A country on the verge of a nervous breakdown


Iíve got a strange feeling. I can hear screeching noises. Micro fractures in the walls. I read about whistling at the Italian flag in Vicenza. With the audience full to bursting with representatives of the pretend opposition who smile without creasing a thing. For months Iíve been listening to embarrassing speeches from the Government. Embarrassing because of their inconsistency. For their ignorance.
And above all for their lack of courage. Itís useless to personalize, to speak badly of Prodi or of Berlusconi. Itís a whole political class, from the door keeper of the town administration to the President of the Lower House, who are hanging on to their privileges.
In a way, that is always more child-like. Trivial. For them we are simply sweeties, ice creams, pop corn. To change truly they have to be swept away. A popular clean sweep is needed. Direct democracy and new faces, not these female statues holding up the buildings that pass their time putting on make up.
Up until now, the Italians have been at the window. To see how things finished up. As though they were watching a pathetic film thatís of no relevance to them. Perhaps the last scene has finished. The dead get a pension. The savings of a life time, the TFR {Trattamento di Fine Rapporto = lump sum payment at the end of oneís time as an employee} is expropriated. But by now, even this has little importance in a country of precarious employees and unemployed. Of pretend industrialists who control the TV and the newspapers.
Who are taking out our guts from the inside, thanks to the mechanism of the concessions. The State lets them have concessions for the radio and TV frequencies, for water, for motorways, the telephone backbone, everything.
Our stuff, their money. And so much recognition, so many donations for the parties. So that, that way they stay at the feeding trough.
The political class wants to preserve their own privileges in a country that is losing everything. The Italians start to take notice.
To notice the smell of burning. And to understand that the difference is between us and them. Not between right and left. Thereís a sensation of unreality around.
If we listen to Casini or Bersani it seems like the time of Ceaucescu. Thereís a feeling in the air between venticinqueluglio {25 July 1943 Ė the fall of fascism} and ottosettembre (8 September 1945 - Italy's armistice with the Allies}. Itís air that doesnít promise anything good. Havenít you noticed it too?

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:54 AM in | Comments (13)
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I do strongly believe that the italian mentality has to change first. Why do we always accept this non sense laws so easily, why do Italians newspapers politics section look like a soap opera script, why aren't we able to react strongly to all this mess and to this lousy politicians that in a way or another (no matter if it's left and right side) Italians did vote?
I live in Ireland since nearly three years now and I do tend to keep myself informed on what's happening in the world and looking at the European perspective I cannot see many other democracies who tend to accept so passively being ruled and fooled on a daily basis from such a low level political class..
Where is the pride and fierceness of Italians gone?
Where is the strength that once raised this nation to a top level?
Where lies the anger of young people willing to put their abilities and skills to work and being treated like modern slaves by employers?

Posted by: Andrea Brunazzo | November 1, 2006 10:45 AM

I'left Italy in 1966.Iwent back to see my family,almost every year,and once there i saw that nothing was changing.Last year i went back again,let me count, 39 years after, still nothing had change!I welcome your idea to clean up! I suggest this: Let all the emigrants go back and let all the italians in italy out!!!!!!!I'll guarantee you that we will have a much better Place to live in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: vincenzo crescenzi | October 25, 2006 02:57 PM

If You change all politicians but not the ethic of life (duties and rights) nothing will change.
You also need a quick turn over in the political life.
How to solve these problems is the big question we face in these days.

Posted by: gianfranco roncolato | October 25, 2006 10:07 AM

You say that the savings of a life time, the TFR, is about to be expropriated.
I hope that TFR money might at least help Italian pension funds to be born.
If I understood correctly, workers may wish to give their future TFR money to some alternative pension funds (instead of INPS).
All over the world (with the only exception of Italy) pension funds are a very important (more or less independent) player in the stock market and they contribute to guarantee a healthy industrial system.
So far we have almost only had the 'furbetti del quartierino' but I am still hoping......

Posted by: Luca Cellai | October 25, 2006 08:29 AM

Changes are needed, but as the romans did in their times, today's rulers use the same tricks. Bread and circuses have become assegni familiare and reality TV.

No one wants to take some responsability and sacrifice a bit, and the politicians know this. The only way things will change in italy, is when the situation becomes so unsupportable that the sacrifices which need to be made will seem almost like a relief.

That's a long way off though, I just hope it happens before my daughter becomes an adult.

Posted by: Nick W | October 23, 2006 11:46 AM

Mr Grillo knows it, all the previous posters know it, most of over 1800 comments on the Italian section of this blog probably show that this is known (although I have not looked), and I know it too. The problem is not so much Italy as its 'management'- it is 'stale' - like old bread. Italy is not alone - many countries (UK, USA, France, Germany etc) seem to have similar problems arising from low quality politicians. People more intent on marketing themselves and staying in power than really doing something for their countries.
New blood is needed. Indeed any new party which could distance itself from the existing crowd would win any election very, very easily, in my humble opinion.
Forza Grillo!

Posted by: Alex R | October 23, 2006 10:21 AM

Nice to see you!;-)
Welcome on the english site of the moon ...whoops..blog!!!!!!!!;-))))))

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 23, 2006 12:39 AM

@ Raffaella Biferale | October 22, 2006 04:41 PM

Hi Raffaella!

I've posted the same remark on the Italian blog right now... :-)))

Dear Beppe's translator, is it so difficult to perform a search on the web? Just few minutes, to be sure, and to avoid these nonsenses...

See you there

Posted by: Mario Gabrielli Cossellu | October 22, 2006 09:27 PM

Hello everyone, and my few cents of comment are as follows:
In general my opinion of the Political Class is that they think of Politics as a carrier not as a mandate from the voters to hopefully improve this Country of ours.
Secondly what worries me is not what they say but what they don't say outloud. Thirdly as far as I concern is the fact that they are the Problem not the solution that scares me the most although Italian knows that they don't yet!

Posted by: Chiametti Giacomo | October 22, 2006 05:55 PM

The english version of Almodovar's film is: ...on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 22, 2006 04:41 PM

"on the edge of a nervous breakdown" would be better ...

Posted by: Mauro Maggiora | October 22, 2006 02:02 PM

Very perceptive commentary. This kind of apathy can't be perpetuated ad infinitum. Slowly but surely the cracks widen and the structure collapses. The Italian institutionalized gangrenous political system is the real problem, not the farcical bickering of right versus left.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | October 22, 2006 12:58 PM

Sunday program:
this afternoon:
my little cousin's baptism, hoping that the church arcades won't collapse, because of me..
This evening:
I will put my cilicium on (for a self-mortification)and I'll watch "Report".
Needless to say that I will not fail to drink my favourite intestine waste juice.
Evening topics:
salaries of the so called "bastardi di stato" (cimoli,scaroni etc)
Enjoy yourselves..

Posted by: Mauro Maggiora | October 22, 2006 12:57 PM

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