Friday, May 18, 2012

OF MORTAL COILS AND COINS

Bidding ends today for the concession to run Modica's municipal cemetery:  yes, in these hard times even death is being privatised and cemeteries are being sold all over Italy.  In one town in Campania, as we have seen, citizens are simply not allowed to die!

The Modica cemetery is full and bereaved relatives are having to bury their loved ones elsewhere, despite the fact that 1,200 citizens have each already paid a 50 percent deposit on a burial plot in their home town.

The company which wins the concession will be able to manage the cemetery for 26 years but representatives of Italy's three biggest trade unions in the town are, understandably, against the scheme.  They say that a council-run cemetery is a fundamental need of all citizens, on a par with their need for a water service.  And the citizens themselves?  According to local reports they do not much care who runs the cemetery - they just want  it to be expanded and to be managed efficiently.

Meanwhile one business that does not appear to have been hit by the economic crisis is that of undertaking and it was strange to see a row of fairy lights outside one funeral director's premises at Christmas.  Another undertaker whose premises are near my home has his drivers sitting outside, gossiping while they wait for custom [which always comes] in all seasons, weather conditions and at all hours - all hours, that is, except those of the siesta for no one in Modica, it seems, is so inconsiderate as to shuffle off this mortal coil during siesta.


On a cheerier note, you may like to read my article on the causes of longer life expectancy in Sicily for Times of Sicily today.


3 comments:

jams o donnell said...

Undertakers are one group that will never be short of business!

Nicholas Temple said...

I once read: "In the midst of good times and bad, undertakers whistle while they work."

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I think you're both right!

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