Posts Tagged ‘free riding


après moi le naufrage

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


L’arte di arrangiarsi: game over

This article by Ilvo Diamanti debates exactly what we’ve been discussing for 4 years now here on the blog. Amoral familism, furbizia, free riding and why all these “genes” are bad for Italy. Maybe they worked in the 1950s, in the 1970s, in the 1980s but now they hold Italians back.

However, this is what logical people like Diamanti say. Italy defies logic. And for sure also this time the “furbi” will get away with it. But if furbi beat logic, financial markets beat the furbi.

Back in Berlin. Today Friedenau’s Südwestkorso…mumble mumble…nice Konditoreis…


Body language

This photo was taken more than two years ago, right in the middle of the Lehman débacle: October 2008. Today the Portuguese government bond auction was pretty successful, with demand exceeding the offer. Tomorrow it will be Italy’s and Spain’s turn to raise money on the bond markets.

Let’s face it Italy is the biggest of the de facto Peripheral Europe countries. It’s one of EU’s biggest economies, yes. Still this factor seems more of a threat now rather than a positive because the country is in a standstill. If Germany was “the sick man of Europe” in the mid-2000s, Italy is that one now. Before the crisis Italy wasn’t growing that much, its GDP tumbled during the crisis and now remains anaemic. Its problem is structural like in Greece, but did not manifest itself with a sudden fever. The country is sick but in denial. Its social fabric is shredded. Continue reading ‘Body language’


killing you softly?

Saturday morning, the ritual. Cappuccino, Repubblica and its weekend supplement, “D”, which I browse starting from the last page where the philospher Umberto Galimberti has his Agony Aunt column.

This week the title is “Crisi economica o soprattutto morale? In Italia siamo ancora tutti parenti e non ancora cittadini”.

There is an impactful letter from a Roman woman, Gordana. Here (Dmagazine N.702, page 122) you can read the abreged published version, followed by Galimberti’s lucid answer. She writes about the insane over-dependence from the parents in Italy. Sometimes indulged in, too often inevitable. Galimberti ponders on the consequences: no independence equal eternal insecurity feeling.

I texted her immediately. She sent me the full version of her letter. The title on the PDF she sends me is definitely stronger than the published version and sets the tone: “Those who are waiting for their parents to die”.

Gordana is not cynical. Elle appelle juste un chat un chat. She candidly shows that the emperor has no clothes. And says what many Italians don’t dare to admit. Herebelow we host her full letter, in italian.

QUELLI CHE ASPETTANO… LA MORTE DI MAMMA E PAPA’ ! Continue reading ‘killing you softly?’


Grenouilles à la Reichstag, nouvelle recette

MeinMann – differently from me – is very synthetic when it comes to descriptions. Yesterday night, commenting the most recent post-democratic involution in our country, I could not find proper words, but he said “Italian frogs will soon be reaching boiling point”. Continue reading ‘Grenouilles à la Reichstag, nouvelle recette’


something from deep inside


Yesterday MeinMann and I were present at the protest for the freedom of the press in Piazza del Popolo. 300,000 people (60,000 according to the police, you bet).

Roberto Saviano was present: “Power and truth don’t match”. It was nice to see so many citizens joining the protest, there was no charismatic leader, no specific banner, but everybody who joined answered to a call from one’s own citizen conscience. Something coming from deep inside. Continue reading ‘something from deep inside’


a new newspaper, containing…news!

grafsito480A few days ago a new newspaper appeared at our newsagent: Il Fatto Quotidiano. They publish facts, figures and give the background (Le Monde style) of every story. It’s a thin newspaper, hasnt’t got 70+ pages, but every day there are some news in it. Mr Travaglio has been explaining to us Italians what has been going on in our Parliament with its video communiques during the past years, on the Beppe Grillo blog. But it’s true that not 100% of the citizen surf the net for getting hold of the news. A new newspaper is a good thing.

Yesterday night I was on the bus 71, one of the most multikulti, heading to a Japanese restaurant in Rome’s Chinatown. I was reading Il Fatto and all of a sudden a man in his 60s asks me “Come lo trova?” (How do you like it?”). I told him I quite liked the fact I could read some crude facts not only opinions and polemiche. He said “I love the fact that they published the list!!!” This should always be published!”.

He was referring to the list of left-wing MPs who where not on the job and did not vote against the scudo fiscale*, therefore not doing the task assigned to them: being a real opposition. Now the MPs complain, because one bunch of journalist is counting them and asking questions.

This is the Divided City, on the ground we live like small ants: work, pay taxes. On the stratosphere politicians and their friends are above the rules. But it’s also an isolated country, if you don’t access foreign media (or don’t speak a foreign language).

The whole Europe (and beyond) laugh at us, and it is good that Mock The Week was subtitled in Italian by Il Fatto:

The Outer World wonders what the hell is going on in Italy, and in the meantime, has a good laugh…the fact is, it’s not a commedia.

I’ll go to the manifestazione tomorrow for the freedom of the press…we’ll count each other, the police will say anyway that 53 people participated in the protest, as usual!

*check link

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