Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sciopero!



Never a dull moment around here--“Sciopero” is Italian for “strike”.  The first strike since we moved that could affect us.  Monday started a 7-day strike by the truckers across the Republic of Italy.  It’s all about the higher fuel costs and increasing road taxes for all of us--a government austerity measure intended to help the financial crisis. The papers are giving the strike coverage, but television is still focused on the cruise ship debacle.  Diesel now is around €1,77/L   Benzina(gas) is about €1,82/L

What can such a strike do?  Well, if you are building something, you cannot get fill material or concrete because all those big trucks are stopped.  Around the country it means no fuel deliveries to fueling stations. It means no deliveries of groceries to the markets.

I topped-off my fuel the day before this started, so will survive if all ends this weekend.





As I started writing this on Thursday we were into the 4th day. In our village, there was a run on diesel Monday night and by midday Tuesday it was gone.  Today there is no diesel remaining between San Nicola Arcello and Santa Maria del Cedro.  About 25 miles along the coastal highway. In the larger cities, they were running out sooner.  Remember the majority of vehicles here are diesel.


Thursday the supermarkets really didn’t look all that bad and if the strike ends this weekend, there will be plenty of food.  I found empty shelves with some popular pasta, but some involved goods that had been on sale!   If Sicily has a 2-week strike, they are in trouble. People will likely get upset there.

At school Thursday, we learned that the provincial buses have cut their runs in half because of the fuel shortage, and starting this evening, the national trains are on-strike for 24 hours to show solidarity with the truckers. At least there is a little warning before a strike begins and they end on a schedule. A lot of people use those buses back and forth to Cosenza each day so there is an impact that will be felt. Our teacher said she can drive from Belvedere if she has to.

We don’t think this whole thing will have enough of an effect on the public to get the government to budge. Premier Monti wants to go after tax evaders, which is a serious problem here, but those types of change take time.  More than one Italian has mentioned that Italians “don’t like to follow rules (related to taxes)”. Eh!

Guido

Strikers stopped this guy who was not playing the game and escorted him off the highway

6 comments:

  1. Great pictures as usual! I saw some pictures on various Italian news sites where it looked like the striking truckers completely shut down major roads in Caserta, Napoli and some other towns. It is hard to fathom these strikes being an American living in the country.

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  2. Hi Gil! Good to hear from ya. Eh! Di niente! Everyone interviewed on TV says the strikers are right. At least everyone we understood...

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  3. Are all those trucks just parked next to the beach there? Fab photos.

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  4. Hi Sue,
    yup, you got it right. All lined up in the area usually inhabited by "the lemmings" in August.

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  5. It seems we were lucky that the strike did not cause us any problems on our journey home at the end of last week. It is snowing here so I am enjoying staying warm and catching up with all my blogging friends.

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