Archive for the 'scratch-and-win society' Category


Work and death


Too little, too late.

Today the ThyssenKrupp managers responsible for the death of seven employees in Torino in 2007 were charged with murder and their not so exemplary jail sentence has been confirmed. They had erased each and every safety and security measure in the steel mill, and workers hit with burning oil – and those who tried to rescue them, only discovering that fire estinguishers were dummies – died in horrendous pain.



2015: the year of consistence and action

10906201_826047277437301_2463693655382188075_nWe read every Sunday Eugenio Scalfari’s editorial. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, sometimes we find it boring, sometimes too patronizing. Still it is our way for marking the Zeitgeist. It was so when we read the printed copy spread on a small table, sipping cappuccino prepared by the friendly Sebastian at the Bar Pavia in Rome. And it is so now, when we read the less sexy online edition on our kitchen table in Dusseldorf or in Berlin sipping a home-made cappuccino.

The editorial published on December 28th contains yet another sad truth, the lack of consistence and action in our native country, Italy. And then yesterday our berliner-roman friend Betta shared on fb a post by blogger Claudio Gnessi which, on a roman neighborhood scale, deals with the same problem.

Consistence and action. And lack of. And the reasons why. Continue reading ‘2015: the year of consistence and action’


Flash mob

10612959_777248562330472_5814789031394992208_nIt is painful to read in all Italian newspapers how widespread and deep-rooted was (is) the mafia intrusion within Rome’s politics, services, co-operatives, local authorities etc.

On the other hand, we had vaguely but certainly this impression when we were living there. How can a city where there is not so much manufacturing or banking, sustain a certain “train de vie” for so many people that you see splurging around…some may be splurging grey money, on which they did not pay taxes, but there must be also a lot of black money around.

My old back of the envelope calculation – especially since the Euro inception – was that of 2 Euros in circulation, 1 must be of grey or black origin. I am inclined to think that the proportion may be even a bit higher…the mob is even more organised than any pessimist estimation may have imagined.

Poor Rome, so beautiful and so abused!


Source photo: Wanted in Rome


Both Trenitalia and Italia, missing the train

As long as Italy will keep fostering this kind of behavior, it will keep on drifting and missing the train…These are not coincidences. This is structural free-riding behavior. Institutionalised.

The Trenitalia fast-train cumulated 40 min delay after modifying its itinerary to accomodate AC Roma football players to alight in a bespoke way at the Parma station, which is not on the Naples-Milan trajectory…

I wonder what Paolo Rumiz and Marco Paolini – the railway poets – would say.

(Thanks to Giovanni for the photo)


Hey, traveller!

I love the new feature in WordPress’s stats…gee…what a nice surprise…so many travellers from different Countries take the BerlinRomExpress every day…wow!! Continue reading ‘Hey, traveller!’


The Davos matrix

Globalization risk in a nutshell means a higher domino-effect. 2011 saw a wild bunch of black swans flocking from environmental and technological disasters like Fukushima and oil tanker spills to societal ones in London, from the environmental and urbanization problems of Liguria and Thailand to the geopolitical ones in Syria and Iran.

Have a look to the World Economic Forum’s matrix of risks (likelihood/impact) across regions and spanning across societal, economic, geopolitical, environmental and technological risks.

The US has a higher risk in cyber attacks and critical systems failure, in line with a higher terrorism likelihood. All regions score high in water and food supply shortage, Europe included. Failure of climate change adaptation score highest in USA, followed by Europe and Asia. Severe income disparity is higher in the Americas compared with Europe and Asia. Pervasive entrenched corruption is higher in South America, Sub-Saharian Africa vs North Africa and ME, the US follow, Europe is less hit and curiously Asia scores low. On chronic fiscal imbalances the US score higher than Europe.

For a global view have a look at the gravity (risk eye of the storm?) map. The diffusion of weapon of mass destruction scores low, as unexpected risks stemming from nanotechnology. Unmanageable inflation and deflation are also estimated to be relatively lower risks than religious fanaticism.

One major stakeholder is missing: populations. Especially when the highest ranking risks are food and water supply shortage…

I am curious to see what Merkel will say at Davos’ opening speech.


après moi le naufrage

A lot has been written on the shipwreck of Costa Concordia this week. Continue reading ‘après moi le naufrage’

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