The Italian Tsunami: we are loving it!
The wind of change is blowing on Italy. Following the Pope’s step down, on February 24, 2013, the Italian political elections took place with astonishing results.
The M5S or “5 star movement,” guided by the standing comedian Beppe Grillo, has unexpectedly become the first political force in the Italian Parliament, with 25.55% of the votes.
It is extraordinary that one person, a comedian, who has for more than 20 years brought to the attention of his audience the most incredible facts that were affecting people in Italy as well as in the rest of the world, is now leading the most powerful political movement in Italy. Millions of people have started to support the 5 Star Movement, guided by common sense and the desire to change, independently of any ideology or political affiliation. Internet, with all its social networks, and the very effective use of streaming TV, have been the simple, democratic and revolutionary tools used by them.
These are citizens who, out of generosity, have chosen to use some of their time and resources to give their contribution to the rest of the people in their country. In the last 5 years or so, Beppe Grillo and his Movement have provided independent and transparent information, which is much needed, given the fact that all of the media, including newspapers and TVs, are owned and manipulated by a few individuals and interest groups.
By creating a spontaneous movement for change, Grillo has inspired people to participate in the reconstruction of the country, by taking responsibility and giving a new sense of democracy and citizenship based on transparency and communication. At the moment, Beppe Grillo and the M5S are the most followed streaming TV on YouTube. They, like Obama in the U.S., are requesting that internet be made freely available to every citizen in Italy, as this is the main instrument of knowledge and information, and free right to information should be a birthright for everybody, like the right to have a house and a job, and a minimum income if temporarily out of job.
Unfortunately, all of these fundamental rights are not guaranteed for the majority of people in Italy. The Italian social and economic situation is very dramatic. Many families are struggling to get to the end of the month and small businesses are closing down every minute mostly because of heavy taxation, which has reached 70%. But rather than complaining and just playing the victim, M5S have taken action to start changing this situation, with small but significant steps.
For example, M5S representatives who have been elected in the regional parliament of Sicily have voluntarily cut their own salaries by 70%, creating a fund to sustain the small and medium-sized local businesses. The candidates who have been elected to the National Parliament less than 2 weeks ago will do the same, and there are 163 of them!
One of the main points of the M5S electoral program is to guarantee a minimum salary for everyone. People should not be left alone in this difficult moment, and because there is no money left in the government funds, the M5S is proposing to cut the pensions of those people who get up to 90 thousand euros a month. A little sacrifice is asked of those who have more. By fixing a ceiling of 4000 euros a month for pensions in the next 5 years, the remaining money can be given to those who need it most.
By reducing and cutting the costs of the Italian huge and useless bureaucracy, much needed funds can be made available to those who really need it. Rather than cutting education and health funds, a rationalisation of the current expenditure would create, according to the M5S, enough funds to alleviate the dismal poverty of those who have less. These are just few examples of the many proposals M5S is making to tackle the Italian economic crisis.
According to Beppe Grillo, if everyone will do his/her part in the next 5 years, change will occur faster and with the least effort. He is inviting the population to take responsibility and participate in any possible way, a bit like Obama did in his presidential speech in January 2009. One of the slogans of the M5S is: we are the State and everyone counts as One.
Everyone would agree that this is the true meaning of Politics and the State. Politics does not have to be complicated, in fact, it is very simple, only if there is the willingness to address and resolve the real problems of the majority of the population. It is another thing when the politicians are trying to defend the interests of a minority of the population: that’s when they start to write laws and rules that are impossible to follow, to create a jargon that is impossible to understand, and a cast that is difficult to remove. But this is no longer acceptable: humanity has grown up, change is already happening, and we are loving it!!
(Mariella holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Modena Italy. She also is a Reiki Master and founded a Meditation Centre in her hometown in Matera, Italy. She is currently living in Brighton with her two children and her partner Guillermo. Guillermo has worked successfully in the IT & Electronics field covering from developing to marketing roles in Argentina Italy and Switzerland. He graduated from the Silva Life Method in 1994 and has been interested in healing and spirituality since then. He currently works in Brighton as a carer for people with learning disabilities.)
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