martedì 10 marzo 2009

Cement and Toxic Smog

Recently two very important news are circulating in Italy: they apparently are concerning two different issues but I think that they are strictly linked.

A) The first one involves the so called "house-plan" or the government's proposal to allow house enlargement with minimal licences and permissions. Considering the italian context, this measure is likely to act as a legalized abuse which won't stimulate the real estate market. In brief who doesn't own a house will keep on not having a house, while who already owns a house (for example a splendid villa) will have the possibility to enlarge it as he likes. This is a "house plan" for the usual referring electoral base of this government. So, the protests of the environmental associations to defend our already damaged landscapes and territories are highly motivated and justified.

Yet, this is missing the point. What is really surprising me is the wave of declarations of many gevernment's members stating that this house plan is a relevant stimulus to support economic development. Someone has also declared that construction sector is the main tool to stimulate economy.

I've got to say that personally these statements are out of my reach... Everyone in Italy perfectly knows that construction sector shows the higher use of illegal low-skilled workforce and moonlighting, and also a remarkable level of tax evasion. Everyone knowns the dramatic economic and environmental costs to local communities deriving from no-rule construction activites. The only taking benefits fomr this are building managers....

How can be possible to link economic development to construction sector? The madness of these declarations is emphasized by what is going on in the USA where economic development is linked to innovation and research.

B) The second news release inolves the case of the waste incinerator plant in Colleferro (near Rome). Here investigators have found that toxic wastes have been illegaly burnt for years together with normal wastes. Two waste ovens have been put under impound. 13 persons have been arrested for a long series of crimes from evnironemental and health crimes to administrative elusion, corruption, frauds and bribes.

For a minimal amount of money, the life and the health of the communities living close to this plant have been severely compromised and put at risk. I repeat, for a minimal amount of money and with the silence of our politicians.

What is correlating these two news?

Surely the dangerous link between political incapability, avidity, particular interests which presently is becoming in Italy a system of government.

In Italy a culture of development based on general interests and welfare for all completely lacks. Particular interests always find incentives to propagate finding also prompt interlocutors in a weak and unable political class.

And on these premises, this government is intending to build new nuclear plants....

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