I read yesterday that schools in Italy are so underfunded that they are having to ask parents to make donations. A curious situation in a country which seems to be expert at taxing anything and everything that can be taxable. Makes me wonder where all the cash is ending up.
See CORRECTION below.
On the other hand, a guy I work with told me a story about Mr B, the boss of Italy, and I do hope it is nothing more than a misunderstanding on his part. He, my friend, told me that Mr B owed something like 3 million Euros in taxes, but, as a result of a period of tax clemency he has not paid his back tax liability, instead he took advantage of an amnesty to wipe his slate clean and paid around, wait for it, around 1500 Euros. Now, this cannot be true and I do hope it is not. If it is, it is truly horrifying and but could go some of the way towards explaining why schools get no money here. Not much was made of this payment by other politicians, my friend said, although I really can't understand why. Not. Should you wish to know more about Mr B, there is a site where you can find more info about this poor gentleman. It is run by Forbes Magazine which, as you may know, is devoted to those who earn a pittance.
CORRECTION: It is true that Mr B paid 300 Euros a year with regard to potential irregularities in his tax bill. However, this does not signify that he has conveniently avoided a huge tax bill. The monies paid in this case form a normal part of dealing with tax liability here and in the event that there is an actual irregularity an additional sum becomes payable. It does seem as though this news was being distorted in order to sell a few more papers and that Mr B was not doing anything underhand at all. However, you can see from my initial reporting of what a friend told me how these things can be blown out of proportion. Talk about mountains out of molehills!
Of course, as good as Italians are at inventing taxes and things to tax, they are much better at devising ways of getting out of paying tax. In a way, you cannot object; at least it will enable them to give money to schools directly rather giving it the democratically elected representatives and hoping that they will pass some money on to educational institutions instead of spiriting it away to Swiss bank accounts; which seems to have been something a certain Mr Craxi was rather good at.