Many will remember how in 2008 the Garbage crisis won the headlines all over the world showing how Naples and its region was chocking under piles of uncollected rubbish.
Everyone was crying at that time the despicable situation and this crisis was one of the main reasons for the previous centre-left government going down and being replaced by the current one with Berlusconi as prime minister. Once in power Berlusconi promptly organized a media coverage of its successful intervention to quell the crisis and clean up the streets, in reality he simply hid the trash proverbially under the carpet by moving it to the rural areas and giving the impression of a mission accomplished. In reality this crisis was never solved, uncollected garbage has become part of the landscape now for 20 years but occasionally for political or business convenience was temporarily solved with the cooperation of the local mafia. Now that a former judge and arch-enemy of the Prime Minister has become the mayor of Naples suddenly the crisis is exploding again at new heights. Trash is again piling up on the streets of Naples and this time despite the gravity of the situation there is no mention of it on the foreign press, either they want to avoid further embarrassment and alarm on a country that is being targeted by rating agencies on his colossal debt and lack of productivity or simply there is no interest for a never-ending crisis that would have toppled down any other government in a matter of days everywhere else in the world.
If we want to look for a symbol of the state of a country I think there is none more powerful then this, a government unable to provide the most basic of services to its population. The message coming from Naples is that an entire country is rotting and not only in the sunny Naples while the government is fiddling.
To give an idea of the scale of the problem below some images from Naples:
For further details in English on the garbage emergency read here