Friday, July 28, 2006


Two more news items:

The tide of human misery continues to surge towards Sicily: in the past fortnight, it is reported, more than 2,000 clandestini [illegal would-be immigrants] have arrived by boat and are at the reception centre on Lampedusa. Obviously, such a small island cannot cope and the German government has offered to help police the situation. What terrible desperation these people must feel. In the international media, I read and see quite a lot of articles about how the boatloads of arrivals are affecting Spain [the Canaries] and Malta [which also feels itself to be overwhelmed and has asked for help from the rest of the EU], but little about how Sicily is affected.
Most pharmacies are on strike again today and in some towns there is chaos at the one or two emergency ones which are open. Yesterday there was a long queue at the nearest one in this area and the pharmacist said he was concerned about public opinion turning against them. As I said on Wednesday, the strikes are in protest at a proposal to allow medication to be sold in supermarkets. The government says taking this step will bring prices down; yet a survey shows that prices in Italian pharmacies are already among the lowest in Europe. [My monthly asthma prescription costs 4 euros, for instance, as compared to £6.50 in Britain. I know this charge has changed in Wales since I left. I find most non-prescription medicines cheaper, too.]

What I would like to be able to purchase in supermarkets are natural health remedies and supplements. I cannot understand why a bottle of vitamin B pills - which are supposed to keep the zanzare [ mosquitoes] off you - can cost as much as 19 euros as compared to about £1.99 in a UK supermarket!

1 comment:

beethoven writes said...

ah yes Lampedusa. I saw pictures on the news when I was out in Sicily. It's a beautiful island.

maybe you can order online?



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