The brawny one of Arcore

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The brawny one of Arcore is having another go. At the Cycle and Motorcycle Fair he stated, in reference to the Val di Susa: “We will use force against the blocks. There is no community or minority that can claim to stop a building site…”. He rabbited on about “16 billion already available” to do a hole in the Frejus. The problem is that the tunnel in the Frejus has already been done. It was done way back in 1800 and he has not been informed by Lunardi. Perhaps he was alluding to the Moncenisio. To the 23-kilometer-super-tunnel that will be finished in 15 years. A bit of work that is of no use to anyone but that distributes a flood of money.
Marco Ponti, professor at Milan Polytechnic, one of the greatest experts on the economics of transport in Europe and a consultant to the World Bank, wrote this three years ago:
”It started off with promises that the project would have repaid the costs by 60%. Then it went down to 40% and finally it was enough to cover 40% of the costs, excluding those of the “nodes” near to the cities, that are really expensive. According to my simulations, it could arrive at 20%; others estimate 23%. The system is destined for a default: the State will pay. Many of these projects will be started, but then there will be no money and they will be re-started for every round of voting. The Turin-Lyons is a monument to the waste of money: it will cost at least 13 billion [he was an optimist, editor], like 3 or 4 bridges over the Straits. To develop innovation it’s necessary to focus on technology, not on cement. As regards employment, nowadays the great public works have a modest multiplier: it’s no longer a matter of mobilizing the hired hands as was done in the nineteenth century. It is more evident that ours is a territory with a great touristic value for the future. Thus there are more fruitful ways to spend money. As long as there is not someone who is promising themselves great business by means of great public works.”
The referendum for the new American base at Dal Molin in Vicenza has been annulled. In Chiaiano the residents have been beaten up. In Piazza Navona in full view of the Police a truck arrived full of tricolor batons (not even a parking fine, crikey)
It is the government of the baton. The use of force as the politics of consensus. I don’t think that Italians are informed about the Val di Susa and the colossal waste of public resources. Tens of billions to enable a mozzarella to travel from Lisbon to Kiev while Piedmont closes down. In Piedmont one in four companies are going bust. Three thousand about to be sacked. Four thousand to be laid off. Olivetti will lose the factory at Aglič with 250 employees. Motorola from one day to the next leaves 370 technicians at home. Dayco, 470 workers laid off. Bertone, 1,200 workers laid off. 700 workers of Pininfarina (700 million euro in debts) at risk. Fiat closes the gates of Mirafiori until 16 November, 3,500 workers laid off.
The companies close down and holes are created in the mountains with other holes in the balance sheet. They will never give up, neither will we.

On your blog, spread the word about the waste of money for the TAV in Val di Susa.


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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 05:19 PM in | Comments (7)
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dub, fair comparison you made. Choosing one habit for another? The Italian habit, anytime.

Posted by: Louis Pacella | November 7, 2008 01:04 PM


Berlusconi's comment of Obama "Bello e abbronzato" was a rather stupid comment to make. It may go down well with the average Italian who may think it a cleaver quip.
However, coming from a man "ugly and white as death" this comment should be viewed as the comment of just a well dressed prick.

Posted by: Maurizio Odello | November 7, 2008 12:47 PM


Just call him Silvio the Enforcer.

Posted by: Lou Pacella | November 6, 2008 11:33 PM


Prime Minister Berlusconi comments "giovane, bello e anche abbronzato," about Barak Obama's draws cheap laughter from the President-elect skin color. At best, the remark shows the Italian habit of mocking people's physical features, at worse it's a not-so-subtle racist remark.

Posted by: louis pacella | November 6, 2008 11:24 PM


The "brawny one"? More like a "strong-arm" man or dictator I would say ...

Posted by: Gianna Mian | November 6, 2008 08:44 PM


There is merit to a high speed rail network btween two of Europes major industrial/economic power cities-Piemonte may be suffering from the economic crisis (But by nowhere near as much as the already much poorer I'd like to add, and what is the government doing there?) but don't people think an efficient train providing quick services between Geneva, Lyons and Turin is useful? The TGV Paris-Lyons transformed Lyons. I understand that Val di susa is an area of natural beauty, and should be protected, maybe a different route should be found. But to not build a high speed rail link over the alps is short sighted and economically dumb. There is huge economic benefits associated with modern and efficient transport systems-its one of the major reasons whythe North is rich and the South isn't. To not establish strong links between Turin and France/Switzerland is lunacy, especially at a time when Italian purse strings are being ever tightened. Turin has a huge advantage over most Italian cities-its sits just 2hrs from Geneva (by car) and under 3hrs from Lyons, while at the same time being just 1hr30 from Milan. This excellent strategic location should be exploited- technically its in a better situation than Milan. Tourism I agree is a huge untapped resource for the Piemone region, but don't people think that a high speed link to France will help?

Posted by: John S | November 6, 2008 06:05 PM


There is merit to a high speed rail network btween two of Europes major industrial/economic power cities-Piemonte may be suffering from the economic crisis (But by nowhere near as much as the already much poorer I'd like to add, and what is the government doing there?) but don't people think an efficient train providing quick services between Geneva, Lyons and Turin is useful? The TGV Paris-Lyons transformed Lyons. I understand that Val di susa is an area of natural beauty, and should be protected, maybe a different route should be found. But to not build a high speed rail link over the alps is short sighted and economically dumb. There is huge economic benefits associated with modern and efficient transport systems-its one of the major reasons whythe North is rich and the South isn't. To not establish strong links between Turin and France/Switzerland is lunacy, especially at a time when Italian purse strings are being ever tightened. Turin has a huge advantage over most Italian cities-its sits just 2hrs from Geneva (by car) and under 3hrs from Lyons, while at the same time being just 1hr30 from Milan. This excellent strategic location should be exploited- technically its in a better situation than Milan. Tourism I agree is a huge untapped resource for the Piemone region, but don't people think that a high speed link to France will help?

Posted by: John S | November 6, 2008 06:05 PM


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