Italy trembling with fear and polemic

Italy trembling with fear and polemic

Northern Italy will always remember May and June 2012 as one of the most difficult times of the noughties. May the 20th 2012 was the exact date in which the land started to shake. The epicentre was the region of Emilia, but other neighbouring areas were also affected like Tuscany, Veneto, Lombardia, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia.


After that date, people thought the worst was over, but they were sadly mistaken. In fact, other tremors were recorded on May, 29th and in the following days, causing the death of some workers who lost their lives due to the collapse of warehouses which were not built in conformity with the earthquake-proof regulations, being this territory considered out of risk. the earthquake measured 3.6 points on the Richter Scale, reaching also higher peaks, and hit mostly the province of Modena, Ferrara and Mantua, causing the death of 17 people.

The situation seems to be currently safer, even if people are really scared and have not still returned to normality as a lot of them are still living in special camps organised for the evacuees.

Some monuments and historic places have been damaged and are now considered at high risk of collapse.

The earthquake has not only hit the upper part of the country, but the whole boot, lo 'stivale', as it is often referred to for its geographical shape. In fact, despite the difficult and serious situation urging silence and sympathy, criticism has rose around the facts: all controversy, as per usual, turns mainly around political factors and choices.

The saddest provocation came from the Northern League. Borghezio, one of the members of the party, who perhaps wanted to move the attention away from the scandal of the party, uttered the following statement: "quelli del Sud piagnoni, separiamoci da quell'Italia di m...a! (People from the south are moaners, let's divide from that s...ty part of Italy"). Referring to the earthquake that took place in 1980, he accused people from the south of making themselves martyrs and not wanting to get down to work. That out-of-place sentence was not appropriate for such a sad situation and more respect towards all the people who have tackled such a difficult moment could have been shown, no matter their origins.

Next to this episode, other heavy criticism has been raised around the so-called sprechi, economic wastes, of which Italy has been accused of for the parade of June 2nd , the day of the Italian Republic. In fact, a lot of Italians were in favour of giving the money destined to the parade to the inhabitants of the places devastated by the earthquake, but this proposal was totally ignored.

Italy sometimes differs badly from other Western countries in terms of choices, and in this occasion too we found a country that is able to trigger polemics even when there should not be. Perhaps it was not the right occasion to enter into debates, but it would have certainly been right to support the victims and people suffering this difficult period: perhaps through silence.



The Author

Translator and freelance writer.