Pissed-off…

IMG_3516I went to have a cappuccino with My English Computer Wizard down in Gragnola yesterday. I needed his help with a few mysterious Settings with this blog. I was also anxious to hear from him what I had already picked-up from the network of the local English mafia of his Tremor Troubles with his 19th Century palazzina in the centro citta’. He sadly yet calmly brought me up-to-date. Having only the minimum of earthquake rods and other EQ-precautions, his house shook in that Friday’s quake to the point that three-stories’ worth of back wall is pronto per crollare. A Big Collapse. This catastrophe would not only put an end to his palazzina but, to many houses around it. My ECW said he immediately sought help from the Authorities… Protezione Civile, Genio Civile and the even Firemen too!!!… but, only the last group showed up and promptly declared the palazzina OFF LIMITS!!! And remedies were not forthcoming. Then, one fine day… nearly three weeks after the 5.2… the Mayor of Fivizzano toured the stricken town of Gragnola. His Honour-the-mayor & Co of Genio Civile… the Earthquake Engineering Division of the Italian State… toured the ECW’s palazzina and summarily stated to all present that…

A) if the ECW wants to do the work privately to safeguard the palazzina & neighbors it must be accomplished within five days…

B) if not, the Genio Civile would do the work… whenever… but, the ECW must foot the bill… and payment due when called in…

C) and, furthermore, the cost of Room & Board for the neighbours evacuation while the Genio Civile worked away… whenever… would also be the ECW’s responsibility to pay…

and…

D) if, perchance, a tremor comes to cause the palazzina to tumbling down, the ECW would be arrested.¬†Yes… ARRESTED!!!

As you can imagine, this lecture was not especially well received. How could it have been? For folk suddenly & violently driven away from their homes and living with the constant fear of seeing those homes and its possessions disappearing in a puff of fallen debris, well, it would have been far better for that public servant to have kept his Big Mouth shut and saved His Show for another audience. What pisses me off… A LOT!!!… is that his statements smack of a nasty bias against foreigners… xenophobic par excellence… for I doubt he had spoken so to an Italian victim as he had to whom he should bow down & lick their boots for their Time, Energy & Money invested voluntarily in the Lunigiana. How dare he. Really.

Italy is rife with such helpful & compassionate public servants. They must have attended the same School of Life as Marie Antoinette + Co. The other day, on the TV news, the Minister of the Interior was queried by a Rete 4 whipper-snapper-news-reporter about the earthquake in the Lungiana. His comments were…

1) The earthquake in the Lunigiana was a non-event…

and…

2) certainly the citizens can expect a stronger earthquake… say, one of 6.2. The Lunigiana is an Earthquake Zone.

So much for a reassuring Good Word from the minister. And, I am sure he then bade his thanks, slipped into his chauffeur-driven Blue Car and sped off with his battalion of armed guards following him in their SUVs back to the comfort of his ministry.

I suspect that both the mayor & minister think their back-sides are covered with national public sentiment, since there occurred NO DEATHS, NO INJURIES, NO VILLAGES & TOWNS LAID WASTED by the 5.2. What will NEVER be covered is their insult to injury. Lives & livelihoods have been altered, changed forever, confidence is shaken beyond any repair and a beautiful region full of castles & quaint towns & the majesty of the Apuane peaks, continually disregarded by a chronically weak & ineffective government, will reel & struggle to the best of its ability & fortunes. Gads.

 

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