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02 December 2010

Country in turmoil

Greetings from Naples!

Naples is still drowning in garbage, the problem hasn't been solved yet. Billions of euros have been wasted and nobody really knows how. Everybody is competent enough to find a reason for it, be it  mismanagement, political interference, mafia profiteering and the ability of those responsible to deflect the blame elsewhere, but nobody is responsible for actually carrying a solution out.

Oh yes, the government is busy improving our country in so many other important things, such as cutting off financial support to the families who have a child of Down's syndrome. If the law passes, all these people won't even have the ridiculous current monthly benefit of 250 euros.

 Who cares for us?

Benefits are being cut in the education system too. The university reform starts from scholarships, which won’t be granted anymore according to the student’s family income, but on a merit basis. Moreover, students who pick practical subjects that create useful workforce (aka Engineering) will be much more likely to get a scholarship than students who would like to study Philosophy or History. And loans will be introduced on the model of British and American universities. Students will be in debt before even graduating.

As icing on the cake, postgradute researchers, already symbol of precarious work in Italy, will be hit even harder: the reform states that any researcher who hasn’t got a permanent contract can be fired after 6 years with no right to renew it. 

To block the approval of this new infamous reform, that clearly aims at privatizing the university and turning it into a profit-making machine, student protests exploded all over the country, occupying university buildings and even the famous leaning tower of Pisa.

NO to Gelmini's reform!

Members of the Popolo Viola (purple people), a movement against Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, demonstrated in front of the Italian parliament in Rome. It's enough, it's crisis, with no quick resolution in sight. 

I'm glad we're finally reacting! I only would like to have a word with the students who joined the national strike and protested in Trieste too. I would like to know what they were thinking when they cut the wheels of all the cars parked in the street where I live. You guys, I fully support your ideas and I liked your slogan, "they block our future, we block the cities." I think you did a great job out there. But, I swear, when I found my car damaged that morning, our president's horrible words crossed my mind. And I hate that, rather than complimenting your protest, you made me agree with his comment, that "all good students are at home studying" while you were in the streets. 

What did you obtain? The reform passed, we will have a 'modern education' now, and some of us spent from 500 to 1000 euros to have their wheels repaired. Mr B is not paying off that money. We're no escorts he could invest on. So we're only unhappier now!

* All pics are taken from the Facebook group Il Popolo Viola.

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