On the leaders we deserve and the end of the Alitalia saga

Back in June, right when il corrotto Berlusconi won the now seemingly annual Italian elections on a cocktail of populism and general amnesia, I warned of one of his very electoral promises (keeping Alitalia Italian and afloat) was nothing but cheap talk.

Well, as we are used to by now, the electoral promises of the politician of the day were stupid at the time, useless and scared off the few potential investors who could have saved the airline.

Silvio put together a pull of Italian investors and kindly called upon their national pride. Well, the trick that worked to win the elections, didn’t work this time around and it seems that the ever more important and troublemaker trade unions have come up with the idea of solidarity until the bitter end. Not happy with saving some jobs and a national carrier, they decided to sink the boat. All survive, or all dead.

They say the ball is on the Governments side, but I don’t think they are going to bail out the doomed airline, specially after better election results than expected. Plus, the EU already warned Italy about state aid, they must be scrutinising every move from Brussels.

Don’t we ever learn? Those who don’t know their history, are doomed to repeat it, but for all I know, 6 months, 1 year a a pee break during the commercials doesn’t make it to the history books, let along be forgotten.

The FT finished reporting the break up of the negotiations with a gruesome reminder of the state of the Italian transport system:

Berlusconi will carry the can. We are not a Swiss Air or Sabena, in little countries with trains. The economic situation will freeze,” said Patrizio, a red-eyed pilot.

When Ryanair becomes one of the key players connecting your nation to the rest of the world, you know you have a problem. A serious one.

Thinking that Italy is the 10th wealthiest country in the world sends shivers down my spine. Although having Spain as close challenger doesn’t make me feel better. Imagine the living standards in godforsaken places like Tonga, Comoros or Liberia… but I guess that the people living in those countries can still look themselves in the mirror every morning and don’t feel ashamed of themselves. What excuse do they have south of Switzerland?



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