We were in Rome the same time German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, had a little chat with the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti on July 4, 2012. According to our well-informed waiter at the restaurant right next to the Ministry of Labor, Germany had demanded a 20 percent cut in salaries for civil servants and a 10 percent of public middle management had to go. Which did not please our very talented waiter, they were very good tippers those middle managers at the Ministerto del Lavoro.
So we came up with some additional changes to bring in much-needed revenue to the Italian Government, I mean really the place is a shambles.
I. Turn off the water.
I understand the fountains. They are pretty and people love them but the drinking fountains don’t have an on or off switch. That is just throwing away a wonderful natural resource. Save your water for when people really need it and turn off the water. We can turn the faucet to get the water out, it’s not that hard.
II. Don’t turn the lights on during the daytime.
This is a no brainer. We don’t need street lights on at four pm in the middle of the summer. It doesn’t get dark until nine, save your nuclear energy for something important like slicing prosciutto.
III. Deposit on bottles.
This will serve two purposes, clean up the streets and eliminate begging. The people who are now begging will make much more money picking up all the bottles that the tourists throw away making your cities and towns much prettier places.
VI. Tax the street vendors.
Ahhh the wonderful street vendors selling knock offs of your Guccis and Fendis. So far, you haven’t been able to keep ahead of them. The little men selling cold beers on the Spanish Steps, you chase them away but they are back a few minutes later, not to mention the ones selling those annoying helicopters and laser pointers at the Trevi Fountain. Tax them. Make them come in weekly and buy a color coded badge to wear around their neck for that week so that the Carabinieri can see from a distance that they have paid their fee. If we start with 20 euro per seller per week and let’s say there are 1000 street vendors in Rome that is 20 000 euro per week or one million per year just in Rome.
V. Dog tax.
All dogs must be registered and DNA samples taken. Then offenders can be fined when a cross check reveals that they didn’t pick up the poo. http://www.pooprints.com/index.php/en/
VI. Copyright Rome, Roma, Italy and Italia.
Everybody is cashing in on your name but you. Why should some manufacturer in China make millions selling goods with your name printed all over it. Copyright it and make them pay to use it. You will rack in loads and loads of cash!
VII. Raise the taxes on cigarettes.
Italy is like a gigantic smoking festival. Everybody smokes everywhere. The whole city of Rome smells like an ashtray. Raises the taxes on cigarettes so that people will buy less, smoke less, and quite possibly throw less cigarette butts on your national treasures.
VIII. Tax signage.
We saw some crazy examples of over signage. No one can process so many signs. Here you could have simplified: hotels to left and restaurants to the right.
IX. Buy garbage.
I understand that this one is a little complicated but you have a garbage problem. Take it to the people – offer citizens money for garbage. Unsorted: x Euros per kilo, Sorted: slightly more Euros per kilo. This would also give beggars a potential income and the streets will never have been so clean!
X. Container housing on the Tiber.
Yeah, I saw all those people sleeping along the train tracks in on the way in from the airport. Not pretty Rome. You need to give those people a better option. No available real estate, you say? Not so my friend, there is plenty of space down by the Tiber. You can put up thousands of container houses in that area for low-income, students and even tourists.
Ok, I hope you are pleased with my list. I spent a better part of my vacation looking pretty critically at your dirty dilapidated cities and don’t think for a minute that we tourists don’t notice to how you have piddled away world treasures. We notice but because of your yummy pizza and nice weather we let it go until we get home and see how filthy and run down your whole country is. Sooner or later this appreciation for shabby chic will be over and you Italy, will have to get out your paint brushes again and start cleaning things up. Until then try to put some money aside so you can pay the workman when the time comes.