While Rome burns …

Rome celebrated it’s 2,766thbirthday yesterday, 2,766 years since its foundation in 753BC by twins raised by a she-wolf (or prostitute) as the legend goes. However the people in the piazzas weren’t in the mood for celebrating.

   After weeks of uncertainty and stalemate in trying to form a government from comedians and fraudsters, the situation got worse on Saturday when parliamentarians failed to agree on a new president. Italy is now in the unenviable position of jointly having an unelected government of technocrats beloved of no-one, and now an 87 year old president forced (by the political parties) into accepting the position of head of state for the second time. An unprecented move. King George is a well-respected president and you can see why many feel it would be necessary for a sturdy pair of hands in these unpredictable times. But if Beppe Grillo’s share of the general election vote told us anything, it was that the people were crying out for change rather than a continuation of the status-quo. Talking to friends, the disillusionment and frustration of Italians is palpable. The lack of hope is driving thousands of young people to emigrate once again.
Sad that this still applies a year later.
   It scares me that this hopelessness and frustration could pave the way for extremists on the right to argue that we need a strong leader to control the situation and clear up the mess. As the recent controversy with Paolo di Canio showed, we don’t have much time for fascism in the north of England. But in Italy, being a fascist doesn’t straight away signal support of the nazis (Mussolini tattoos aside – seriously who is this man?!). The concerns of young people, their lack of jobs, career and despondency has always been fertile ground for fascists. There should be no greater priority than jobs and active involvement for young people. But with no solutions being offered … anyone for another prosecco? The restaurants are always full you know … 

I know it’s not prosecco, but it gives you the idea

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