Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Buon Giorno, Putin! Have we gotta deal for you!

Photo from Il Fatto Quotidiano
In the middle of Italy's prolonged economic crisis, which is still ongoing, Berlusconi's Defense Minister La Russo decided to throw motor oil atop the festering flames of a population forced to hear "we don't have the money" for nursery schools or hospital toilet paper or school repairs. He did what any despotic dictator would do, and purchased 19 Maserati's for his cronies errr...commanders to the tune of 2.2 M euro. Saying they were low budget items, like no-name brand toothpaste, he said that he not only saved the country money vis-a-vis Audi's, but that it helped create jobs for those poor folks slaving away on the Maserati assembly line. After all, it was a world economic crisis and those cars just weren't in high demand.
This year, many of these infamous auto blu - dark blue sedans for politicians - went up for auction, as part of an austerity program instigated by, I believe, former short-term Prime Minister, Monti. And while most of the standard cars (about 200) went for sale, it seems no one - not even the idly rich political class wants to pay the VAT (Value Added Tax) on a used vehicle.
So, the government went to ebay.
Unfortunately, it appears that the dark windows and bullet-proof doors aren't for everyone. Not even the mafia nor the camorra.  
So, Silvio?  You're good friends with Putin...why don't you play the middleman? I'm sure these kinds of cars are in big demand over there.  And maybe the Italian government would even give you a percentage on the deal. 


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