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The Italian national sport

Admit it, you thought the Italian national sport was football, didn’t you?  Well, you are wrong.  The actual Italian national sport is tax evasion.

Around 270 billion Euros never get declared.  (Although, if this sum is not declared, how they can know it is 270 billion Euros is a bit of a mystery to me!)

The level of evasion in the Living Museum is growing too, or so it would seem from the numerous articles plastered all over the Italian dailies today.

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Stop reading, start speaking

Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.

Sky news, in one of its news oriented chat shows last night, tried to establish just why so many low-earning Italians can afford luxury boats costing, before running costs, around 1 million plus Euros a piece.  Apparently the number of luxury boats registered comfortably exceeds the number of tax payers who admit to having an income in excess of 200,000 Euros.

I did try to follow the Sky program, but got annoyed and switched off (as usual) when each participant tried, in the Italian way, talking (which then becomes shouting…) over the top of the other participants, meaning that nobody, as usual, was listening to anything other than the dulcet sound of his own sweet voice.  Even the chat show host was at it.  But this is perfectly normal.

Anyway, I digress.  If you are looking to reduce the amount you donate in taxes, then I heartily recommend hiring an Italian tax adviser.  Or you could just move to Italy, pay only the bare minimum in tax, and wait until the next inevitable tax-amnesty.  And should those nasty tax police get too close, you can always stuff all your dosh in a suitcase, as Italians are apt to do, pop over to Switzerland and open one of those nice numbered bank accounts for which the Swiss are famous.

Fancy popping round to my place for a few beers, a pizza, and to watch the Finance Police v the Evaders footie match this evening?  I’ll provide the F24s.

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Interview: Guardian & Economist Journalist John Hooper

I’ve been reading Guardian and Economist journalist and Rome correspondent John Hooper’s articles on events in Italy for some time, then I found John Hooper tweeting on Twitter.

One day, John Hooper actually started following my newsfromitaly persona on Twitter, which meant I could send him a private message. Not that I thought he would agree, but ever hopeful, I fired off a private Tweet to ask him if he’d like to do an interview, albiet via email, for BlogfromItaly.com. Much to my delight (and surprise), he kindly agreed.

Here is the result, and I hope you like the questions I posed to John Hooper, and I suspect you’ll find his responses interesting – I certainly did.