Italian Politics…Are We There Yet?

What do Silvio Berlusconi, the Greek War hero, Ulysses, and bridge-shadowed fish have in common?  Hmmm…?  I’ll give you a hint. I read about them all, in the same article, this morning.

Sunday and Monday are the big election days in Italy, and although I can’t yet vote, I have had my fill of Italian politicians. But, why should I be any different?

They can’t make decisions, they wantonly squander tax-payer dollars, ahem…euros, and, is it just me, or is Silvio looking younger every election?

But, I digress…the article.

Apparently Ulysses attempted to pass the Straits of Messina, crew in tow, met with heavy winds and turbulent waters, and crashed into what is now, Taormina, Sicily.

A few thousand years later, in 1865 to be exact, the Italian governement proposed building a bridge to unite Sicily with mainland Italy, a.k.a, Calabria. That was 142 years ago.

There is no bridge.

It is important to note the Bridge Project (as I’ll call it here) has never been scratched, but rather has been actively pursued…for the last 142 years.

In this time, many a person has researched, drafted, and planned for the bridge. Even French sea explorer, Jacques Cousteau got in on the action, conducting a study to determine the effects the bridge’s shadow would have on sea life.

And, here we are, April 2008, and the Bridge Project is a hot election item. Berlusconi supports finishing the bridge and claims doing so will jolt the economy and infuse patriotism into Italian hearts. His rival, Walter Veltroni, wants to focus on what he calls, more realistic goals, and improve Italian roads and school systems.

It will be an interesting weekend. Yet, I can’t help but wonder. Win or lose, Silvio or Walter, will this bridge ever be built? And, if so. When?

Read the full article here.

Also, visit Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy for her addition of La Buona Cucina Americana…bacon baked beans and all!

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