Thursday, March 28, 2013


Prima ri parrari mastica 'i palori.
Before you speak, chew your words.
- Sicilian proverb

Oh dear, oh dear - it all began so well! Some of you may remember that in November, the then newly elected Governor of Sicily, Rosario Crocetta, announced that he wanted a "committee of intellectuals" to be involved in governing the region. Among those he appointed were the singer and composer Franco Battiato, as Regional Councillor for Culture with Special Responsibility for Tourism and Entertainment, and the scientist Antonino Zichichi as Councillor for Cultural Heritage.

These were popular appointments but, sadly, both men were removed from their posts yesterday, Mr Zichichi mostly for absenteism but also because of policy disagreements with Mr Crocetta and a possible conflict of interests regarding the physicist's son. However, Mr Zichichi may continue to serve the regional government as a consultant.

It is the dismissal of Franco Battiato that has generated the most headlines, as it came as a direct result of comments he made at the European Parliament in Brussels, where he used a very offensive word, particularly to women, to describe Italian parliamentarians who were, he said, "ready to do anything". The comments caused shock all over Italy and Mr Crocetta clearly felt that an apology was not enough. Mr Battiato said that he had not been referring to the current parliament but the remarks have been interpreted as an insult to the institution itself and, therefore, to democracy.  

Personally, I don't think Mr Crocetta had an alternative but perhaps the problem with a "committee of intellectuals" is that its members may be too intelligent for politics?

"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence."
Franco Battiato - La canzone dell'amore perduto


Angus Dei said...

Things never change Welshcakes-especially politicians:)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Seems so, Angus. Happy Easter. x


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