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Things That Happen in Italy

Archive for October 2010

Discounted White Deaths

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A worker from Albania died while at work in a building site in Northern Italy. He fell off one of the scaffoldings. In dealing with the compensation claims for the victim’s family, who lives still in Albania, a judge yesterday ruled that they should be given 1/10 of what is normally paid to the family of victims who are Italians.

That is correct: a judge ruled that the company that hired the Albanian, and that was responsible for his death due to scarce health and safety regulations, will have to compensate the victim’s family, but will have to pay less than what they would pay if the worker had been Italian. The reasoning behind this decision is that the worker was from an “economically depressed” country, and the compensation claim of the family should be adjusted to the economic reality of Albania. So, for example, if in Italy you need 1000 euro per month to survive, and in Albania 100 euro could be enough, then an Albanian should receive 1/10 of the compensation owed to an Italian.

We are talking about compensation for death. We are talking about people  who work as much as the Italians do. We are talking of people who are exposed to dangerous working conditions because their bosses do not want to waste their money in safety regulations. Now, a judge says that the parents of a worker at work should be paid less so to avoid the risk of “unjustified enrichment”. That’s true, look what these immigrants invent in order to steal our money: they come here and work 14 hours per day, then at some point they jump off the scaffolding so to extort money from their bosses. Damn you, immigrants!

Luckily, justice is in place to defend the country. A judge has finally established that there is no need, for building companies, to raise their safety standard by investing money in safety measures. Quite the contrary, they should simply hire more immigrants: they are much much cheaper to refund. And the boss’ one, I’m sure the judge would say, is a justified enrichment.

It follows, then, that if then worker, who dies in Italy, was from the Emirates, or from Monaco, or from the Vatican, then his/her family should be paid 10 times more to reflect the economic reality of the country of origin. So, maybe some priests are rejoicing at this legal ruling..

For more on “white deaths“, a typical Italian phenomenon, see here.



Written by TheItalianist

25/10/2010 at 19:25

Prime Ministers Vs. God

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We all know that one of the main reasons why Berlusconi is a great politician is because he can talk to people with people’s language. Rather than using complex jargon that normal citizens could not understand, he appeals to everyday talk, so to reach the hearth of his beloved, and loving, voters, I mean compatriots.

Such approach was made immortal when Berlusconi famously defined himself “a worker President”, namely a usual worker paid 800 Euros per month, who nonetheless finds himself to be a billionaire, the owner of most of the media, and the country’s ruler.

He loves going among his own people. He does not like it very much when others talk: however, when it comes to him talking, he does perform at his best.

Last week, a video appeared of one of these political performances, which took place in L’Aquila, Italy, just before the G8 meeting in July 2009. The Italian PM, during one of his, at that time, frequent visits to that earthquake-striken land, hangs out with a group of military, and decides to tell them a funny joke, a specialty of his.

The joke, unsurprisingly, hinges around Rosy Bindi. This is Rosy Bindi:

She is the not-so-charming female politician from the Left, who Berlusconi has targeted several times, once famously saying that she was more beautiful than intelligent. In L’Aquila, he could not help going back to his repressed sexual desire for her.

His witty joke, still referring to Bindi’s lack of those political qualities that he cares about, has however a surprising conclusion: it ends with a profanity that the subject of the story utters when facing Bindi’s ugliness. In fact, the core of the story lies in the subject saying “Orcoddio” when seeing her, which literally translated means “God is a pig”. This is what in Italian is called a “bestemmia“. A short film of this comic intercourse between Berlusconi and the military can be found here. Funny enough, the movie ends with Berlusconi telling his audience “You won’t betray me, will you?”. Sadly, someone did.

Berlusconi’s perfection notwithstanding, someone might have felt not at ease. Italy is, first and foremost, a catholic country, hence it should not let profanities go uncondemned. Furthermore, Berlusconi opponents could have stopped boiling children for a moment, pointing out to the fact that in Italy profanity is a crime, hence Silvio could face the legal consequences of his witty joke.

Thank God, or pig, the Vatican stepped in to have its influential voice heard on this question. Monsignor Fisichella was quick to specify that things ought to be “put into context”, and that we should not “instumentalise” an event without looking at the particular circumstances.

But how do you put into context a profanity? And, most of all, isn’t this a case of what His Infallible Sanctity the Pope has condemned as “relativism”?

Apparently, not. Catholics, as usual, if you’re awake send me a signal.

Written by TheItalianist

15/10/2010 at 19:56