But before that a quick look at the surreal world of Italian politics. Last Friday the Deputy President of the Senate sr. Calederoli of the Lega Nord said of  the new Immigration Minister who hails from The Congo that she looks like an orangutan. Obviously there was outrage and calls for his resignation.  The Lega Nord is a political party that apparently has an anti immigration policy though they claim that it is untrue they only oppose immigration from muslim states ! The Lega also want Italy to split into federal states with almost total autonomy and indeed have often asked for a total break with the south. So after this gaffe over the weekend the spin doctors in the party have been burning the midnight oil to come up with a credible story and here it is. Sr. Calderoli  loves animals and sees animals in all the people he meets. The Premier looks like a stork the justice minister a gazelle and so on. Orangutans are in fact his favourite animal and so his remark reflects that the lovely lady is his favourite minister !! okay well the Lega spin doctors aren’t known for their brilliance.

Yesterday the new Commsioner of the ILVA steel plant in Taranto made a speech on his findings after his few weeks in the job. He declared that the unusually high level of cancerous tumours and cancer in general was caused not by the pollution ILVA were pumping into the atmosphere but by the Tarantese who clearly smoked far too much!

So he is tossing out the World Health findings , the EU Environmental study etc and blaming it on smoking. He was appointed by the government with the almost impossible brief of keeping the plant going at all cost but try to clean it up at the same time. However even  the vilified Riva family who own the plant and have pocketed millions from it, hiding most in off shore banks never tried to say it was all caused by smoking.

There have been calls today for his resignation, maybe it is time for him to move down here with his family and live next to the plant  and test the theory.

I posted on June 17th about the ATM raids taking place down here. Well they has been another one this time in San Michelle and they did well this time scooping €60,000. It seems the gang are doing two a month now and the police are no nearer uncovering who they are or catching them. They have however released their findings so far. The gang only do them at weekends when the banks are closed and the cash machines are filled. They hit them in the early hours, use gas to blow them out of the walls and are operating in a narrow triangle of Cisternino , Vito Dei Normanni and Villafranca

Now these Holmesian style deductions are to be honest fairly basic don’t you think. I mean if I was doing it I would hit them when full etc. You can see from the map that the area isn’t big though quite why the gang are only hitting there means they will eventually run out of ATMs.

The police have set up roadblocks on Saturday nights but as always here I wonder which police. we have an amazing number of forces; Carabinieri , State, Municipal, Town and Local. Take your pick but it seems none work with the other and each value their total independence from the others. Guess we might be a little nearer as to discovering why the gang is still at large. So two a month €120,000 each month split three ways , and all you do is nick a car  ( Bari is the car theft capital of Italy ) lift a gas barrel and you have a nice little earner. Maybe the police should look for someone with friends in Turin.

Oh and talking of nice little earners I heard yesterday that a car rental company operating at almost all Italian airports has fitted GPS tracking to their cars. This company take €2,000 off your credit card in case of theft. They then track your car and when parked use the spare keys to steal it. They deduct your excess and then bring you another car. Your car is rented out again and on the scam goes. Nice work if you can get it.


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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One Response to ATMs

  1. Sam Brunetti says:

    You would have a hard time convincing my mom who is from Taranto that smoking is causing all this cancer. Her brother who was not a smoker worked for ILVA for many years and died of cancer along with many of his friends. I remember when I was a child visiting my grandparents in Taranto and not being able to breathe when I walked down the street.

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