(Costly?) Kidnappings and happy endings

rapimento italiani Yemen.jpg

The pattern is always the same:

  1. a few Italian tourists, usually out-of-season to save on costs, go off for a holiday.

  2. They go to any country chosen from Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, Jordan or Syria

  3. They are kidnapped

  4. The newspapers talk about them on the front pages

  5. The kidnappers dictate the conditions

  6. The Farnesina (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) reassures the Italian people

  7. The Farnesina swears that it will not pay a ransom

  8. The hostages are freed

  9. The Parishes ring the bells in joy

  10. The ex-hostages are photographed with a smiling Minister of the country concerned

  11. The ex-hostages are interviewed on their return by newspapers (front page) and by the TV

  12. The Italian Government expresses its satisfaction

  13. The Farnesina swears they have not paid any ransom

The word of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot be questioned.
However, to remove even the teeniest doubt, I suggest a new rule: those who go on holiday in risky countries should take out insurance against kidnapping before they leave.
The ransom is then paid by the insurance company.
If they don’t want to get insurance and go away all the same, they should hand over a fifth of their salary to the State so that the State can pay the ransom openly and then claim back the money in the fullness of time.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 02:44 AM in | Comments (8)
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I travel to unsafe places...
Posted by: Keith Reynolds | January 10, 2006

Congratulations Keith, this is the right attitude everybody should have about Beppe Grillo's proposal instead that just demand to be freed by your country spending a lot of public money and at the end a wacko president make them look like heroes...

Posted by: Fabio | January 10, 2006 11:21 AM

Excellent blog Beppe!! Grazie. I travel to unsafe places far too often and well, I never entertained the thought of obtaining kidnapping insurance. I will insist that my company provide it from now on. I am very grateful. Perhaps this information may save my life some day.

Was the former message written by THE Felice Berenson of the famous Bernard Berenson line of descendants?? Bernard was regarded during his lifetime as the world's foremost expert on Italian Renaissance art and lived in Florence. If she is THE Felice (said she lived in Florence) then, you have had an honored guest at your site. I am impressed.


Posted by: Keith Reynolds | January 10, 2006 05:25 AM

I am delighted to have found this site as I love his humour and sinc moving back to the States from Florence, miss this...so I now have where to look and read! thanks so much

Posted by: felice berenson | January 10, 2006 05:03 AM

Michele, you may be right about the payment of third parties.....
The criminal imagination is without boundaries.

Writing from Dayton, Ohio

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 8, 2006 09:59 PM

WOW! Are we suggesting that the (staged) kidnapping of italian tourists may be a convenient way to pay off third parties in the Middle East? Needless to say it would be outrageous, but it is an hypothesis that can't be dismissed that easily ...

P.S. Writing from NYC

Posted by: Michele Tagliati | January 8, 2006 06:21 PM

The "non-payment" of these ransom sums by the Italian government is all the more galling because payment of ransom in domestic kidnappings is against Italian law - the family's assets are frozen. Furthermore, the "victims" interviewed on TV make it all sound as if their "experience" had not really been so bad after all - just part of their "Adventures in the world trip" - and they keep on saying what basically nice guys the kidnappers were. If any of them try to explain that they weren't REALLY treated so well, they are cut off in mid-speech.
So - great idea of Beppe Grillo about insurance cover.
Perhaps UNIPOL could organise a special policy - with a little help from their friends.

Posted by: Maureen Lister | January 8, 2006 01:36 PM

Mini poll: how many people are connecting from abroad? And from where exactly? I'm from Canada. Before I was in Toronto, now in Montreal. Anyone else?

Posted by: Walid Mulla | January 8, 2006 04:53 AM

This is the typical Italian way to handle crisis. I am very happy for the released prisoners, but I agree that people willing to visit certain countries should stipulate a private insurance for unforseen event such as this one. But I also still encourage poeple to visit these countries...maybe I would avoid Iraq...

Posted by: Walid Mulla | January 8, 2006 04:49 AM

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