Death by a Thousand Cuts

No not my cherry picking experiences but the Italian economy after yesterday’s reports from the Stats agency. But more of that in a minute. I am back from cherry picking after 3 days though I have my own trees coming on now. Mine are always a week or so later as are my figs, almonds and walnuts though I have no idea why.

Now a funny thing happened at the cherry picker dinner . I was sat opposite a guy with a gravely voice and white hair who engaged me in conversation during a short break in the wine being constantly poured into our glasses. How old he asked. 65 I replied . Ah a pensioner like me. Yes indeed I am. I then lost a little of what he was saying but picked up girls and Villa Castelli and Thursday being pension day. However the guy to my left fell about laughing and the guy to my right put his head in his hands and shook his head and then told the speaker to stop. No no I said, tell me slowly. Well it seems there are some very  “friendly” girls in a house in Villa Castelli and I was being invited to join the pensioners Thursday excursion ( after they pick up the pension money at the Post Office)  to visit them . I need say no more. I told you I meet all sorts at this dinners.

And so to those thousand cuts – no not the girls in Villa Castelli the Monti ones. Well he wanted austerity and he got it so it seems. 20% of Italian families can no longer afford to heat their homes to 18C in the winter, 17% can no longer afford to eat meat more than twice a week, 70% can no longer take a vacation  and there has been a 5% drop in their purchasing power . Oh and from being the greatest savers in the EU in 2011 they have dropped to almost bottom place in the league. But at least Monti reduced the public debt with all his cuts. Err no he didn’t in fact it went from 123% of GDP to 129% .  What kind of report card do you think his EU masters gave him. Top marks of course and if perma tan Lagarde loses her IMF job with this rather inconvenient ( as she describes it) fraud and embezzlement  charge then watch this space for our hero .

As an aside my daughter is off to see the Great Gatsby tomorrow night a movie I can’t wait to come to Italy. Whilst nothing like the book it is all 30’s extravaganza just like Busby Berkeley he of the hundreds of dancing girls and overhead camera shots  and I sent her this to get in the mood for the Great Gatsby.

I also mentioned that whilst rowing on my rower this is on my iPod  as well as Spencer Davis keep on running and the Stones start me up . She sent me one of her tunes she listens to on her bike.

There is no gender gap !! Keep pace to this and I would be in hospital.

Still my old boys are headlining at Glastonbury

and finally for today you remember the steel plant here in Taranto belching out fumes. Well in a new spirit of understanding between Italy and Jersey in the Channel Islands ( a tax haven off the coast of the UK)  the Italian tax boys ran the owner of the steel plant through the Jersey banking computer.  The Riva family seem to have somehow placed a mere €1.2Billion there . Well well well.



About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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