If you are an expat, and you talk to "home", one of the most annoying questions you are asked is "but what do people say about us?". It is a reflection of that provincial culture in which neighbors spend their time gossiping. So if you exist then "the others" (s)talk about you.
In fact, it happened that some German newspapers did some unflattering articles on Italy, but considering the anti-German campaign that is being carried out by Repubblica and Corriere, it's not much.
Also because Germany is a country that is federal and decentralized in soul, every town has had its own newspaper for at least two hundred years, etcetera etcetera. So for the phenomenon of "bad-mouthing Italy" to become worrying, it would take, proportionally, about twenty cases a day.
The right answer would therefore be “no, almost all Germans really don't care”. Also because, to put it bluntly, the Germans are champions of umbilical observation: they are interested in what they call “DACH”, that is what happens in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (D, A, CH), the German-speaking countries.
And the politicians?
The truth is that Giorgia Meloni's politicians are of little interest. Not so much because they have problems of their own (in this case it would be convenient to talk about something else) but because one thing is clear in political opinion: the Italian government no longer has room for manoeuvre.
You will never see Meloni say "here is a profound school reform". There is no money. You will never see Meloni say "here is the new industrial policy". There is no money. You will never see Meloni say "here is the new energy policy". There is no money. (of the PNRR I mention later).
The truth is that all those who talk about politics (it's not even very common here) are well aware that Italy can only have bullshit governments. What do you mean?
Ban rave parties. A fundamental measure. No nation with rave parties will ever be an empire. Neither the Roman nor the Mongol empires had rave parties. And Napoleon lost when he tried to make one at Waterloo. The package is over. DVRA LEX SED LEX. The homeland is safe.
Discussing two hundred African migrants, leading to the diplomatic crisis. Two-hundred. Not even three hundred, that at least you were doing thermopylae. No, two hundred. A veritable invasion of Africans. Crucial. Ah, the harbor master's office. Bulwark of young chests in an impassable wall that defends the homeland! Forge of Heroes! The world follows the story with bated breath. Cover your daughters eyes.
The same financial "25 billion" and 'distributed in a myriad of bullshit measures that do not change anything relevant. Each of the sectors touched deserves considerable attention, with much more investment. But we're back to the symbolic bullshit.
As much as 11 euros a month from the cut in the tax wedge. The sun of the future unfolds in front of Italian families. I forgot: under the heading "long live the pussy" we have a lowering of VAT from 5% to 10% on intimate hygiene products and sanitary towels.
A package that previously cost 6 euros will now cost 5.5 or 5.75, depending on the category. Impressive. The land of the happy cunt. (for only 9.99 euros. But not ten).
I'm not sure how 25 billion can be spent on bullshit, but then I think of the family budget and notice the weight of the bullshit. You can spend a lot on bullshit, and you know it too.
But why should other countries care about bullshit? Perhaps the competing industries are threatened by the new Italian companies, driven by the mighty force of happy cunts, employees who earn 11 euros more a month and the security of having a white-skinned neighbour?
The answer is that it's irrelevant bullshit. Why should we talk about it? Just because the government uses them to fill the front pages of Italian newspapers? Or to hide the fact that there's nothing under the bullshit?
Ah yes, the PNRR. Basically, the Greek cure but with much more petroleum jelly. If you look at the Greek story, the so-called "Troika" did this:
- approved a figure to meet the debt maturities.
- in exchange for this amount the Greeks had to do something
- if they did thing X, they got installment Y in return.
This recipe was applied in a completely humiliating way for the Greek people, to the point of causing riots.
Italy, on the other hand, was given the PNRR. Which consists in:
- the ECB approves a figure to avoid speculation on the Italian debt.
- in exchange for this figure, the Italians had to do something
- if you do the thing project X, you receive tranche Y in return.
You understand that in fact what was done with Greece is being done on Italy, the plating changes and the marketing operation is conducted much better.
This is very clear to all politicians, and to the whole political scene.
So you understand that no one cares about the Italian government: whether it's right-wing or left-wing bullshit, nobody does things that could really cause trouble.
It's like broadcasting a tennis match won over the table because the opponent is in a coma attached to two drips: how can we comment on his match? I don't know.
Douglas Adams would have used the same definition of Italy that the Galactic Guide gave of the Earth.
“Mostly Harmless”. Little harmful in practice.
This is why it is rarely talked about.
So, if you have an expat relative, I propose an alternative question: "Do you love your mum or your dad more?". It's an equally annoying question, but at least it doesn't force the poor guy to explain to you that you don't count shit and nobody gives a damn about a rave party in Modena.
Sure, "do you love mom or dad better" is also a bullshit question. As children, when Zia Rancida™ made it, we would smirk and look away innocently. Aunt Rancida™ laughed flirting with our innocence, while we thought “Satan, please, impale this bitch on a barbed beam, for eternity” . The innocence of children, isn't it?
Then came the tip of fifty thousand lire and then maybe you softened (“Okay, Satan, D2 steel, so it doesn't rust and the blade of the thorns doesn't make ribs. That today we are good”).
And therefore, there are two cases: either you extend 50,100,500 euros every time you ask an expat "but what do they say about us there?", or, I warn you:
thorns will rust.