Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.

Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.

Only In Italy is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news sources in Italy.
Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.
 
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What the hell do you do with 629,000 official state cars?

Rome - February 6, 2015 - Civil Service Minister Marianna Madia stated in a Twitter post that in the next 10 days the number of chauffeured state cars (629,000 units) for bureaucrats must be cut.

"The relevant public administrations shall inform me on how they will adapt to the decrease in #autoblu," she wrote in a tweet.

The so-called 'blue state cars' currently used extensively by hundreds of agencies and departments has been a symbol of government excess.

 

The stats:

bulletUSA: 73,000
bulletFrance: 65,000
bulletGreat Britain: 55,000
bulletGermany: 54,000
bulletJapan: 35,000
bulletItaly: 629,000 (we win!)

First in the world ranking of chauffeur-driven "official state" cars!
First in the Guinness book of world records "della minchia"!

We demand that you congratulate us now and bow before our mighty legion of state automobiles!

"Do the Italian public administrations need hundreds of thousands of official cars?"

"Si," because we have hundreds of thousands of incredibly important Italian officials that need to get to places. After all, these are individuals who make our 2,700-year-old country run smoothly and efficiently.

"Do they also need hundreds of thousands of chauffeurs driving them around?"

"Si," but don't be mistaken. They are expert drivers who are quite capable at cutting you off, speeding, running red lights, following ambulances and using emergency lanes...all while calling up the office to make sure the espresso coffee machine is on and the pc hard drive is warming up.

"Can't they carpool or take mass transit? Who the hell do they think they are?"

Careful, that's blasphemy. You forget these are Italians with stars shining over their heads, eager to manage exciting things. Their importance is as big as the Roman Empire so, it is only fitting they are escorted to their government fortresses in modern bullet proof chariots.

"Finally, a female minister with common sense and courage who will see that the number of state cars are cut!"

Absolutely! We're looking forward to it. Then again...there's always that over-looming panic that she could possibly bite the hands that feed her.

Her announcement came via a tweet and a fast trending hashtag #autoblu. Hopefully the "relevant" public administrations got the chance to catch the tweet on their Twitter feeds.

One of the minister's followers had more interaction with the following tweet: "Should I prepare three layers of #lasagna? Well, how about nine? Wouldn't that be better?"

 

What can you do with WWII bombs?

Bologna - February 5, 2015 - Italian police arrested eight people accused of being part of a mafia clan which looted a sunken Second World War ship for its bombs and weapons arsenal.

Those arrested are allegedly part of the Franco clan of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia in Reggio Calabria. As well as being accused of a string of crimes including extortion and drug trafficking, they are believed to have robbed explosives from a nearby warship.

The Laura C Italian Navy ship sunk off the Calabrian coast during the Second World War, and has since been looted by the ‘Ndrangheta mafia, state news said.

Reports of the weapons haul come just days after a Second World War bomb disappeared in central Italy. Bologna’s prosecutor opened an investigation after a 70cm unexploded bomb vanished from Fontanelice, where it had been spotted in December after a river flooded.

Removal of the bomb was set for January 15th, but the explosive was robbed a few days before, authorities reported.

 

Lovely, isn't it? You must be wondering:

1) "WWII ended 70 years ago. Did the Italian government have any intentions of removing the bombs off their sunken ships?"

Well, in their defense we're sure they were going to get around to it. It had to be on some Evernote agenda somewhere in Rome. True, it's pure irresponsibility and the looted bombs should have been removed in two shakes of lamb's tail...but a typical official response you would get from the Ministry of Defense is, "lambs don't have tails."

However, the Italian authorities were all set to remove the one that washed up in a river in Fontanelice. They could have removed it sooner before it was stolen...if it weren't for bad timing: It was discovered in December.

You see, there was the Christmas Season to consider, New Year's Eve and Day, and the Epiphany on Tuesday, January 6. Stretch out the festive season for a few more days because you have to complete the week, and everyday life returns to normal on Monday, January 12, three days before the scheduled removal.

Again, unfortunately, sometime during the festive celebrations, some "faccia di culo" somewhere tipped off a mobster and...you then say "ciao" to the bomb.>

2) "How long has this crap been going on?"

Oh, since your great grandparents were born, but it seems longer.

The FBI believes that 'Ndrangheta was formed in the 1860s by some group of angry Sicilians exiled from Sicily. Instead of taking out their violent revenge on their betrayers and families, as per tradition, they decided to slowly take on the world. For example, in 1973, some of them kidnapped oil tycoon heir John Paul Getty III. They eventually received $2.7 million from Getty's family, but only after cutting off his ear.

3) "Congratulations, this is out of Italy's hands! Can't the U.N. or NATO invade Calabria like a foreign country and stop them?"

Too late... ’Ndrangheta has been spreading abroad for years. It's active in almost every country of Western civilization. They have a network of hundreds of family gangs based in Calabria and around the world.

They remain close by maintaining strict blood ties via intermarriage, and there are families that have intermarried as many as four times in the 20th century. It's no wonder they have family trees that look like telephone poles.

By the way, if you are of southern Italian origin, there is a 91% chance you or a close relative belong to this thriving criminal bloodline.

4) How do innocent Italians cope with all this chaos?

First of all, there is no such thing as an innocent Italian. Period.

Second, Italians have become shell-shocked and immune to all the crime that surrounds us. But when the day comes that we find a WWII bomb planted in our car, that will be the deciding factor to leave Italy and move to Arkansas.

 

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Reading, writing and arithmetic...and anti-mafia and anti-corruption

Rome - February 5, 2015 - Italy's education minister, Stefania Giannini, anti-mafia prosecutor, anti-corruption authority president and the association of magistrates president signed a charter of intent to teach a culture of lawfulness in Italian schools.

"Repression alone is not enough to fight the mafia and corruption, but rather it needs to be accompanied by education," the signatories said.

"In the fight against the mafia and corruption the common enemy is ignorance," the education minister told students.

"A good school education goes in the direction of knowledge and development of an ethical conscience," she added.

The charter contemplates organising activities within school civics programs aimed at fighting the mafia and organised crime. These include information campaigns, training for students, teachers and families and lessons promoting a culture of lawfulness among other things.

 

Ahhh...just another day of Italians trying to perfect civil society. You read an article like this and you say to yourself, "Puttana della miseria, this is coming from a minister of education and an anti-mafia this and an anti-corruption that."

How do you explain to Italian school kids the world of its one-of-a-kind facacta government and judicial system? If few Italian adults fully understand the legal issues of breaking the law, how could you explain them to a class of 8-year-olds, in spite of their above-average intelligence and semi-positive orientation to the law?

"Hey, bambini, stay in school, don't do drugs, eat your vegetables, stay away from the Mafia, don't trust escorts, don't accept bribes, blackmail can backfire..."

Italian legislators want to help our children develop an ethical conscience. First, how about giving children the answers to the following questions (preferably before lunch in order to avoid chucking it up):

  1. My school is a public institution for learning. Why is it being held together by cardboard, scotch tape and Elmer's glue?
  2. Why is my principal running my school like the captain of the Costa Concordia, and how long before it capsizes?
  3. Why is there more Mafia in Italy than maple syrup in Vermont?
  4. Is being tormented into selecting a political party before my First Communion part of my development of an ethical conscience?
  5. If the common enemy to fight is ignorance, why is 94% of Italy's public workforce filled with ignorant eggplants and zucchini with connections to politicians and the Mafia?
  6. In 2011, the education minister herself chartered a state jet (16,400 Euros, $17,300 USD) to fly herself and actor-comedian Roberto Benigni to the European Parliament for a show of readings from Dante's Divine Comedy, proposed by the actor. Is this why Dante said Italy is an 'inn of woe, slavish and base...a brothel's space'?
  7. Would the education minister take our advice and go into another more educational line of work like dry cleaning?

 

 

Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
 
 
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