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How to start the new year

Di Antonio Caneva, 9 Gennaio 2004

There is a Milan proverb that says “give to those who laugh and take away from those who cry”, meaning that things are often not what they look like. No proverb is more appropriate to describe the Parmalat events which shook the public in the last few days of the old year, not to speak of the loss suffered by those who have been directly affected by the misfortunes (is it the right word?) of the Parma company. Stunned by the news of the event and by the amounts at stake, I tried to write down 20,000 billion of the old lire in figures (an optimistic estimate of the shortage amount) and it is, indeed, an impressive number with thirteen zeroes at the end. Try it yourselves.
A reason for concern and greater alarm for those who operate in the field of tourism is the involvement of the Parmatour group, whose main companies Going, Club Vacanze, Chiariva and Sestante made it an outstanding player in the tourist arena. Last spring, the lending banks, headed by Capitalia, had developed a plan to renegotiate a due of 311 million euros over the next five years. Let us hope they find a solution.
The year-end message from the Italian President exhorted confidence by saying: “confidence is everything”. Well, what kind of confidence can we place in a system which sometimes seems to operate as if it were governed by the rules and principles of card tricks performed by swindlers in the subway or at highway stops? (Rhetoric question).
Once again, however, with the new year, we start with regenerated energy, determination, and a desire to act and develop new ideas; we forget – or try to forget – the problems of the previous year, public or private, small and large difficulties and troubles, and start again pursuing our life projects with renewed enthusiasm. This is our strength

Translation of the Italian
editorial by Paola Praloran

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