Thursday, February 23, 2012

Italy can be so stupid sometimes...

I say this with all due respect. One of the many laws that government is trying to pass is getting a little of the good old political treatment. A simple law is now becoming a classical example of the Italian bureaucracy. Listen to this… The new law would limit cash transactions to 1,000 euro (the current limit is 2,000 euro). You can’t buy something in cash for more than 1,000 euro, which sounds reasonable because carrying around tons of cash is not a good idea. With this law it would be harder to launder money and it makes it harder to avoid paying taxes. Credit cards are great for their perfect electronic record of the transaction. Now the parliament wants to add a little exception. They want tourists to be exempt from this rule. I guess these super rich jet setters can’t be bothered to buy things with their credit card. If you’re buying that Rolex or Gucci you want to be able to throw down a big wad of cash because that’s more exciting? I’m looking at you Russians when I say this. So with this exemption it means the store will need to make a copy of the passport of the tourist buying the item for 1,000 or more and then within 3 days deposit the money in the bank with the copy of the passport. Of course all transactions will have some paperwork that goes with them and copies etc... Why can’t Italy make a simple law and stick to it? I mean this original law would help address another issue, which is that tourists should NOT be parading around with huge wads of cash. That’s like wearing a sign that says “ROB ME”. As a foreigner I don’t want some stupid crook to mistake me as one of these idiots going around with too much cash in his pocket. This is just one small example of Italy trying to cater to a very small crowd and screwing everything up. And this exemption can be so easily abused. For crying out loud all they need to do is get a copy of a passport of a foreigner. In hotels they take your passport and make a copy during your stay. Now the hotel clerks could start a side business selling passport copies to merchants who need it for locals who want to spend large wads of cash. The exemption makes a simple thing difficult and opens a whole new line of abuse. Stick to the original law it’s so easy. Cash transactions are limited to 1,000 euro!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Ok that hail photo sucks but this photo of artichokes at the market last weekend is pretty good.


A photo of the hail from my balcony.