Amid all the breast-beating about how the recent floods have ravaged Venice boo hoo, with the mayor thereof (of course) blaming “climate change” for the disaster, the fact remains that in a nation where corruption is not just systemic but endemic, Venice stands apart from all the other cities as being the poster-boy for corruption.
The mayor of Venice has blamed climate change for the disaster but there was also anger among Venetians yesterday at the corruption which has held up a flood barrier project.
Just so we’re all clear about this, the phrase missing from that last sentence is: “…which has held up a flood barrier project for the last thirty years.” The plans have been in place, the funding more or less allocated (if such a thing can happen in Italy, given their perpetual state of near-bankruptcy), but… nothing has happened, as bureaucrats argue and wrangle, projects are started then canceled, service providers arrive then leave, and in general, the whole thing resembles a typical Italian cock-up.
I remember arriving at Rome’s Da Vinci Airport dying for a pee, only to find that the men’s toilets at the Arrivals gate were “non operativo“. I later discovered that the toilets had been “non operativo” for close to a year. And this, by the way, in a place where reservations clerks faced with irate passengers simply switch off their terminals and go have a cup of coffee until said passengers have given up and left.
A Brit friend who was involved in a project with the Italian Army was even more dismissive.
“I have to say, their uniforms are magnificent — they look like they were each personally tailored by Versace.”
“How’s their organization and operational readiness?”
“Oh God…they have neither. Christ help them if they’re ever faced with a real military problem.”
So the Venetian imbroglio doesn’t surprise me one little bit. And this is why I say simply, fuck ’em. Let their poxy city sink under the waves, and let the tourism dollars dry up (except from the most hardy of souls).
To coin a phrase: let Venice sink.