"Buona sera!" Welcome to the site that will one day prove Cassius and Brutus were jealous lovers, "Only In Italy!"
We usually don't dedicate our editions to anyone because we're miserable, but we want to make an exception today. This one goes out to the brilliant Liberty DeVitto in Brooklyn.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - February 6, 2009 - Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Friday that one of the reasons he supported an emergency decree to stop doctors from ending Eluana Englaro's life was because she "could in theory have a child".
"She is not brain dead but breathes in an autonomous way. Her brain cells are alive and send electrical signals and she is a person who could in theory have a child," he said.
"She is in a vegetative state that could change, as has been seen several times," he said.
Eluana, 38, has been in a vegetative state for 17 years since a car crash when she was 22.The all-knowing prime minister of minestrone to the rescue!
Why do we have the strange feeling that this man couldn't care less of this poor woman's fate? In fact, he doesn't.
It's not a moral question of whether Eluana should continue to live or not. Most of us in southern Italy are in a vegetative state. (Stop by any piazza in southern Italy in the afternoon around 4 pm. You could swear all the old men are comatose.)
It's a question of a chuckle-faced hump in a semi-vegetative state who doesn't know what to say and when.
How did we come to the point of a need for an emergency decree? The President of the Republic, Napolitano, had not signed the law by decree. So, the Italian Cabinet is bypassing him by proposing a Bill that is identical to the original decree. The Bill will be proposed to the Parliament of Berlusconi's monkeys who will approve it immediately.
Is the Bill unconstitutional? Hmmm...could be, your highness.
It is not enough for us to defend ourselves against the collapse of the economy or deal with the thousands of everyday problems. Living in Italy is exhausting and humiliating for us. The rest of the world is trying to find a way to confront this unbelievable crisis. Our politicians could do the same to help us...
They're breathing in an autonomous way. Brain cells seem alive. You could tell when they wipe the drool and pick fleas off themselves.
Rome - February 6, 2009 - The Italian government on Friday adopted an emergency plan to help the automobile sector which has been hit hard by the global economic crisis. The package also included measures to boost the sales of motorbikes, home appliances and furniture, for which demand has plunged in recent months.
Industry Minster Claudio Scajola explained that it was imperative to adopt the decree "because the automobile market is at a standstill".
Premier Silvio Berlusconi said that measures contained in the package "could boost consumer spending by between 0.5% and, optimistically, 1%. In turn this could significantly improve prospects for GDP this year, which is currently expected to shrink by 2%".
Without these measures to boost the automobile and durable goods sectors, the premier observed, "the state would have lost 700 euros in VAT revenue, taken in 1.2 billion euros less in tax revenue and seen additional welfare costs in the neighborhood of 500 million euros".
The premier added that in return for these incentives the government expected automakers to "keep their plants in Italy, invest in new products and pay in full their component suppliers who are suffering dearly from the crisis".
The government's action received a cool response from the automobile sector and consumers, both of which saw the measures as insufficient.
"We are not totally satisfied with the incentive plan and, frankly, expected more," the Italian Automobile Club (ACI) said in a statement.
Consumer groups Federconsumatori and Adusbef branded the government's package as "totally insufficient".
"We would have liked to have seen greater and more selective attention paid to Italian industry as a whole, the way other European countries are going," they said. The head of Italy's industrial employers association Confindustria, Emma Marcegaglia, agreed and said the package "is a step forward but much more needs to be done" to help industry."Minchia!" And to think I was considering for a while of getting a new dishwasher and motorbike. That was until my herd of sheep stampeded some sense into me.
The only progress the government ministers made from adopting this incredibly brilliant emergency plan was they figured out which hand to put the pen in.
"The premier added that in return for these incentives the government expected automakers to "keep their plants in Italy, invest in new products and pay in full their component suppliers who are suffering dearly from the crisis"." Hard to believe Italy's version of a shoeshine boy kept a straight face when he stated this.
"Consumer groups Federconsumatori and Adusbef branded the government's package as "totally insufficient"." The understatement of the year. You know, at least Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned.
"Figlio di puttana", they don't get it. We can only hope legislatures, senators, and their assistants will stop humping each other long enough to learn English and subscribe to London's Financial Times.
Rome - February 6, 2009 - Catholic doctors will not report illegal immigrants who show up for treatment despite a government move encouraging them to do so, the head of their association told Vatican Radio Friday.
Vincenzo Saraceni said doctors would not have to become 'conscientious objectors' in order to go against the government's wishes. He noted that a crime bill which passed from the Senate to the Chamber of Deputies Thursday does not require doctors to report illegals but only lifts a previous ban on them doing so. It is therefore left up to individual doctors to decide, he said.
Saraceni however voiced the hope that the Chamber of Deputies would remove the "absolutely inopportune" measure from the crime bill.
The center-left opposition and doctors' groups have warned that the fear of being reported would stop illegal immigrants seeking care with serious health risks for the community.
"Grazie Dottore Grazie!" I feel much better. Give me 5 minutes head start before you call the polizia.
It's about time we see a little sense of responsibility and benevolence coming from our quack population.
Hard to believe Italy has the highest number of doctors per head of any country in the world (one for every 160 inhabitants). However, if you filter out the lazy, clumsy and rat-bastards who are involved with the Mafia, the number comes crashing down.
And if Italy is overrun by a huge number of doctors as it is with illegal aliens, why is it so hard to find one? "Fanculo", why does one need the help of an illegal alien to get a doctor's appointment?
Medical students in Italy spend an estimated 10-12 years studying medicine but around 30 per cent of registered doctors are in jobs that do not correspond with studies completed both academically and also in terms of salary. In other words, you'll find highly qualified and experienced physicians dedicating their time with politics and the construction industry while the incapable and dense ones are performing open heart surgery instead of shaving sheep.
Italy's spending on health is only around 6 per cent of GDP, and expenditure per head is among the lowest in the European Union. State hospitals, particularly in the south, are notoriously bad, a situation made worse by Mafia-inspired corruption and doctors escaping to find work in better equipped and run hospitals in northern Italy, Libya, Morocco and the North Pole.
Despite the shortcomings of our crappy health service, we are generally healthy and have one of the highest life expectancies in Europe (around 82 for women and 76 for men) which is attributed in large part to our healthy Mediterranean diet.
Although, we always debate as to why the hell we would want to live this long in a country that is trying to kill us off.