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Good, bad or in the middle?

Di Antonio Caneva, 16 gennaio 2014

What is the new year going to be like? Good, bad, or in the middle? Rodari’s nursery rhyme ends “anyway, the year will be just like we will make it be”.
Which is truly something to be worried about.
For example, the year starts with cost increases. A few samples: the TASI tax ordeal, the 5% increase in motorway tolls (the ISTAT 2013 cost-of-life increase was 1.2%), which is not only going to directly affect motorists, but also, above all, the cost of goods shipped by road (which are the majority in Italy), or the extra 10 cents for Corriere della Sera, which can indeed be avoided by buying another newspaper, for example La Repubblica, but people are attached to the dailies they are used to reading.
Habits are stubborn, including the bad habits of politics, as they appear even in minor episodes.
The Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Massimo Bray, has emphatically inaugurated the restored museum of Reggio Calabria, which is finally exhibiting the Riace bronzes, and has pointed out that his own work and the work of all the ministry’s officers has made it possible to open one of the country’s places of excellence to the public, because Italy can be outstanding in tourism and culture, and… blah blah blah.
A shame that the museum was reopened two years behind schedule (he is right to be happy, though, because delays are usually longer) and that the minister has been in office only for a few months, so if any credit should be given, it wouldn’t be to him.
Bad habits that persist, no matter how many times the earth revolves around the sun: they are everlasting.
Something is finally progressing, however, regarding Expo 2015. At least, the public is being made aware of the issue, we start glimpsing at a few concrete actions (not many, but there are some), and we hope they will continue, lest we miss our umpteenth opportunity.
They say this is the year of the Gemini (my zodiac sign); the stars allowing, then, I wish for all of us that this trickle of positive news turns into an avalanche wiping away some truly difficult years. If, like Rodari says, the new year will be the way people will make it, we want to think positive and make it “good”.

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