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Bad, worse, and the tourist tax
di Antonio Caneva

After surviving five days of Sanremo Festival (300,000 euros was the fee Celentano was paid by RAI) we find ourselves caught between farcical and ridiculous, with the news that the RAI licence fee will have to be paid also for office computers. Hopefully good sense will prevail; I am not planning to pay.
The Monti government is doubtlessly being assisted by Italian good luck; born out of emergency, during its few months of activity it has gone through a significant number of parallel events which have shifted the public’s attention away from its action, or at least have relieved its pressure.
By order of occurrence:
The economic crisis in Greece caused the yield spread between the German bunds and the Italian 10-year treasury bonds to shoot up, increasing the cost of refinancing debt.
The Chamber of Deputies, by secret ballot, rejected an arrest warrant for Member of Parliament Nicola Cosentino, which, if approved, would have caused tension between the political parties, with repercussions for the government.
The Constitutional Court rejected the referendums on the electoral system, which also had the potential to create friction.
Undersecretary Carlo Malinconico, in charge of Publishing, who had stayed at Il Pellicano Hotel (fabulous!) and whose bill had been footed by the entrepreneur Francesco Piscicelli, was invited by President Monti to resign from office, thus formally sending a signal of consistency (but who had appointed him?).
Downgrading of the Italian credit rating by the agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
Costa Concordia’s tragic accident off the shore of the Island of Giglio.
Climatic conditions with Siberian temperatures and snowfalls worthy of recording in the annals. .
Also Moody’s (for good measure) downgraded our debt.
A deterioration of the Hellenic crisis, with violent episodes and the setting of fires.
Italy formally entered recession with a GDP of minus 0.7% in the last quarter.
Coming to tourism: at the recent BIT in Milan, a selected elite of people indulged in self-praise (we discuss this on other pages) by uttering the most obvious platitudes, with Antonio Tajani , Vice-President of the European Commission, stating that “the Italian travel and hospitality sector has many unexpressed potentialities”.
The sector being in need of attention, for the sake of consistency, it was recently decided to extend the application of the tourist tax to the entire Country! What other calamity should we wait for, to get rid of this additional unfair impost?

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