Aria of Disappointment

Well written article on Italy on the NY Times today.
It describes a quite sad situation for the nation, but it’s (again) sadly the truth. This “stagnancy” of the country is something the italians are accustomed to. Or maybe they’re “trapped” in. Something you can feel while living in Italy and it’s even more clear when you look back at your country once you left.

A small excerpt from the article:

Italians rarely associate the current crop of aging leaders with a capacity to change. They are the same people who have traded terms in power for more than a decade. Last year, Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s richest man who became prime minister for the first time in 1994, was voted out for not keeping his promises for American-style growth and opportunities based on merit. When he left office, economic growth was at zero.

But it became clear that getting rid of the center-right Mr. Berlusconi would be no magic cure. Romano Prodi, who had served as prime minister from 1996 to 1998, won, but he was saddled with a shaky coalition of nine warring parties.

He promised a clean slate, but his unwieldy center-left government disappointed with its first symbolic act: its cabinet had 102 ministers, a new record. He has pushed through two reform packages, and the economy is growing again. “Ours is not a happy situation, but it is better than before,” he said.

But the government has fallen once and threatens to fall again at every difficult vote. Small proposals bring protesters to the streets, one hurdle to making changes as protected interests seek to preserve themselves. Pharmacists shut their doors this year when the government threatened to allow supermarkets to sell aspirin. The cost for just 20 aspirin tablets at a pharmacy is $5.75.

That’s it. Simple. The biggest italian problems summed up in three simple paragraphs: decrepit government (both sides), resistance to changes, and the “untouchables”: lawyers, pharmacists, notaries, lawmakers, people in the public offices, and the labours protected by the big unions).

Buonasera Italia.
Sono cazzi.” [cit.]