Friday, October 05, 2012

Sicilian Austerity Crushes Little Pantelleria But Armani Parties On



Port of Scauri, Pantelleria Island. ©2012 Turtle Heart


Armani's black yacht at Pantelleria port,  Summer 2012 ©2012 Turtle Heart
....special, from the Home of the Four Directions Unity Bundle....
I live on the little Mediterranean island of Pantelleria. It is an island of gardens and farmers, rather than fishermen. It is 25 miles north of Africa. It is a sweet and charming place. It produces the world's best capers, as well as a unique sweet wine called Passito. It is a wine made entirely by hands, without machines.





Armani and other so-called celebrities like Carol Bouquet of France talk about, exploit and seem to cherish their vacation homes on the little island. You can rarely read an article about Armani which does not mention is Pantelleria home.
In 1974 Pantelleria produced 2.6 million bottles of wine.
In 2012 Pantelleria produced 300,000 bottles of wine.
The 2013 wine production (now) looks to be less, far less.
The Sicilian government took away one of the two transport ferries that serve Pantelleria from Sicilia. The other boat is available only four days each week, providing the sea is passable. So this year, as the trucks carrying grapes to go to Sicilia lined up to get on the one boat, there was no space. So the grapes were eventually put in the trash. This was in August and September.
Now, in October, the dried grapes used to make Passito are being left on the earth.
There are only a few very small facilities on the island for fermenting and bottling Pantelleria wine. All over the island grapes are in the trash or going brown on the vine.
On the other hand, Armani, Bouquet, the clueless Bishop of Trapani, and all the other rich one per cent vacation home owners celebrated, recently, the opening of the beautiful new international airport….and the Pantesche were not invited, not one of them. The local people were surrounded by Italian National Police officers, armed with rifles, and kept standing in the sun and told to say not a word for the hours during which Armani and other self-satisfied celebrities were entertained in the air-conditioned spacious new airport. The Bishop of Trapani, wearing his sunglasses and Armani designed phoney priest robes blessed the rich celebrities, politicians and engineers of Italy and said not one word to the people and population of Pantelleria Island.
The island has lost most of the emergency services at the little worthless hospital. For a while there was a helicopter to take emergencies to Trapani….that is being pulled out in a few weeks. Leaving us with no emergency services at all beyond the basic broken bone.
The contrast between the rich and selfish elite of Italy going into the airport in their fine clothes, arriving in helicopters, private planes and private yachts….while the people who live here every day were kept standing in the sun, bullied by the police is really stark. The rich people who “love” their vacation island give nothing at all to the island. They only take, and then take some more.
Now, today, the island has lost its most important treasure, its rare and unique double-harvest grapes which make one of the world’s most interesting wines, all gone, put into the trash.
This portfolio of bad news came shortly after the Governor of the island was arrested and removed from office for being a criminal.
Italy’s path to auesterity has apparantly been engaged with the idea of crushing the economy and life of its smallest islands.
What is next?

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