Monday, April 20, 2009

Cuts and "extraneous" expenses?

It's a real shame to realize that this country's politicians and so selfish that this insist on having Italy vote for an electoral reform referendum after the European parliament elections and not at the same time. It is clearly a move on the part of the Lega Nord (Northern League) in the hope that not enough voters will cast their ballot for a referendum alone to make the vote valid. This way, the initiative will not pass, something that could hurt Lega's power as an autonomous party in Italy. The cost of this "extra" referendum day is estimated at between Euro 330m and 400m: closing public schools, paying for everything involved in this kind of vote.

This comes at a time when Italy has passed some critical cuts in school expenditures. The Minister of Education has decided to abolish the second teacher presence in the classroom for elementary school children. The problem is that currently the classes are growing in size and a single teacher will surely struggle at keeping up with the entire class' discipline, let alone be able to teach effectively. The Minister has declared that the savings from this decision will be Euro 287m. Looking at the figures, wouldn't it be smarter to keep the co-presence for the youngsters, maybe even spoiling them with attention to make them a brighter leading body for the future, and unify the referendum vote with an Election Day which is already on the calendar?

Yet again, the politicians are looking out for themselves and not the good of the country.

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