The corruption

corruzione.jpgItaly is known for mafia – the word mafia is an Italian word. Also la cucina italiana (Italian cuisine) is well-known and everybody knows pizza. Then maybe (hopefully) a little bit less known fact is that Italy is a very badly corrupted country. Every year Transparency International publishes the corruption perception index. Italy’s rank is 61!!! Finland is the second least corrupted country. Ten days ago Guardia di Finanza (Financial Guard) arrested the responsible of the healthcare system in Lombardy. Yesterday MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research) made a blitz to some private schools due to some irregularities.

Cecenia-a-scuola-di-corruzione_large.jpgI’m extremely surprised to read that here in Italy and in this case in Lombardy there are private schools that promise to pass the students from matriculation examination if parents pay a nice sum of money. In some schools students didn’t even go to school, but despite of their absence teachers marked them as present at school. Teachers gave positive votes automatically. This all functioned, because some families were ready to pay tangenti (bribes) to secure that their child got through the school and received a diploma. As a foreigner I’m still shocked about this –  especially because one school involved in this scandal, is the school that I know pretty well.  Once again I feel that I will never learn to understand this country and the Italian mentality, maybe my handicap is being grown up in the Finnish culture.

wpid-guardia-di-finanza6.jpgThen about 10 days ago Guardia di Finanza arrested some important politicians here in Lombardy. I also learnt that one of them lives here in our neighborhood.  In this case some politicians helped their friends win some call for tenders and naturally then the politicians got some benefit from these arrangements. There was one society that won always the call for tenders in orthodontics. The police intercepted phone calls where responsible persons mentioned that the material they used was of inferior quality. They created fake waiting lists in the public healthcare system and advised patients to use the private sector.

vernazza1.jpgItaly is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Italian wines are fantastic, la cucina italiana world famous. Therefore I wonder why they want to ruin this country. There must be some historical roots in this corruption culture and I’m afraid we have to go as far as the Roman empire to find the roots. In the normal life one doesn’t see corruption or mafia (at least here in the Northern Italy). Nobody wants to corrupt me and I don’t even know how the corruption works in practice. Unfortunately after all these corruption news, I wonder should I move to another country, can I accept that corruption is widely accepted and considered as something normal. On the other hand I love this country and I don’t want to move away, but there is always this but in my mind.

Football alias calcio


I won’t talk about football as a game, but about the behavior of the audience, in this case mainly about the behavior of parents. My daughter has played football in a boy team and now in a girl team. She played with boys when she was between 8-11 years old. During those years I rarely met bad behavior from parents side, but from coaches yes. Some coaches yelled at the referees and a couple of time some of the coaches were suspended for a limited period of time. The thing that shocked me most was that once I asked why teams don’t use some young football players as referees and pay them a little bit. The answer was that they can’t because coaches and parents yell and insult regularly referees. I couldn’t believe that this was just a fact, nothing scandalous according to them.

Then for a couple of years my daughter didn’t play football. During these years I participated to tennis and judo games in which my children participated. There was a respect towards referees in all the matches I saw. Then this autumn a girl team asked her, because they needed a goalkeeper, to join the team. So, I found myself again among other parents and inside the football culture. I have already written how difficult it was to register her to FIGC.

Now I have had an opportunity to watch several matches. Her coach is a gentleman, doesn’t insult referees and only gives advises to players when needed. But the parents. In the last match there was a man (I presume a father of a player) among the adversary parents that shouted and commented to the referee and to players in a really arrogant way. Unfortunately there were some other parents with him that did the same thing. The referee was a young guy with very little experience. However we have to remember that we talk about the match between the teams that are composed of girls born between 2001-2003. Still in this category important is to play and have fun. In the end of the match one girl from adversary team was so arrogant when she said to referee: “oh, ciao arbitro!”, but from the tone of her voice and her body language everybody understood that it was an insult. Then one of adversary team’s parents shouted to girl: “Get angry during the match, not afterwards”.

Yesterday evening I watched from TV serie A match between Lazio and Napoli. In one point the referee interrupted the match due to some racist comments from public. I ask is this the culture we want to transfer to our children? Is this educative?