Malpensa: politicians and disvalue

Galan, President of the Veneto Region:
”We won’t accept a second “hub” (*)1 in Italy. I don’t know any entrepreneur who has taken a plane from Malpensa to go abroad.”
Chiamparino, Mayor of Turin:
” Malpensa and Alitalia need a dose of the market. Their limits are because they have each grown with excessive protection and not with real competitive capacity.”
Cacciari, Mayor of Venice: “Venice is the third airport in Italy. It seems to me that 80% of the traffic is to Frankfurt or to Rome, not to Malpensa. Thus for me, Malpensa is a problem for Lombardy. Let them deal with Malpensa. It’s fine for me as a hub, but not because it is by decree from the Holy Spirit, but by the logic of the market.”
Formigoni, president of the region of Lombardy:
”Whether we want it or not, the air traffic is here.”
Letizia Moratti, Mayor of Milan:
”Yes to a three year moratorium for the Lombardy hub.”
Bonomi, president of SEA, the company that manages the airport: “In the short and medium term, the airport will be “point to point” (*)2.”

31 March 2008: Alitalia reduces the number of flights to Malpensa by 72% and thus saves about 200 million euro a year in costs.
31 March 2008: Malpensa is semi-deserted, 900 SEA employees are laid off, 400 seasonal workers will not have their contract renewed.
30 March 2008: The super-route Boffalora-Malpensa that connects up with the A4 Turin-Milan is opened. It’ll make it quicker to travel from Turin to Malpensa. 18.6Km, two lanes in each direction, 260 million euro spent. It relates to the administration of Lonate Pozzuolo, Castano, Buscate, Cuggiono and Inveruno. The super-route goes through the Ticino Park, one of the not-cementified zones of Lombardy.

Malpensa is a fictitious hub, the offspring of Craxi’s point to point ring roads. His successors didn’t feel like throwing away the airport together with the fugitive. The economy has had to do the dirty work. Malpensa is at most a “point to point”, a tiny regional airport. Those who live in Turin take off from Caselle. Those who live in Treviso take off from Venice. They fly towards the hubs of London, Frankfurt, or Paris. They’ve always done that. Not because Alitalia has collapsed.
Italy can afford just one hub. With Malpensa deserted, with tens of airports in the north of Italy, they open a new fast road, they cover a National Park with asphalt. The people of Turin will continue to take off from Caselle, the Venetians from Venice. For Italian politicians “nothing is created, everything is destroyed” with public money. Once upon a time, cathedrals in the desert provided an income in the form of bribes, these days they produce votes and armchairs. Marx invented surplus value, our politicians the theory of disvalue, the use of the work of the citizens to produce personal value and destroy the country.

(*)1: hub, airport used by airlines as a transit point to another destination.
(*)2: point to point, transport system in which a plane flies directly to its final destination.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:22 PM in | Comments (12)
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it was not a joke, it was exaggerated to shock. and it worked.

try to see how you think and feel, the assumptions you make and use that to understand the problems Italy has.

and no, i am not British. all these assumptions.. pseudo reality prevails indeed..

Posted by: paul p | April 3, 2008 10:49 PM

To Gary Casella,
nothing to say about the hard tackle of Paul P.?You have only read about the reactions but the first fault is from P.P.
(now he says that all is a joke).
But probably only after he understands that the Italians are very exhausted of English "spocchia". If you are italian-american, you have caught what I mean.

Bye to you and the U.S.

Posted by: Franco | April 3, 2008 05:20 PM

LP - you are correct. Alitalia has a two tier system alright. I have vowed never to fly them again. I would rather take Lufthansa. Planes leave on time and at least the treatment of their passengers is better. Alitalia's service is horrible in economy, when you fly business they do treat you much better, but then you're just paying double to have slightly better food and to see them smile. I would not fly them again if given the choice. Frankly I'm not surprised they're in shambles.

Posted by: Chloe | April 3, 2008 04:09 PM

RECOMMENDED,italians do have something good at the end! absolutely do copy and paste and open wide yr loudspeakers!


Posted by: J.SPARROW | April 3, 2008 12:58 PM

Alitalia has a two-tier passenger service system: emigrants get the rude and snobbish service while the pampering and courtesies are reserved for businessmen and regular travelers. But I still wish Alitalia stays Italian and all the stewards and pilots get to keep their jobs. By the way, Italian pilots are the best.

The last time I was in Italy, I had an early morning landing at Malpensa. The place looked busy. I waited four hours for my next flight: had I landed in Rome, waiting time would have been an hour. Malpensa has stunning mountain views but looking at panoramas gets boring. I'll choose Rome next time.

HOW TO WAGE WAR AGAINST POVERTY (a post to politicians)
I heard low wages are forcing some Italians to steal from supermarkets. Know what time it is?Time for the government to start a war on poverty and for the withdrawl of our troops from Afghanistan -never mind other countries' military wars. If you care at all, take heed. A politician at "Porta a Porta" (I know, shouldn't watch TV) said that if his party is elected, they'll put into effect a food distributing progam. That's nilly-willy talk, paternalistic and in line with the pietism of calling the poor "poveracci." Are there food-banks in Italy? I know the concept is anathema to Italians. The idea of taking free staples from food-banks is viewed as humiliating and a stigma -being poor in Italy is like being a criminal. There is also the food-stamp program used in the United States. They gave you a $100 per-month debit card with which food can be bought at any supermarket. More than 26 million, and growing, Americans depend on it. Poverty diminishes the individual's self-esteem, erodes hope, causes families to break up. With things getting worse before they get better, whoever is elected next should make sure that children don't go to school hungry. Impossible? It's happening in some of the best economies of the world. Also, basic needs for poor families is a must. Further education or re-training for parents may be needed as much as hard work is; education is key to stave off poverty. But, the will to study weakens if there is no hope or opportunities at the end of the tunnel. Mere promises won't do.

Posted by: LP | April 3, 2008 02:31 AM

I fly in and out of MXP regularly and have to say it has always been quite deserted. The trolly system is annoying, baggage takes forever to arrive at the carousel, staff are not very helpful either. It also has an extreme coldness to it, not the sort of welcoming you want when you get off a 15 hour flight. The food in Malpensa is terrible, and it lacks many facilities modern airports boast. Fiumicino may not be as pretty but it is certainly much better connected. Malpensa can learn from some better planned and organised hubs like Changi in Singapore, Frankfurt International, Hong Kong Airport, Kuala Lumpur International, or Dubai International. But that may be asking for too much!

Posted by: Chloe Sevigny | April 2, 2008 09:59 PM

Peudoreality prevails

I have a dream

The United States begin to experience shortage on strategic reserves of buffalo mozzarella cheese. British MI5 tips off CIA that in Italy is ready a new recipe for diossina mozzarella. Pakistani SIS fakes a letter of understanding between mr. Silvio Berlusconi and mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose content reveals a deal for selling the new recipe to Iranians. This letter is written on a Ruandan Embassy printed sheet of paper found in a Neapolitan garbage contenitor.
By vengeance, mr. Romano Prodi reveals to the media that mr. Berlusconi wife is actually a SISMI secret agent.The United Nations send its inspectors in Italy to look for the diossina enriched mozzarella factories. They build an expensive underground radar but they can't find anything. CIA keep insisting with the United Nations inspectors that diossina enriched mozzarella is hidden in trucks and laurries constantly driving up and down along italian motorways. Italian vigili urbani (traffic wardens) are prompted to take actions. After few months of international consultations the United Nations Security Council reach the first resolution: Italians are forbidden to watch Bruno Vespa, Maria de Filippi, Enrico Mentana and La Domenica Sportiva tv programmes for one month.
Breach of the resolution would imply serious consequences.
Unexpectadly a black market of clandestine recordings of those programmes takes place in Italy.
After two weeks of frantic consultations the United Nations Security Council approve a final resolution for military intervention in Italy. Nato planes bomb the Vatican, Rai tv and Mediaset buildings, politicians are imprisoned in sardinia
(meanwhile sardinia island has been leased out to the American government) and mr. Berlusconi and mr. Prodi are imprisoned wating to be hunged.
Of course, no traces of diossina enriched mozzarella have been detected.

Posted by: stefano calabrese | April 2, 2008 08:55 PM

You know, I am an Italian American who feels more Italian than American, especially these days during the reign of our aurocrat, George W. Bush. I have always been so charmed by Italians and Italy, from all parts of Italy. I have left comments on this blog and have traditionally been in agreement with the majority. Today, however, I am shocked and so terribly disppointed in the way many who have written here have verbalized their disagreement with Paul P. Italians, in my experience, have always been more eloquent and tactful and TOLERANT than many of their peers in other European and North American friends. Using inappropriate language and mocking the Queen is hardly the way to get someone's attention and have them, in a positive way, reflect on other opinions. Italy, like all other nations, have their problems, but is doing fairly well considering the failure of many of Italy's infrastructures (seeminlgy the "word du jour"). I mean, really, Italy is raking it in as far as the tourist industry is concerned. My examples are; when I was a child, 20 years ago, and we would come to Italy for the summers, we would travel around and always stayed at a suite at the same hotel in Florence, the Villa la Massa. I just, yesterday recommended it to a friend and her husband who asked me for advice regarding their 1st trip to Italy. I was saddened to see that this lovely hotel, which was always upscale but perfect for familes as it was out of the city limits and had a pool for children bored with church after church, and affordable, is now, for the same suite, $2000.00-US.....the Bauer Grunwald in Venezia now $1200.00-US. However, this is how the market works and if they could not get the money they are asking for, they would not be charging so much. Italy is not using her brain in outpricing the exact group of people they want to come and see Italy. Last summer, I took a lovely cruise from Venezia on the spanking new Costa Serena. I was the only Italian speaking tourist on the ship, all others being from Asia, Middle East and N. Europe. No Italians. Why is this?
I question how Italy succeeds. They do, indeed, succeed but in a way that is incomprehensible to the average person. Italy is a tolerant nation, except amongst themselves....the old....North hates the South and the South hates the North and they all hate Sicily. What piffle. One glorious thing about Italy is that within her borders, from region to region,you find a similar but different culture and you can drive from one end of her to the other in a day.
Do not be angered to the point of profanities when in disagreement. Explain your reason for disagreeing and move on. Do not lower yourselves to the level of calling the Prince of Wales, a horse face. It is immature and trivial. Why do his comments upset you so? There WERE many goof things in the US and some still exist, such as its language and the prose we use. One of my favorite expressions, and I shall end here since I have gone way off topic, is that "I think that thee protesteth too much"! Think about that quote and see where it fits into your responses, again, which are, simply piffle.

Posted by: Gary Casella | April 2, 2008 08:23 PM

8 )
Now now.. doesn't that just work nicely.
How do you know if what i wrote was meant ? Or just largely exaggerated and supposed to shock ?

Just as exaggerated and meant to shock as this biased reporting on Malpensa, maybe ?

So, the airport meant to serve the two biggest industrial centers in Italy, Piemonte and Lombardia, needs to make place for Fiumicino and Linate ? Industrial progress is less important than tourism and the very politicians / banking world that is being fought against on the other pages of this blog ?
So, an expandable, modern but neglected, airport needs to shuffled aside in favor of one within city limits, which cannot be expanded anymore, whose infrastructure is worse in regards to public transportation or the traffic jams encountered, and had some bad press dating back to October 8, 2001. But let's just forget about that last issue, shall we ? Let's just forget it was due to lack of ground radar and we all had to release a sigh of relief it wasn't a terrorist attack, shall we ? Let's just forget the people found guilty have been pardoned less than two years ago ? Let's just forget all the people losing their job ? And let's just forget all appeals from e.g. Lufthansa to fly a little higher up in the air to reduce exhaustion by some 10-20% but which is neglect by the EU as "eco tax" is so damn popular to implement ? Let's just forget that Piemonte and Lombardia combine are the richest part of Europe ? Let's just forget solving something by improvement, and let's just confuse progress with going back to something perceived as proven because it was a crappy solution to start with, but started before the newer solution ?
Let's just forget about selling Alitalia to AirFrance/KLM who so eloquently fired all ground personnel at Schiphol airport during the late 90's to hire them back again via an employment agency ? Let's just forget they lost all their wonderfully acquired social rights these people had built up in many years of work and emotional dedication ?

Yeah, let's just forget all that and collectively piss on Malpensa, because that is what everyone is supposed to do now and makes us feel like we're belonging to a group.
But do take along a bucket and a napkin as this amount of piss surely drowns the people you're pissing on. You can be social enough, and identify with the Italian mentality enough, to feel insulted by an exaggerated response. You can be Italian enough to be part of a problem, or be part of neglecting a problem. Can you also feel Italian enough to be part of a solution ?

Posted by: paul p | April 2, 2008 07:51 PM

I am hardly an idiot but do not understand with all the BS about Malpensa. Malpensa is the airport that I fly to when I fly to and from Italy back to the the States. I have written this before but the airport is most definately NOT empty or abandoned at the hour when I arrive and the "Arrivals" board is always full of flights coming in from every continent. Perhaps if one would visi Malpensa in the early morning, then they would see it work, and it does work. Is it the most beautiful airport in the world, no. Is it the most convenient, no? However, it is convenient for anyone who lives in the North and flies abroad, and does not want to have to take a jumper flight to Rome. Yes, the smaller airports accomodate other European cities, but they do not go directly from any Asian, American or Australian airport. Close MXP and Milano becomes a ghost of a city. Does Italia not have bigger issues than their 2 international airports? I think so.

Posted by: Gary Casella | April 2, 2008 03:46 PM

The lack of infrastuctures is a big problem every-
where, it seems impossible to beleve that such
huge airport will fall down to the regional level.
I can tell you that the persian gulf airlines,
Emirates, qatar air,etihad, have intention to mantain their fligts to malpensa because the majority of the passengers are interested to
reach the north for business. The ones interested in paintings and mandolino concerts are much less
but talking too much.

Posted by: maurizio confalonieri | April 2, 2008 11:51 AM

The lack of infrastuctures is a big problem every-
where, it seems impossible to beleve that such
huge airport will fall down to the regional level.
I can tell you that the persian gulf airlines,
Emirates, qatar air,etihad, have intention to mantain their fligts to malpensa because the majority of the passengers are interested to
reach the north for business. The ones interested in paintings and mandolino concerts are much less
but talking too much.

Posted by: maurizio confalonieri | April 2, 2008 11:50 AM

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