A future as a beggar


TFR stands for Trattamento di Fine Rapporto {money given to employees at the end of their employment}. It’s money that we put on one side for our old age. Or if we loose our job. An investment for the future, for emergencies. A life jacket that gets heavier, more important each year that goes by.
One thing needs clearing up. This is our money. The employer keeps it in the bank for us. It doesn’t belong to the State, nor to the company, nor to the banks. If they make us angry and we resign, the money goes straight into our current accounts. If we want to buy a house, we can ask for a part of it. If we get nightmares in the night about Italy going down into the depths (with us on top) then the TFR is a tiny bit of relief. A gentle breeze that allows us to get back to sleep again.
INPS {pension body} is by now an old slut that no one pays any longer. The money that we gave them, when it was more attractive than it is now, (it’s always been a toilet but at least it was younger then) it doesn’t have any more. However, pensions have still to be paid. If they weren’t paid in Italy there’d be a revolution. Far beyond Argentina’s.
Metaphorically many heads would roll into the baskets. The Government’s idea to transfer with dexterity 50% of the TFR to INPS is a clear signal to the country: “No-one, if they pay taxes, is untouchable.” Accompanied by another one: “INPS has gone bust.” And even by another one: “What belongs to the citizens is the property of the State.”
Everyone knows that the companies use a tiny or big fraction of their employees’ TFR capital for their own financing. Let’s not hide behind a finger: the banks finance Tronchetti and Benetton, but not the small and medium sized companies. And these are the ones to loose the TFR.
From the only part of the country that still produces something. But isn’t it better to declare bankruptcy? It would be more honest.
A full stop and then start again. Instead of getting deeper into a daily bog created by Cimoli who resists (but why is he resisting?) by Tronchetti, by Benetton who wants to increase the road tolls. Because this and nothing else is the economy of Italy.

P.S. On 9 December the mythical book ‘Bar Sport’ by Benni will be 30 years old. Let’s celebrate together! A group of readers have launched Luisona day. Organise the reading of a book in a bar, or somewhere else and make it known to Benni’s website. Luisona day is the only festival that doesn’t cost tax payers a lira! For details look at www.stefanobenni.it

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:11 AM in | Comments (23)
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Giovanni, I like your rusty car analogy, I like these ones better. "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear", and "you can polish a turd as much as you'd like, you'll still only have a shiny piece of s**t".

Prodi isn't doing much, but he's hamstrung on both sides, by the so called industrialists who scream bloody murder any time someone suggests changing taxes or taking away some sort of advantages given to them by the goverment. On the other there are the Unions (who are far far away from their original purpose), who scream bloody murder if someone suggests that they might have to sacrifice a bit for the general good of the country.

Everyone wants changes, but no one wants the changes to affect them.

Posted by: Nick W | October 23, 2006 11:32 AM

Loosers are only the voters who no matter what they vote they still get to loose..

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 22, 2006 05:39 PM

I said realpolitik because it's the sad but true reality.
When I voted, last April, I knew that the coalition was mismatched, but I had no alternatives.
So bad is our political situation: No alternative.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 22, 2006 02:51 AM

This teaches us that whoever wins must rule, without being influenced by the losers.
This creates only confusion within the voters because it's not clear who must be blamed and who you really like to stay.
(Realpolitik my ass.)

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 22, 2006 12:53 AM

Prince, Do you know what's the PROBLEM?
The problem is that this government's coalition is set up of too different political parties. What the hell has to do Bertinotti with Rosy Bindi, Di Pietro wiht Mastella, Di Liberto with Capezzone?
They are too different and because of this they can't build a stable coalition, with common goals and common strategies...
The problem is that without Mastella & Rutelli we had the Dwarf as Prime Minister yet.
Willy Brandt, the german chancellor, would name it REALPOLITIK...
In my dialect we say: A chi tocca nun s'engrugna!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 21, 2006 08:18 PM

I know Mauro Maggiora and Giovanni Senzitalia from the Italian side of the blog and I welcome the both of them.
Looks like these 2 guys are fed up with the BS going on the other side and I don't blame them for coming here, where all is more quiet and in a certain way is a filter against the extremism and the stupidity that is flooding next door.

Getting back to the topic, I agree with you to give a chance to MortadellaMan.
What I don't like is the beginning of what he is doing. Looks like he doesn't give a shit about the actual problems, which are the root of what is going on in Italy.
Is like when you try to paint a car that is all rusted: what you get is just a bigger piece of shit.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 21, 2006 07:53 PM

Mauro, welcome on the english blog!
The first point you've mentioned is the most important in my opinion, but unfortunateley the less probable.
The worst fault of this left coalition is to include a great part of catholics ex-DC, who will never agree with the lay morality in State.
In fact I'm very disillusioned an pessimistic about the possiblity to getting rid of Church influence in Italy, it doesn't matter who will come into power, at least not in the near future, may be in 100 years...

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 21, 2006 05:06 PM

Good afternoon to all the bloggers:
I 'd define myself as an "agnostic fellow": in terms of political and religious thought.
This is what left coalition had to do:
Getting rid of catholic pressure on ethical topics .
Getting rid of all the privileges and benefits referring to the so called "Boiardi di Stato".
Getting rid of all the monopolies , namely Enel,ENI and Telecom.
Creating a reliable banking and insurance system
Setting our mass media system free ,fighting the growing slavery to the parties and multicorporations .
Are you happy , so far?

Posted by: Mauro Maggiora | October 21, 2006 04:14 PM

I do agree with Raffa,we have to give Prodi a chance.
Miracles happen every so....rarely....you never know.
Otherwise, since there is no fairy tale, at least that I know of, where a Dwarf is poisoned we would have had to invent one...:o))

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 21, 2006 04:03 PM

Prince, I agree with you. Biagi-law, interest conflict, energy strategies, we all are waiting for the keeping of electoral promises.
I'm not satisfied with this government, but the other one was the worst of the worst.
Don't forget what the Dwarf left us: a country in total chaos and a devastated economy.
I dont want to justify the Mortadellaman, but it the best we could obtein for the time being, or do you prefere the Dwarf?

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 21, 2006 03:32 PM

To me looks like whatever the previous government built, has to be tore down by this one just because it's not theirs.
This doesn't mean rebuilding the nation thinking about the people.
It just means showing their arrogance and putting their friends in places where they can play with power and get the money at the expenses of whoever gets richer, while the rest of the nation gets poorer.
What about the Biagi law?
What about the Energy Strategy?
What about the prices the doubled while the Euro kciked in?

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 21, 2006 03:00 PM

Prince: may be Mortadellaman is an idiot, but he's not a magician. We must consider the situation from different points of view, it's no easy to change Italy. I think we must give him a little more time, but anyway we can't expect miracles.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 21, 2006 03:33 AM

Looks like MortadellaMan is an idiot.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 20, 2006 11:06 PM

I still think the Government has no right whatsoever to meddle with the TFR instalments paid by workers. This is money that BELONGS to the workers, not some bonus or fringe benefit. To hell with dictatorial unilateral decisions by inefficient, constipated and clueless politicians.

I am MAD at such irresponsible behaviour. No amount of TFR is ever going to help put the INPS situation in balance. To me this is outright fraud and, as such, whoever suggested it should be tried for fraud. Oh! I forgot, there is the indulto now... so I must forget it. [I am very unkind and "incazzata" today! LOL]

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | October 20, 2006 10:11 PM

Well, if some people would start to give a shit, the image would not be that tragic.

In that way we would know who really needs help.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 20, 2006 08:14 PM

That's the difference between USA and Europe. To put it simply for people like you, me and others with a good job and good skills, there is no difference between the over-guaranteed european social system and the american one, but for people with NO job, NO skills, NO education and NO qualification, the future is very very scary.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 20, 2006 07:16 PM

Raf: I think that is at discretion of the employer.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 20, 2006 05:57 PM

In Greece there is a TFR which equals 5 salaries for the first 10 years of work and then 1 additional salary for every consecutive year.
This applies only to those who are sacched!!
There is no TFR when you go on pension.
However there is a INPS pension scheme paid though out your working years (70% employer -30% employ ,deducted from salary in addidtion to taxes).
This money you receive in monthly paiments when you go on pension depending on your pension classification....
Here comes the good part....:After 35 years of service a public servant gets 800 euros montly..!!!
Is it enough to support a family of four members and deal with your investemnt broker?? :o)))

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 20, 2006 05:28 PM

I've been living in Uk for 13 years.
I always thought that Beppe should be our President.
Let's give the Bel Paese back to the people! So far Cuba is better than Italy.

Posted by: RitchieTomadin | October 20, 2006 04:50 PM

In Canada we are allowed to invest in an RRSP Plan(Registered Retirement Savings Plan) a percentage of our yearly earnings. This amount is Tax Free and the employer does not contribute to it. The money generated by the Plan accumulates Tax free till age 69 (and it can easily grow into a 7 digit figure over a lifetime)after which we have to withdraw a set amount every year. The problem with this Plan is that it must be administered by the beneficiary who is at best an amateur investor who might be assisted by a Broker (not always the most impartial adviser).
With the onset of old age and the potential for senility we have to be concerned about who is going to make the investment decisions if the beneficiary becomes mentally impaired.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | October 20, 2006 04:35 PM

In other words, Prince, in USA there is not the TFR but the employees can count on a sum when retired, that can be compared with our TFR.
The question is: is this possbility guaranteed by law or it depends on employer's willingness?

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 20, 2006 03:09 PM

I live in US.
Of course we don't have TFR but here it exists the 401K plan, where for every dollar you put in before taxes, your employer can match with a contribution from 25cents to a dollar.
The 401K grows within the years you work and it's invested through brokers.
When I will retire, I will receive Social Security benefits (like INPS, which I pay with every paycheck) and also a monthly quote from my 401K, which will integrate the low but sure money that I will receive from Social Security.
In few words, there is no TFR but my money is invested by me with the help of my employer and because it's outside the company, it cannot be taken by any employee or misused in shady deals.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 20, 2006 02:49 PM

Sorry to compare Italy to the UK once more, but there is no TFR in the UK - leave your job and you get nothing. Well, that is almost true, because in the UK you get unemployment benefit - a payment from the government - it's not much, but better than nothing. You also get, if you ask for them, social security payments to help with rent and other household running costs.
If the Italian government eliminates or reduces the TFR system, then it should offer some alternative, otherwise Italy will become like the US - where, I believe, you get no TFR or unemployment payments. This could make life hard for people and may even lead to more people being dragged into mafia type activities.
As seems to be all too common nowadays the politicos are not thinking things through properly. Just look at the recent introduction of the esclusively online payment of IVA etc, which has caused lots of problems and note how the introduction of the new system has been postponed - yet another example of bad planning.
I'm sure Mr Grillo, you could do a better job!!!
This is not just a good blog, it is a great one.

Posted by: Alex R | October 20, 2006 11:51 AM

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