The castle of cards


The Italian castle of cards is about to collapse. It could well happen during next autumn. Many companies and many jobs are about to fall, together with the leaves. The castle was built up, one membership card on top of another, over a period of more than twenty years. Italy has been totally drained from within. All that remains is a pile of playing cards. The Country is no longer able to stand up on its own. The results of twenty years of American-inspired recession, financial fraud ranging from futures to below-prime interest rates, the cost of money and the increase in the price of crude oil and raw materials are all huffing and puffing at the door. Those that are still in good health may yet recover, but those already suffering from bronchial pneumonia, like Italy, will end up either in hospital or at the undertaker’s.
Italian companies are fast disappearing, as if it were a species under threat of extinction. The manufacturing sector is becoming like a desert as a result of the greenhouse effect of the political parties and lobby groups. 245,843 companies closed their doors for the last time in 2007. 22.5% of all small and medium-sized companies are increasingly at risk thanks to rising crude oil prices. The large companies are even worse off. Telecom Italia may well be forced to terminate some 20,000 people, Alitalia another 8,000, while Fiat could fire any number of people that they may choose, at will. The total number of jobs at risk now stands at 300,000. Those companies that are managing to hold on for dear life are falling ever deeper into debt. They are managing to survive purely thanks to their debt with the banks, which, by the end of 2007, had reached a staggering figure of some 780 billion Euro, having increased by 72.4% in just seven years.
The situation is extremely serious, but not yet critical. Italians earn amongst the lowest salaries in the whole of Europe, while the cost of their services, everything from telephone services through to highway toll fees are, on average, amongst the highest in Europe. Temporary employment has become the norm, and is now estimated to involve some six million jobs. Our Parliamentarians, on the other hand, enjoy higher salaries than do most of their European counterparts and, on top of it all, they elect members from amongst themselves. The industrialists have managed to privatise the entire Country, with some help from the political parties, and they are now busy sharing out the dividends earned from the basic services provided to the citizens, including everything from the provision of water, to electricity and onwards to refuse removal.
Italy is already now living with a wartime economy. In the near future, our soldiers will be guarding the banks instead of the waste disposal sites. All that the psychodwarf is concerned about are his personal legal matters. But the real emergency is this Country’s economy. A salary at the end of each month. Italy is somewhat like a hot-air balloon that is plummeting to earth. What we really need to do is to jettison any excess baggage and eliminate any unnecessary costs. Italy has some four million public servants, which is more than the entire population of Ireland. Our companies need to be freed from the bleeding wound of taxes and compulsory advance payments. Law No. 30 must be abolished. Let those Regions that really wish to become independent do so using their own revenues, otherwise they should simply break away from the very same Italy that is currently supporting them.
The politicians continue to waffle, but the castle of cards will soon fall and the Italians will once again be looking for a suitable scapegoat, as they have always done throughout the course of History.


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:41 AM in | Comments (0)
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