Italian Politics – Hoping it won’t be like The Leopard

As we wait for news of the full extent of Mario Monti’s manoeuvre to fix Italy’s economic woes, I can’t help but think of the Leopard. Il Gattopardo, one of Italy’s greatest novels, about the changes that might ensue as Italy moved towards unification in 1860 and what that would mean for Sicily’s aristocracy. The Prince of Salina declares that everything must change so that nothing will. I’m getting an uneasy feeling whether or not sacrifices will be shared across the board or if everything will change so everything stays the same. I hope not but after spending the day with someone here in New York who was active in Italian politics for 25 years, I am nervous.

That said, the same is true here in America. That is also driving me to drink more wine :(.

On a positive note, it’s incredible to think that the New York Times is now writing full page articles about Italy’s President whose career i have followed for two decades and Paul Krugman, an economist I greatly admire, says his first order of business each day is to look at the Italian bond spread, what I used to write about for Dow Jones.

All of this makes me happy because it means that the fullness of Italy as a country is finally coming into people’s consciousness. For so long, Italy meant “pizza, mafia and mandolino” to many. Italy is so much more than all of this. Let’s see what happens today. I have my fingers crossed and am making other good luck gestures.

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