complicated and broken solution, and my life lost in a queue. If anyone here doesn't know about Italian queues, then you should understand that Italy's present infrastructure has raised the queuing experience to a superb art form.

The most important queue that you'll learn about are the phone queues for the governmental public services: police, customs, post offices, tax office, airport lost luggage, taxis (!), ... I'm sure that they've programmed their phone system so that you get a busy signal in the first several times. Just when you've just set the speed re-dial on your phone to keep trying, then you'll hear that same number only ring and ring and no one answers. Now multiply that for several phone numbers which lead into the same office. My workplace secretary and I lost 4 days in this process, trying to locate real people at the Milan Italian customs office, who were sitting on the box with my computer inside which I desperately needed to do my job. On another occasion, I spent two days in this procedure trying to get a status on my lost luggage which contained materials that I needed to give a talk at a conference in the next days.

Services for utility companies have added their embellishment to the queueing experience. If the service person doesn't know how to help you, they will hang up (hello ENEL!), because they know that you will call back and probably get someone different on the phone who might know how to answer your question. Don't be surprised if you are hung up 3 or 4 times in an hour by the customer service representative while you are trying to find an answer.

Real line queues for governmental offices are designed to bring you back to the same window multiple times initially, because those offices/windows are only open two or three hours a day. It's not over yet though, because usually there is a second or third office that you need to visit next, also open two or three hours a day, or not at all for some period, because the one clerk that knows that job is on holiday.

Another interesting queue can be seen at the Rome Termini train station. There are 30 TV monitors scattered throughout the train station, all showing simultaneously the same perfume advertisement, but only 3 large displays for giving train timetable information. So in order to know on which track your train leaves, you're in the center of the station in front of one of those large displays. However, some trains, such as the unimportant Rome Fiumicino airport train, leave from tracks that are at least 400 meters away from the display which gives the timetable information. Moreover, the timetable information for the track number is often given only 5 to 10 minutes before the train leaves. Here we see the classic Italian phenomena: "Wait and Hurry Up".

The Fiumicino train is not the only artful queue in the vicinity of Rome Fiumicino airport, the luggage coming off of the planes in the baggage area is another fine example. You can usually find on which carousel your luggage will appear, but if there are more planes than the eight rows on the TV monitor, then it's off the display. The time you'll need to wait is about 40 minutes anyway, so you might as well hang around that little TV screen and wait until your desired row on the TV finally appears. Then when you've arrived at the carousel to wait for your luggage, your luggage is actually emerging on a different carousel.

Before we leave the airport, one last queue I should mention is the one that develops when the computers that are used to tag luggage with their airport routing information go down. The solution from the counter personnel is to handwrite the routing information on sticky white pieces of paper. You can now guess at the result. The result is that everyone on this flight during the time that the computers went down did not receive their luggage at their final destination.

Next, let's go to the post office. Post offices in Italy are not usually used to mail things, they are used instead to pay one's bills. So there are several (hopefully) open windows with clerks ready to take your money for your electricity bill, and always just one window available to mail your letters. I suppose that the some (or many) of some (or many) Italians' innate drive to pile up at the front of a queue prompted some persons to initiate a new queuing system a few years ago, however I'm not sure that post offices are the appropriate place where such systems are needed. I think that such training could be better used at car traffic lights, where the front of the line of cars waiting to turn left always contains two or more cars gunning their engine to make the break across the intersection when the light changes, even if that lane can fit only one-half of a car.

The post office queuing system begins when you punch a button at a wobbly lime-green machine near the front of the office to receive a number. Then the customer waits and looks at an LED display in the corner of the post office which list window numbers and queuing ticket numbers to guide you to the proper window in an orderly fashion. However, the time at the post office remains the same because the same queue is only rearranged, not shortened in any way, which is one way to experience the old adage: "Tutto deve cambiare perchè nulla cambi" (everything must change so that nothing will truly change)

And sometimes the post office clerks are new or in a particularly perky mood that day. He might sit there pushing the button increasing the queuing number for the window, but it has no correspondence with any customer or window. He's just having a bit of fun, you see, and why wouldn't you? Being a postal clerk is a boring job. Your queuing experience doesn't end there, though. When you arrive at the window to pick up your package, then you can bet that they will not be able to find your package and you will need to return to the post office one or two more times.

So here I've given you just a small sample of the many creative ways that queuing works in Italy. I hope that you're suitably enlightened now.

Posted by: Amara Graps | December 18, 2007 1:20 AM


Please tell me, why are you Italians so unhappy? Why is Italy no longer the land of la dolce vita? I visited Italy over the summer and found a beautiful country with a good public transport system (whatever you might say the trains did run on time) Poverty? I didn't see much poverty. The only disappointment I had was Florence. It's like a medieval theme park. Yes, I wish that Italy was a cultural leader once more-but Italian companies are still very fashionable at the moment-and very successful. Look, I like your blog, but nothing is going to stop me moving to Italy when I have finished university. I will make a good life out of it!!! Just to make a point, I live in Ireland, I am unhappy here. Ireland may boast a trong economy, but it is a dull, grey country with 3rd world services. Broadband? What broadband? You write your blog as if Italy is that bad, well I'm telling you that you should try living in Ireland

Posted by: Callum Bateson | December 17, 2007 11:55 PM


Stefania Talarico
You just canceled your $10.00/month subscription to Rai International?
Well done!
They don't deserve your money!
I never had that subscription because I was tired 12 years ago to see Pippo Baudo here in USA as well.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | December 17, 2007 6:54 PM


V. Mazzariello
I agree over the image that in past years the NYT wrote about Italy and the Italians.
Now, unfortunately, they are right.
Just try to go to Italy and stay there for a while.
If you need something done you will wait and wait and if maybe it will get done, it will be done half-ass because nobody gives a shit anymore.
I grew up in Italy and I can tell you it's smashingly in front of everybody.
I don't see anything wrong in that NYT article.
Instead, I could give them some more details to write for, because everybody in Italy is sick and tired of this bullshit that's going on with our politicians.
And, as Giacomo Chiametti puts it, "the future looks bright, wear shades!".

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | December 17, 2007 6:49 PM


Nice, I was hoping though that Olbermann from MSNBC would have done it.

This reporter made no comment on Prodi's and the other guy's (from the press) affirmation that Beppe is not serious, and that he's more a show than anything else.
Well first of all, political satire has always been one the main topics in comedy history, and that's what I like about him, Beppe has always had the courage to make jokes about politics, and social life issues.


Secondly, (I think) he studied economics.
Furthermore, he also published a book reporting hundreds of complaints from italian citizens. And the journalist didn'y mention it.

I mean a good journalist should on one hand be fair with people's opinion, no matter on what side there are, but on the other hand he should have proven with facts that their statement were a bit too hypocritical. The journalist, for example, didn't show a list of the countries where italians gathered on the "V-day".
And he didn't tell us much about, Beppe going to the European Parliament to talk about their problems. Where was Prodi?! Was he asleep under the effect of the valium? Or was too ashamed to be present while a "commedian" was trying to deal together with something he, Mr. Valium, should have done in some point... Now who's the seriuos (and RESPONSIBLE) citizen?

P.S. to "MERDONE AMERICANO, Dic. 15"
1. HAHA, which one is your first name?
2. You're saying you Italy better than him, when you only have memories of it...?!
3. what do you like about fascism? Jewish-hate? Press censorship? The picture of Mussolini in every corner? or just the song?...

Posted by: Frank Flores | December 17, 2007 5:49 PM


Hello everyone,
I wrote few lines the other day in this blog, expressing my conviction about Italian Agencies and the People that run them.
My considerations were, to put for auction the Services Italian Agencies are givin to their Tax Payers.
As an example I used the DNV (California’s Department of motor vehicle, which actually manages approx. 70 mil. Vehicles, more than in Italy, approx. 50 mil. Driver Licenses, more than in Italy and a net of highways and freeways more than in Italy!) and doing a very good job at it for way less than in Italy.
Therefore my suggestion was, to put this Job up for Open Bid, and I am still convinced company of the like of IBM, Sap, Oracle DMV and many other would jump on it.
This way Tax payer would save a bundle, at least 50% of the Incompetent would go on the Unemployment line and the Transportation Agency would be the shiny example for the other.
Although I must have stepped on someone toes, because it was erased the next day?
The future looks bright wear dark shades.
Hope to get the same reaction, which will tell me I am on the right track!
Thanks

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | December 17, 2007 4:21 PM


Oh dear! I am flabbergasted, I had the misfortune to see Prodi on TV (yet again) in an interview on Rai 3 last night,
What can i say!!! I will start & finish with
"Prodi a very, very, big VFC to you too “!

Posted by: dee cozier | December 17, 2007 2:33 PM


After watching RAI International for the past 6 months-I've concluded that RAI TV actually makes a person stupid. I have never in my life seen such elementary programming. After Prodi's response and that Idiot Womens comments about the NYT article- I have canceled my 10 USD a month subscription to RAI International. I will not give 1 cent more to this ignorant mafia owned programming, Nor will I pay anymore for RAI's tax for my external antenna at my house in Calabria.
If I get a "Penalty" I will just act as the government does-"Whattt?? What penalty? What are you talking aboutttt?"

Alla Facci!

Posted by: Stefania Talarico | December 17, 2007 4:53 AM


Hello everyone,
I have only one question to ask, although basic in my field of work!
What are the Acceptance Criteria for a Government in Italy?
To put it in simple terms, when a Government “Pass or Fail”.
5 years of Berlusconi, your response was “Failure!”
2 years of Prodi, “What do you think?”
Do they all care of what you think?
I do reply to this “Hell No, thank you very much!”
The greetings are mine not their, they do it with the middle finger.
The future looks bright wear shades when you will vote the same morons!
Thanks

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | December 16, 2007 3:34 PM


I just finished to read that among the over 170.000 jobs openings for foreigns, extracomunitari as they are called in Italy, there are 65.000 open positions for foreign house keepers.
Giving that Italian are not swimming in gold...giving that most of the younger Italian do not leave mom and pop till their thirty...why Italy needs so many house keepers and where they get the money to pay those people?


Ecco il nuovo decreto flussi

"Programmazione transitoria dei flussi d'ingresso dei lavoratori extracomunitari non stagionali nel territorio dello Stato per l'anno 2007"

[...]

ARTICOLO 1
1. In via di programmazione transitoria dei flussi d'ingresso dei lavoratori extracomunitari non stagionali nel territorio dello Stato per l'anno 2007, sono ammessi in Italia, per motivi di lavoro subordinato non stagionale e di lavoro autonomo, i cittadini stranieri non comunitari, entro una quota massima di 170.000 unità da ripartire tra le Regionie le Province autonome a cura del ministero della Solidarietà sociale.

ARTICOLO 2
1. Nell'ambito della quota di cui all'articolo 1, sono ammessi in Italia,per motivi di lavoro subordinato non stagionale, 47.100 cittadini di Paesi che hanno sottoscritto o stanno per sottoscrivere specifici accordi di cooperazione in materia migratoria, così ripartiti: a) 4.500 cittadini albanesi; b) 1.000 cittadini algerini; c) 3.000 cittadini del Bangladesh; d) 8.000 cittadini egiziani; e) 5.000 cittadini filippini; f) 1.000 cittadini ghanesi; g) 4.500 cittadini marocchini; h) 6.500 cittadini moldavi; i) 1.500 cittadini nigeriani; l) 1.000 cittadini pakistani; m) 1.000 cittadini senegalesi; n) 100 cittadini somali; o) 3.500 cittadini dello Sri Lanka; p) 4.000 cittadini tunisini; q) 2.500 cittadini di altri Paesi non appartenenti all'Unione europea che concludano accordi finalizzati alla regolamentazione dei flussi di ingresso e delle procedure di riammissione.

ARTICOLO 3
1. Nell'ambito della quota di cui all'articolo 1, sono ammessi in Italia per motivi di lavoro subordinato non stagionale, i cittadini stranieri non comunitari residenti all'estero provenienti dai Paesi non elencati all'articolo 2, entro una quota di 110.900 unità così ripartite: a) 65.000 ingressi per motivi di lavoro domestico o di assistenza alla persona; b) 14.200 ingressi per il settore edile; c) 1.000 ingressi per dirigentio personale altamente qualificato; d) 500 ingressi per conducenti, muniti di patente europea, per il settore dell'autotrasporto e della movimentazione di merci; e) 200 ingressi per il settore della pesca marittima; f) 30.000 ingressi per i restanti settori produttivi.

Posted by: Vanda Lo Iacono | December 15, 2007 6:26 PM


Beppe, when will we start to make all those signatures working for the very same reason they were gathered? Does the people's desire of changes, of improving, means anything anymore in Italy?
Italy does not deserves to become a fourth world country, our young people have so much to give, let's not keep forcing them to live their motherland.
Enough with all this old system concentrate only on what's in for them.
Italians need , must, to change their ways of thinking, starting to look farther than just inside their own doors understanding that one is nothing without the others, that thinking only about surviving day by day is not living but vegetating.That wearing expensive clothes alone does not makes anyone better than the other.
I see so much superficiality in a Country that once was mother to people which have gave so much to the humanity, to the world. We can not keep on living off the past glory, we need new ones.

Posted by: Vanda Lo Iacono | December 15, 2007 1:24 PM


The other face of Italy... finally there are people who wants to listen to us!

http://kassandraproject.wordpress.com/2007/12/15/italy-a-country-in-knee/

Posted by: Manlio D. | December 15, 2007 12:47 PM


Yes guys, the International press description is not giving us the respect we deserve.We are the ITALIANS living and working abroad, and unfortunately we are only few....
The massoneria-mafia collusion keeps through the media the control of the country and of the people. I am pretty often in Italy and what I do see there? People like zombies watching the TVs....Beppe why for GOD sake do you not proclame a TV off day? Or to shut down the Television for one WEEK? Stopping the flow of c.....e broadcasted there daily, from there starts the poison....

Posted by: Gabriele Arrighetti | December 15, 2007 10:53 AM


Hello everyone,
Coherence, equity and conundrum are most definitely not in the Italian dictionary, and most definitely not in the Italian mentality.
What I am not reading throughout the different point of views in this blog is the realization that each and everyone, whether Italian citizen, or merely trying to live in Italy, or simply trying to understand the why or how come Italy is what it is today.
To put simply in few words is an Herculean task, but broadly speaking it comes down to the Individuality and the endless search of self realization.
Italy and Italians are intrinsically self made people, there is no commune or sense of common recognition, or common institution, common good, each and every individual is on his/her own on a daily basis.
Is a matter of fact, to this day when it comes to organization or any kind of structural enterprise or agency Italy and Italians are the worst example and proof at the same time.
Schools and Hospitals since the beginning of time have been and to a big extend still are today run by the church.
Government and any Agencies from such Institutions have been and still are just a huge pool of Incompetence, parking places for voters, job security for inept individuals and on and on.
Any good thing generated, created, or even thought in Italy is due each and every time to a single Individual that for better or worst stuck to his/her idea or thoughts.
From Ferrari, to the Vespa, to Fiat, to Gucci, to ENI (Forgot the Oil tycoon that created ENI and was killed for it!) and so many more.
Ladies and Gentlemen, each and every Italian has to grow up and realize that Individuality and Individual Wellbeing are not applicable to the Common Good of Countries!
If you are an Individual and care about yourself only you do not belong in Politics (MR. Berlusconi example!) he should keep on making billions wherever he wants, just not in Government.
When Italian will realize that each and every individual is responsible for his/her own daily actions, and by doing them they contribute to either entrench or improve Italian Society.
Results, Responsibility, Accountability and many more, Italian have to stop the approximation game that has been established for the last 2007 years, the results are on world display.
Tree pillar of any great Society, Justice, Education, Cohesiveness, not by chance Italy fails in all tree.
I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, hope for the best while preparing for the worst.
The future looks so bright that I am already wearing very dark shades.
Thanks

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | December 15, 2007 10:52 AM


NEW SITE FIR ONLINE TV AND MOST POPULAR TV SERIES
http://stafex.net

Posted by: Stafex Stafexov | December 15, 2007 9:23 AM


The New york Times and all the tv and newspapapers in america, and in Italy, are jewish owned, like in Italy, the Corriere della Sera, La REPUBBLICA, and all the banks, and Rome is a jewish owned city, with all the hotels and shops of via veneto the most expensive prices, and all the business......like all the casino' gambling of reno and las vegas......which people think they are american!..........no they are not american.......they are jewish!
and the same thing for Italy all the propaganda and advertising is jewish........not italian!
And it is the jewish lobby, owners of every major business and banks, in Italy and America who dictate government laws.
True or false?
Exemple,......RITA LEVI MONTALCINI, IS NOT ITALIAN!....SHE IS JEWISH!
veltroni, and levi.....are not italian they are jew!
Agnelli, De Benedetti, moratti.....are not italian, they are jew!....like benigni, dario fo, franca rame......and so on.
Very few people who run the country with their lobby, like in America!
They don't fool me.......but they fool all the migrants in Italy and America. (they are the new masters of slaves!)

Posted by: g.b. | December 15, 2007 2:23 AM


Sorry Giovanni. The constant media barrage of bad news coming out of Italia is disheartening. The play on stereotypes, racism, prejudices and the outright negative press Italia receives is second to no other ethic group in the USA. Italians are stereotyped in every form of media in the USA. For those of us that are educated children of hard working immigrant parents, its downright insulting. Do your research Giovanni and study the great NYT and look far back and read how they feel about Italia.

Posted by: V. Mazzariello | December 15, 2007 2:05 AM


What do you know about Italy?
You people may know only a bit, or only from one side.....like in this case the people from the new york times.
I AM ITALIAN!.............THE REAL ITALIAN!
who born in Italy and educated there till i was 20 years old!
And then lived in New York, San Francisco, (Frisco), Los Angeles.......Toronto, and Canada'!
I CAN TALK About Italy!...............you people may know the Italian language, but may not know the english language, written and spoken!
Therefore, i advise you, and Beppe Grillo to listen to the man who can talk about Italy! i am!
and this is my message:
"ARMY & NAVY", L'iTALIA DEI VALORI", L'iTALIA DI VITTORIO VENETO E DELLA RIVOLUZIONE! I FASCI DI COMBATTIMENTO!.......CAMICE NERE DELLA LIBERTA', UOMINI E DONNE DI TUTTA ITALIA,.........."E FALCEREMO IL GRANO AL SOLE!
l'italia di vittorio veneto e della rivoluzione, in piedi!
Make no mistake about it!............and don't ever anybody ever forget that!
ITALY, UOMINI E DONNE DI TUTTA ITALIA......A NOI!

Posted by: Merdone Americano | December 15, 2007 2:00 AM


Hi,

After 6 years spent living and working in London I came back to live and work in Italy last year. Guys, I tell you: Italy is in very bad shape! This is a declining country and we better do something and do it quickly!
Not a single day passes without me wondering why so many things are so much worse in Italy than in the UK and, of course, why some things are better in Italy than in the UK.

The good things in Italy we all know them.
We have wonderful weather and wonderful land. Now that is not exactly our merit, isn’t it? We are talking politics, economic here. Man-made stuff.
The food is wonderful. Again, might that be because of the good weather? After all Greek, Spanish food are not that bad either while English and, more in general, northern food is a bit crap (don't be offended! :-)). Coincidence?
Finally culture and arts. True, we have so much of that but, I am afraid it comes from the past and we are talking about the future here.
We have to consider trends. If you are going down you might still be on top of someone coming up but eventually they overtake you. And Italy is dropping like a stone!

So what’s better in the UK and in other countries which work? One very simple and very complex thing: mentality!!!! That is what is wrong in Italy. Sorry but I don’t share Grillo’s view of a nation victim of a few crooks sitting in Parliament and Government. Sadly enough, I think our members of parliament represent fairly well the average Italian. Of course if you let crooks get the important seats they will call up their friends and the thing get worse but overall that statement holds.
Yeah, I can hear you guys out there screaming in my face that you have nothing to do with those crooks. And that is a good thing but, I am afraid, it is not true! As they say: every nation has the government it deserves. If we Italians are so different from our politicians just explain to me why we have a “casta" in power while in other countries with proper democracies have not. Chance? Bad luck? Historical reasons? If it was one of these we would be poor victims and ‘victim’ in this context would be akin to ‘stupid’ and given that we can be many things but definitely not stupid the truth must be another. Let's take our responsibilities: our politicians come from us, so stop playing the victim and start improving this society! Good people have good politicians because they are put them there!

Now, why do I have such a bad opinion about us? Well, it would be very long to explain. A few quick observations: we don't trust rules as a way of living. Legality is impossibly low for a first words country. Come on! We are still sharing Italy with mafia and camorra and it is 2007! The average Italian motto seems to me: get what you can or someone else will grab it first. That applies to money, jobs, positions etc. We just strive to get all we can in our pockets as we don't trust tomorrow. On the contrary the outlook in proper democracies is more like: I trust the system of rules we have and I trust other to trust them as well; so if I deserve I will be given. It is evident that in northern Europe people have a better sense of community and that is working better than our system! Of course they have criminals and corruption and all the rest as in every country but on completely different scale!

That said, I fully support Grillo. That is obvious! He is proposing good things. And I know they are good not because they "make sense" as someone said, but because they simply are the policies applied in countries that work!!!! So, carry on Grillo and thanks so much but let's not be naïve and think that bringing down these politicians will solve the problem. The root of the problem is much deeper in Italian society. I don't have to remind everybody that the very bad guys of the first republic were taken down by Mani Pulite and then the next election they were all back there, do I? Again, a coincidence? We were poor victim of an evil plot, again? No. They are there because Italians are the same. We have to change our mentality with respect to the state organisation. We need to understand that the way to go is respect for rules as a mindset and I think that slowly we can do it.

Saluti,
Giulio

“Compromise and common sense are a habit of mind, and cannot be embodied in a written law”, Bertrand Russell, philosopher, 1946.

Posted by: Giulio Giovannini | December 15, 2007 1:25 AM


V. Mazzariello
If you don't like life in USA don't forget that you live in a free country and you can decide to leave whenever you want.
I live here in USA and so far I like it.
Whenever I will not, I will go somehwere else.
You want to know why I live here?
Because I was sick and tired of all the reasons mentioned in the NYT plus some more.
Dirty laudry or not, it's time to turn the page and change for good.
If you get pissed off by reading this it means you are either a mama's boy or one of those "paraculati".

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | December 14, 2007 11:44 PM


CUCKOLD MASTELLA
The first son of italian minister of justice CLEMENTE MASTELLA, named Pellegrino Mastella, was betrayed by his wife Alessia Camilleri while she was spending her holidays in August 2007 on the boat of Mastella's friend Diego Della Valle, famous as patch-shoes seller. Alessia Camilleri, wife of Pellegrino Mastella, was fucked by the son of Diego Della Valle on his own boat when Pellegrino Mastella was still in the Ministry of Production in Rome where he works as useless and very salary-earner clerk.
Alessia Camilleri had moved off some days before with her parents-in-law, Clemente Mastella and his mature mistress Sandra Lonardo. All three sailed from Capri and went to Eolian Islands on the barge of the patch-shoes maker Diego Della Valle.
Some days later, Pellegrino Mastella also reached his tribe at Lipari. When he arrived there, he found his wife Alessia Camilleri totally naked on the boat with Della Valle's son and he understood that they had copulated without his knowledge while he was in Rome.
After this surprise, Pellegrino Mastella decided to divorce at once while his father, mafia's boss Don Clemente, tried to not let be known this horny story in the italian reportings.
So Don Clemente Mastella from Ceppaloni decided to block italian media about the knowledge of his cuckold son Pellegrino Mastella.
Clemente Mastella, as cuckold-himself, is now trying to block all web sites of the most clever italian people because they could let known through all the world this great cuckold misadventure of his son Pellegrino which - at now - is still nearly unknown in Italy.
At the moment Alessia Camilleri has leaved the house where she was living with the son of "fat" Clemente Mastella in Rome and she went to live with patch-shoes maker Della Valle's son in another northern italian city.
Now we all know why mafious hack Clemente Mastella is attempting to introduce a new bad law in Italy to limit peoples' freedom of expression.

Posted by: Joe Condor | December 14, 2007 11:35 PM


We have a unique heritage, beautiful places, stunnig monuments, but noone seems to care much...Politicians are too busy to protect their wallet, they don't care about people, they act, they lay politics, they don't have any idea of what living with 800euro means...that's not fair.
I'm 23 and I'm seriously worried about my future, and I'm scared of living abroad but I'm sure I'm a lot more capable than those people who pretend to represent me....

Posted by: Simona Marchello | December 14, 2007 11:00 PM


@John from California
Well, at least you speak english in California so, as you pointed out, if you want you can follow newcasts from all over the world: Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, India, you name it. But Italy is like Greece, or Turkey. Most people only understand Italian, that makes news control a lot easier.

Posted by: Citizen Kane | December 14, 2007 10:34 PM


I live in the U.S. and read the NYT daily. I am 50, and visited Italy for the first time in October, for just two weeks. My wife and I had the best time of our lives. Yes, we were tourists, but we savored the Italian lifestyle and found it very hard to return to America, where 120-pound women drag 5,000 pounds of metal with them to the grocery store, where they buy over-processed makes their familes FAT and sends them invariably into the most expensive, over-bloated health care system in the world. Be careful what you wish for, Italy. You are a great place, steeped in history and culture. You know how to live, and you do it without despoiling the earth. Growth ain't all it's cracked up to be. The tide is turning (read the reports from Bali), and when it does, Italy will be going with the flow.

Posted by: Clinton Baller | December 14, 2007 10:11 PM


Grillo you are an idiot. How can you think that an International paper condemning your country was helpful? Do you realize that Americans think Italia is a dump? Do you? Do you have any idea that Americans think Italians are stupid, idiots, mafia, mama boys before the article came out? Did you care to know how the might NYT depicts Italia on a regular basis? No Mr. Grillo, you did not help advancing your cause by airing your dirty laundry internationally. You really made a bad mistake Grillo. You truly are an idiot.

Posted by: V. Mazzariello | December 14, 2007 9:45 PM


The NYT article once again shows its stereotypes. Some of the article may be true but life in Italia seems much better than life here in the USA. The quality of life in Italia is far superior than here and thank God for that. The NYT article made Italia seem like a third world country.

Posted by: V. Mazzariello | December 14, 2007 9:39 PM


@Citizen Kane
Interesting that your name pops up on the same day that News Corporation has a three-page (!) ad in the Los Angeles Times announcing the takeover of Dow Jones and its publications, the most famous of which being the Wall Street Journal.

I think that it is impossible for good national or international news to be produced in the United States or in Italy. Both countries must import it, whether the source be the BBC, France, Canada, Germany, or somewhere else.

We are starved for local news. The Los Angeles Times is on the brink of being purchased by a speculator from a family which has held the organization in trust for the region for generations. Their intention was to make money but in the end walked away from the cashier's window with full wallets.

Local radio is dominated by one company, Clear Channel, which just fired its two most popular morning hosts (both of whom worked a four-hour shift), replacing them with someone who will be working a much longer shift. This is one of the radio stations people tune to for Christmas music.

As for comedians like Stephen Colbert, how many Americans saw him pillory the leader of the country at a journalists' function about 18 months ago? He did it while standing at a podium right next to the big man himself, and continued for 20 minutes. If you know where to look (i.e., you care), you can find it at the usual locations.

And today's writers' strike - no good-faith negotiations are taking place. All the scripts have been used up and the industry is shutting down production of new television and film work all over Southern California. All this right before Christmas and exactly when writers' families are at their weakest. The ripple effect is hitting production and post-production crews everywhere, all of whom contribute to the county's and state's tax base. Exactly who is sitting across the bargaining table from whom, and why does there seem to be no forward movement?

These issues are pertinent to Italy because we in Southern California live in the equivalent of a small, densely-populated country which has lost much of its will to create. Our borders are as porous as yours, and our immigrants will continue to do the same types of work yours do today - work our young people refuse.

Posted by: John Marquette | December 14, 2007 8:14 PM


Help Italy!
Save us from politician's corruption!

Posted by: Luca bassi | December 14, 2007 8:10 PM


Dear Mr. Jimmy,
I must be wrong, but I fail to see how your having supported Mr. Grillo's "vaffanculo day" proves it not to be a populist action. Indeed, I have though much about it, and I can find little but populism in all of Mr. Grillo's actions and declarations. His proposals are typically not well thought through and, at the very least, incomplete. As for his actions, I believe that they serve only the task of exasperating the typical Italian attitude of blaming everyone but oneself for what is going wrong. The ivy is the Italian mentality, not the government. Or do you all really believe that if all Italians obeyed the laws (all of them, not only those considered convenient), members of parliament would not? But, of course, we park in no parking zones to go and shout against corrupted members of parliament and are right, aren't we?

Posted by: Caterina-Eloisa Mora | December 14, 2007 7:45 PM


the "ivy" that strangles Italy is the self- perpetuating and corrupt "ruling class " , better known as "the caste".
As suggested by Mr. Spogli, we have to cut it down or our future, if any, is going to be short lived and very very bleak.
Good luck Italians.
G.Vidozzi

Posted by: Giuseppe Vidozzi | December 14, 2007 6:37 PM


LO STIVALE OGGI

La sfida di oggi: far rientrare in mezza pagina un sommario del degrado e delle sue CAUSE, le quali hanno implicazioni complesse. Ci provo:

1.Una società malata non puo’ sostenere un‘ economia vigorosa.
2.Una società che ha messo al bando i VALORI, la serietà, la coerenza, la responsabilità, la selezione per merito ed ha inoltre abbassato il livello di guardia dei comportameni accettabili al livello delle suole, é una società che degrada, che rischia di non saper più gestirsi.
3.Se la società indicata in 2. é quella di un popolo per natura flessibile, senza spina dorsale adeguata, pronta alla tolleranza, al compromesso, all’ omertà, all’ inghippo, essa imbocca a fortiori la china discendente.
4. Se la società indicata in 3. considera estranei o nemici il cittadino e lo stato; se ha usato a lungo come criterio di selezione della classe dirigente la cooptazione per allacci personali, essa rischia di divenire in gran parte lottizzata.
5. Se la società é lottizzata per lungo tempo e in molti settori, essa cade sotto l’ imperio dei cinque Dittatori. I quali sono: la Confusione, la Rassegnazione, l’Irresponsabilità, l’ Allegra Gestione, il Lassismo. Chi non é ancora arrivato, ma si avvicina in punta di piedi: la povertà.

Tal che lo Stivale é appunto, una ex-economia europea, un souk e.............un nero futuro.

In mancanza di equilibrio solido, il degrado continua. La vita sociale sarà sempre più difficile, salvo per i Dittatori, i ras, i capibastone e i padrini. Infatti, purtroppo, la società italiana non ha capacità sociali costruttive, né paletti, o valori, o riferimenti positivi.

La domanda giustificata: sono gli Italiani capaci di costruire di meglio ? Capaci di valutazioni lucide, di organizzazione, di visione e progetti, di programmazione, di associazione, a livello europeo ? Se chiedessimo pareri in merito, avremmo forse risposte di questo tipo:

- dagli Italiani nello Stivale “Non so..”
- dagli emigrati “Non più capaci”.

Antonio Greco
angremi@orange.fr
(espatriato, disponibile per presentare le CAUSE del declino italiano)

Posted by: Antonio Greco | December 14, 2007 5:49 PM


To those who say bepe grillo is populist, think again! I have been following the vaffanculo day and the ensuing campaign for months now and what he says aand does make perfect sense to me. The one fact that cannot be argued with,in the worst area of naples the statistical average for criminal records is 1 in 15, in the Italian government it is 1 in 25!

Posted by: jimmy | December 14, 2007 5:46 PM


Italy has always been a land of pirates, artists, explorers, immigrants. It's a nation condemned to be a second world country, despite its style (that's a few people in Milan; now let's talk about Basilicata, should we?), football teams (not good as they used to be) and good food (but a lot of people abroad think pizza and pasta are actually english or spanish creations, so).
I'd say, flee til you can, flee before your country sinks. Australia has still got some room, maybe.

Posted by: Jason R. Forbus | December 14, 2007 5:30 PM


One should point out that the same article cited in the post describes Mr Grillo as a man who is building the first POPULIST political movement in Italy. Populism is what Mr. Grillo appears to be able to do best, despite his saying that it's not so.

Posted by: Caterina-Eloisa Mora | December 14, 2007 5:04 PM


A big avalanche is started. Grillo is a great Italian !! What he is doing is the right thing for this Country
The next V-day (f..k ..f day) will be addressed to the missing information and will against Italian news-writers and reporters, most of those always complaisant to politicians and money-powered institutions. Most of newspapers get public money and are usually complaisant with Authorities.
Italian people is fed up about this.

Posted by: andrea monti | December 14, 2007 5:02 PM


Hello everyone,
I totally agree with the NYT snap shot description of Italian Society right now.
Although one thing is missing, and is that hand in hand with the Management of Italy Unions in Italy have fail the same way Politicians did if not more.
Workers of all fields are Unionized like it or not, Associations of all kind (Pharmacist, Pilot, Bankers, Taxi Lawyers blab la and on and on?) everybody just fits somewhere in one of these.
Why, who needs them, where is the added value to society?
They are dead in Civil Society (This implies Italy is not!) in China they do not even exist, although nobody sees the obsolescence of this worthless Lowest Common Denominators type of associations.
The future looks bright wear dark shades
Thanks

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | December 14, 2007 4:17 PM


Visita zopa.it

Posted by: Luigi Reno | December 14, 2007 3:44 PM


The NYT article quotes Beppe Severgnini as saying: "I can see all that, but there is nothing I can do to change it".
I think Severgnini is disingenuous. The truth is: he can see, but he can't tell. He works for Il Corriere.
In Italy Beppe Grillo is still banned from working on national television. How would the american public react if the same thing happened to, say, Stephen Colbert?

Posted by: Citizen Kane | December 14, 2007 2:44 PM


Hello everyone,
These are the facts; this is a very accurate description of Italy right now (Nothing to write home to mom, Italians are well aware!).
Now where are the Leaders that lead the Country to what it is today?
Probably to the nearest Gazebo under new name asking for another chance, or forming a new Italo-American Democratic Party with all the old farts still in it.
The message (How more clearly has to be described?) is;
“You all failed, go home look for another job and please do not do Italian Politics anymore Italian can do better without your Incompetence (Italians paid you handsomely for fourth rate Management skills if any!)
The future look so bright (Your President truly!) wear dark shades (Made only in Italy!)
Thanks

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | December 14, 2007 2:35 PM


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