January 4, 2008

Up in smoke

I spent the morning between the doctor and the post office -- the first to liberate my (rather gruesome looking) thumb from its bandage (no cost) and the second to sign for a damaged Christmas package from a sister (items intact, just the envelope side ripped). Between one wait and another I read the newspaper where I found an analysis of Naples' current "garbage hell". Once again, Naples has managed to distinguish itself from the rest of Italy and the title reads, "Democracy Killed by Trash". Journalist Francesco Merlo expresses what many feel, that Naples is not capable of governing itself and that the State must intervene, even sending in the army, to confront the crisis. He says that we must finally do away with the idea that there is a soft way to govern and administrate the South, "The illusion that the whole county is like Tuscany has been trashed". Naples is controlled by organized crime and local politicians can't do much about it, even if they should want to. Money pours in and disappears. The problems remain and every so often go up in smoke as enormous mounds of trash alight.

Are Italians angry enough to actually do what one reader suggests? Eliminate all local political power and place Naples in the hands of the State. Maybe they are. A new level of indignation is in the air.

a domani,

1 comment:

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

If I were a Neapolitan, faced with the prospect of placing Naples in the hands of the State...well, given the current government I don't think I'd feel too reassured. I have been so shocked that Prodi hasn't stepped foot in Naples since this debacle erupted. He seems so out of touch.

I saw a man on the news say that he had never felt so humiliated to be a Neapolitan as when he recently saw an Italian tourist couple standing in front of a mountain of garbage on the street, taking pictures in front of it and laughing. The man was in his 60s, very well-dressed and distinguished, and my heart went out to him.