"Mah..." Welcome to the only newsletter that would endorse sheep shaving for the next summer Olympics, "Only In Italy!"
Hope everyone's spring is coming along lovely!
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
The report found that 21.9% of families have just one child, 19.5% have two, 4.4% have three and only 0.7% have four or more.
According to the report, the primary reason for not having children was economic, with 19.5% of families interviewed citing the lack of money, 8.9% the inability to juggle families and jobs, 0.3% insufficient housing space and 0.3% citing the lack of child service, while 57.8% said it was a personal choice.
The report also looked at the cost of having children and calculated that a child accounted for 35.3% of a household budget.
Looking at the economic crisis, the report found that 16.4% of Italian families were below the poverty line, 18% were just above and 37.2% said they had trouble making it to the end of the month, while 22.4% said they sometimes had trouble, 5.3% had little trouble and 0.8% said they had no trouble at all.
It's true, Italy’s birth rate is quite pathetic.
Despite all our crappy problems, we know how to enjoy life (well, maybe a little too much). We know how to appreciate beauty (both natural and man-made) and our wonderful food. Most of all, we have warm and supportive family relationships. So where does it all go wrong? With Italian women...
The culture of Italy which is traditional, religiously oriented, family-oriented, and also very consumer-oriented does NOT encourage the having of kids because it hasn't helped the typical Italian family adapt to the modern economy. In other words, it does not provide support for Italian women who want to work...thus delaying marriage.
One morning in 2003, in an effort to stop the decline, a labor and welfare minister woke up and proposed the dazzling idea of offering cash for children. The government offered 1000 Euros to every woman who had a second child. The ridiculous bonus was paid to only 190,000 women. The program failed miserably and the minister went back to bed.
Be that as it may, we think the other leading causes of low birth rate in Italy could possibly be the following:
Nine elementary kids (seven foreigners and two Italians) got sandwiches to eat and water to drink instead of pasta, hamburgers and soft drinks at Montecchio Maggiore near Vicenza Monday.
The town's education chief, Barbara Ventura, denied the various 'bread and water' reports, stressing: "It wasn't a piece of bread, but panini with ham, or cheese for those that can't eat pork".
"It's not right to dodge the fees, out of respect for those who are in economic trouble but still manage to pay them," she added.
School Principal Anna Maria Lucantoni said: "Giving kids a bit of bread is an insult. If we'd known in time we would have had a collection".
"It would have been worse if the other kiddies hadn't decided to share their pasta with zucchini, burgers, salad and fruit".
But center-right Mayor Milena Cecchetto said: "The school was informed, as were the parents".
"Rules are rules and have to be upheld. If these nine families really can't afford it, the council will fork out".
She said the town was already helping some 80 "indigent" families who had been able to prove their inability to pay.
An Italian consumers' group, Aduc, called on Interior Minister Roberto Maroni to dissolve the town council "for child abuse and civic indignity".
Aduc President Vincenzo Donvito said: "This council should be sent packing and a new one elected, just like administrations involved in criminal activity".
Ok, "grazie mille!" Thank you so much for the dry sandwich, tap water, song and dance. "Andate tutti a 'fanculo!"
Hmmm...one could look at this senseless incident in two ways:
There's the positive point of view:
This could be a great stimulant for today's kids however, they should elaborate more: Bars on the windows, bread and water for lunch, school 12 months a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day! Why?
"Cazzarola", you should see what goes on in the Italian public schools. When school ends for the day, it looks like the set of "Kill Bill" (1 and 2!); kids running around like maniacs on those dangerous scooters, running people over, purse snatching, vandalism, etc. Now we know how Uma Thurman felt.
Look, we're the furthest things from Yale professors but watching an Italian kid do a simple math problem makes you want to grab a mozzarella ball and shove it in his ear.
And then there's the negative point of view:
Parents of Italian kids are forced to buy school books every friggin' year. No, the schools do not supply them. As the books are supposedly "updated" each year (it's a huge racket and a way for the rat-bastard, "figli di puttane" publishing companies to make money), you can't pass them down to younger brothers and sisters. "Cornuti!"
Most of the schools have one photocopier and parents have to take turns making photocopies for the class while the teachers' assistants are somewhere, figuring out which hand to put the chalk in.
And parents also have to supply many other things including toilet paper, which isn't found in the bathrooms but given to the teacher who keeps the inventory in check. A kid who needs toilet paper is forced to ask the teacher (in front of the class) how many squares of toilet paper he/she may need.
That's right! Even the school principals deserve mozzarella balls shoved in their ears!
Ilenia Moretti's plan unraveled when the second hitman got cold feet and confessed the plan to police.
Miss Moretti, 19, from the small town of Luzzara in northern Italy, told police she had endured years of verbal abuse from her domineering father, Rodolfo, and resolved to have him killed apparently with the blessing of her mother.
In January, she allegedly hired the first assassin; a 22 year old man who she recruited from the nearby town of Mantova. On the night of Jan 8, the alleged hitman, Alex Grantana, cycled 20 miles from Mantova to Luzzara in the dead of night and waited until Mr Moretti, a night porter, emerged from his house to go to work in a local mill.
Mr Grantana allegedly jumped out of the shadows at around 1:30 am and stabbed him in the shoulder with a five-inch-long knife. But Mr Moretti managed to fight off his attacker, disarming him and calling the police.
Detectives were puzzled when Mr Grantana said he attacked Mr Moretti because he did not like him despite the fact that they had never met before. Undaunted by the failure of the assassination attempt, Miss Moretti decided to hire a second hitman. She recruited a young Moroccan immigrant who she met casually in a railway station. But he had second thoughts and went to the police.
His confession led the Carabinieri to re-examine the circumstances of the first attack. They arrested the teenager on suspicion of conspiring in two attempted murders.
"She said she wanted to bring to an end years of intimidation suffered by both daughter and mother," an investigator said.
Police also placed under investigation her mother, Roberta, who allegedly gave the green light for the killing.
We're sure there are many thoughts on this incident circulating in the minds of our readers. Obviously, something's not kosher in this Italian family:
First, what is today's new definition of "enduring years of verbal abuse" if your father, an incredibly successful night porter, gives you 5,000 Euros for a holiday to the other side of the world?
Wouldn't this be a bit more realistic?:
Daughter: "Hey Papa, I would like to...no, I WANT to go on holiday to the USA. I expect 5,000 Euros in cash by the end of the week."
Second, Italy is a deeply Catholic country that views the family as the foundation of society although, the foundation of this family appears to be less stable than a chicken shack. And where is it that mothers and fathers, sons, and daughters come together to argue, to discuss, to bond? Yes, that's right the dinner table.
Daughter to her harassed but very attentive mamma working her way through creating four courses for 'la famiglia': "Mamma, think about it. How can you be married to someone who sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them?"
Third, whether it be art, politics, sport, or murder, in Italy the most important thing is to have passion for what you are doing. But that wouldn't be the case of Signore Alex Grantana...
You bike 20 miles in the dead of night to your victim's home (no energy bars), and out of complete exhaustion the best you can do is stab your victim in the shoulder before being immediately disarmed? Hard to believe he even had the audacity to leave the house.
If he worked for the Mafia he would be the coffee boy, bench warmer, and janitor all rolled into one.