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Caffeine Fuelled Sicily’s Crazy Coffee Spending

The parliament of the autonomous region of Sicily, a part of Italy, spends around €800,000 a year on coffee. Sicilian parliamentarians claim an average of 27 coffees a day on expenses.

Not only is the spending, revealed in today’s Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper, utterly unbelievable, so is the fact that Sicily’s well-paid politicians claim back their coffee money!

If you ever happen to visit Sicily and see a man or woman gesticulating wildly, it’s probably one of the island’s many politicians suffering from a caffeine overdose.

Sicily’s excessive spending is nothing new. What is new is that despite Italy’s much vaunted spending review, Sicily’s spending habits have hardly fallen at all.

Running Sicily with a population of 5.043 million in 2012 costs Italy over €164 million a year. Now, let’s put that into perspective: the cost of running Italy’s Lombardy region – which has nearly double the population (9.939 million in 2011) – only costs Italy €68 million annually. Sicily’s parliament is the most expensive in Europe.

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While you would expect well-funded Sicily to be one of the most efficient regions of Italy, it is not. Indeed, Sicily has a reputation for being one of the worst run regions.

Well, now we all know why! Sicily’s politicians are most probably suffering from an acute caffeine overdose, either that, or they simply don’t do much work. Actually, this would not be a massive surprise – they seem to spend most of their time having coffee!

How is Sicily getting away with such extreme spending? And why is nobody doing anything about it? Who knows – this is Italy, after all.

I don’t know. What a nutty nation.



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