A strike affected classroom

A strike affected classroom

Italy is dominated by fraud, tax evasion and inequality; it’s also a country where the rich remain cushioned from the worst aspects of the economic crisis.

For all Mario Monti’s appearance of being a steadying hand, he has backed down from early promises to introduce a fairer and more transparent tax system which would mean that the wealthy pay more.

Meanwhile, the education system is a shambles, pensions are cut, public services go from and to worse and unemployment is still rising.

Even those fortunate enough to have found work are mostly on short-term contracts with practically no job security.

Today, for the umpteenth time this year, the main Italian unions called a general strike of public sector workers.

I participated by cancelling my lessons but wonder why I bothered. This type of action has become so common that the media coverage is practically non-existent and, aside from a little transport disruption, there is not much effect on the general public.

I lose a day’s pay so the state actually saves money. Withdrawal of labour is the age-old way to voice protest but rather than signifying a change of direction it’s a gesture that is as effective as pissing in the wind.