When eight months ago the city of l'Aquila and the Abruzzo have been affected by the earthquake, it was easy to make promises about reconstruction. "The houses would be ready within the year and the city won't be abandoned". Today, a few days before Christmas, l'Aquila is still a destroyed city and Silvio Berlusconi, who months ago was the one promising the suspension of taxes, now has most important issues to attend to, to make sure that the promises are kept.
Yesterday, the mayor of L'Aquila, Massimo Cialente, the President of the Province, Stefania Pezzopane and some people affected by the earthquake have arrived in Rome to request the extension of the suspension of taxes and back payments to the end of 2010. Organizers of the protest explained that from January "citizens of the areas affected by the earthquake will return to regularly pay taxes, fees and contributions. As from June 2010 they will start the refund in 60 installments of the total unpaid taxes from April to today. "
The Aquilani are not asking to not paying taxes anymore but simply to extend credits, considering that most of them have been forced in recent months to support additional expenses, because they live far from their city and forced to travel back and forth: a problem that did not exist before. But there is no room for l'Aquila in the budget law, because now the earthquake is no longer a news, and there are no more G8 to move in the city to hide the real problems. Today, L'Aquila citizens, despite promises, have already returned to pay the personal income tax and the "Ici" tax (local council property tax) on the second house, even if destroyed, the Tarsu (waste tax) and contributions. Since the new year there will be taxes of 2010 and all arrears that will be paid completely. "It is inhumane, it's a shame - says Cialente - Umbria arrears have been spread over 12 years and 40%", same thing for similar conditions as Marche and Molise. It would not be an exception, therefore, allow delays even for L'Aquila citizens would be just a matter of common sense. "We can not pretend that nothing happened. We were told we would find answers in the budget law but there aren't", says the president of the province, Stefania Pezzopane. The situation is disastrous not only for families, with 20 thousand displaced people still on the coast, but also for companies who expect the money for the industrial regeneration that are blocked by the CIPE.
The government, however, wanted to give an image far from reality. It has preferred to turn the emergency into a great show with Obama, Michelle, Carla Bruni. And from the earthquake reality Berlusconi has not even spared Christmas. That night he will be in l'Aquila between the flash and the cameras to feel himself less alone. He will continue to make promises. Because he has nothing to lose.
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