Tuesday, July 10, 2007

RACISM OR BUREAUCRACY?

Fifteen schoolchildren from a group of thirty-eight were refused free admission [normally accorded to EU citizens under eighteen or over sixty-five] to the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento on Thursday. The fifteen were all children of non-EU immigrants but were Italian citizens. The clerk at the entrance seems to have been over-zealous in applying the regional rule that those wishing to have free admission should be in possession of proof of nationality. The Minister of Social Solidarity has condemned the decision outright as an act of racism. The administrators of the Valle are obviously very embarrassed and have offered to pay for another trip for the children but the hurt has been caused and the damage done, as became clear when one of the children was interviewed on TV at lunchtime. How would these children set out again with anything like the excitement and anticipation they must have felt on Thursday? Would you blame the incident on Italy's bureaucratic procedures or do you agree with the Minister?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would like to think it is bureaucracy, heaven knows how much of that is in the EU. I would suspect there might be a little racism involved.

lady macleod said...

That is too difficult a call for me without further data I think. I am with steve g , I hope for bureaucracy. And as we know there is a great deal of ineptness involved with that job description...

On the other tangent - I can't wait to be 65; there is so much free stuff and discounts, just for staying alive! cool.

Crushed said...

Somewhere in between. It is a over-officious decision, made on the basis of racism.

jmb said...

I also suspect it's a bit of both, since I have certainly seen both in Italy, in spades.

Ellee Seymour said...

I rememember my English father telling me that when he was in Greece with my lovely Greek mum, he was charged admission at a museum, while the Greeks were not. He protested as he had fought for the Greeks during the war, he felt he should be exempt. He then spoke in Greek and told "the old hag", in her native tongue, that she was very beautiful. It did the job and he gained free admission. My dear dad. I wish he was still with us.

Lord Nazh said...

Everyone blames the officials or racism?...

could be both, but is it a known rule that you have to have this proof or a rule that the parents didn't know until they got there?

If the rule is known, then there is your blame. It doesn't excuse a bad rule (or law) but not following the rules means you don't get the benefits.

Eurodog said...

Racism, bureaucracy and a good dose of stupidity, I think.

marymaryquitecontrary said...

I think it was probably someone in a uniform, showing how important they think they are. Poor disappointed children.

Anonymous said...

You wonder if they met a Jobsworth on the wrong day at the wrong time...but if the 'system' was wrong, the 'system' is perhaps to blame rather than the person operating the 'system'.
Except, of course, the operator was the one with the eyes...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Interesting comments on this one. I think it was a "jobsworth" [as Shirl says] applying the rule to the letter but of course only one thing could have led the official to question the right of the children to the free tickets - the colour of their skin. LN, yes, it's a bad rule. The organisers of the trip were a charitable organisation , not the parents or a school and it has to be said that they should, perhaps, have double-checked by phone the day before. It is a rule that everyone should carry a document in Italy but you wouldn't normally expect that to be applied to minors on an organised trip. The region [which is the whole of Sicily] is now considering changing the regulation so that all under 18 and all over 65 can have free admission, regardless of nationality. I still think it was awful that the children were so blatantly made to feel "different" in front of their peers. Lady M, well, I won't say "roll on 65" as in my case it's a bit too near anyway! Ellee, your Dad sounds like he was a charmer! I wish he was here for you, too.

u'puppu said...

Lets hope it is racism, I am sick of coming to Sicily and seing all those damn muslims, the arab invasion accured centuries ago and they brought enlightenement, great recipes and mutual respect for different nationalities to Sicily, All the new muslims bring destruction, and ill will, and yes Sicilians do hate them and want them out, anyone would, they are nothing but trouble. they can all leave as far as I am concerned.

u'puppu said...

Look I dont know the details, but I am sure that many of these kids were from muslim families that recently immigrated to Italy. From what I have seen on my visits, they do not belong there in the first place. The first muslim invaders brought culture, science, recipes and respect. This wave have only brought trouble, they publicly denounce the european lifestyle and have defaced various monuments around the island, so if Sicilians give the muslims cold shoulders it is not without cause. As far as I am concerned if a few dont want to play nice they can all leave, Sicily is too nice be ruined by a nare do well and ill willed people who refuse to understand Sicily and refuse to coexist.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, u'puppu. you obviously have very strong feelings on this. I agree with you that the original arab invasion brought so much that was good to Sicily and of course Palermo once set an example to the world with Arab, Jew and Christian living side by side peacefully. I also agree that if you move to another country the onus is on you to adapt and integrate. British people, too, get fed-up with constant attacks on our culture. I'm not sure you can blame a whole people, though, or punish their children.

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