May 5, 2010

Athens burns

Many feared this would happen, and it has. Three people were killed and four were seriously injured when an Athens bank went up in flames as an estimated 100,000 people took to the streets to protest against harsh austerity measures aimed at saving the country from bankruptcy. Here is a video of the protests (see other videos  here):

And here is a france24english TV report:

Forget about soccer for a moment...

Italy’s national soccer coach Marcello Lippi, speaking at the start of a two-day training camp on Tuesday:

Italy is never the favorite for the World Cup and that helps. But look at our history. We’ve won four times and lost once to Brazil on penalties. If we had won that shootout we would have five World Cups now and Brazil would have four. […] They say a lot of things in the rest of the world, but Italy has always been a protagonist at the World Cup and I’m extremely confident that this group is going to do great as well.

True. Absolutely. Never the favorite, but … There is something weird in this. But this is not just a soccer issue, this is a much wider one. Forget about soccer for a moment and think of other fields—such as the economy, to give an example—to which the above “rule” may be applied. But this theory can be easily turned upside down: if recent Italian political history teaches us anything, it is that (here) bad things happen when you less expect. That’s also why Italy is a mystery to most people, including the Italians. No way to escape.

PS: Speaking of “bad things” and bad news, this—whether unexpected or not…—could be a perfect example of how not to behave in politics (unlike the second act of the play).