While we already know how Spain's Prime Minister is celebrating the country's brand new austerity budget (From Bloomberg: "The premier and five staff drank 10 beers and seven bottles of wine with a dinner of filet steak and turbot on their flight back from a European championship soccer match the day after Spain asked its European partners for a 100 billion-euro bailout to recapitalize its banks, the weekly reported, citing catering bills from the Spanish Air Force.") there was little color on how the "other" country undergoing austerity (not really) for the common man was enacting belt-tightening and spending reductions. We say "not really" because as we have shown, Europe has yet to actually implement austerity. And yet the people suffer. Or rather, once again, it is the common man who suffers, and because of that is convinced that the government is spending less. It certainly isn't as we showed in the case of Spain whose tax revenues have increased even as spending has increased, promises to the contrary notwithstanding. But where is the money going then? Surely if the common man is suffering, everyone else must be too. Turns out the answer is no. As the following picture below shows, where previously a simple Lancia with the license plate "ITA1" once stood, the car that is now proudly parked in the same spot and drives around Italy's ambassador to the UK, Alain Giorgio Maria Economides (read his heartfelt message to all here), is a new Maserati Quattroporte.
On the 6th of June 2011, Maserati proudly sponsored an exhibition of works by Italian Contemporary artists in the beautiful scenario of the Italian Embassy in Mayfair.
The Maserati Quattroporte, official car of the Italian Ambassador in London, took pride of place in front of the entrance along with a Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic and a Maserati GranCabrio: the perfect addition to the showcased art works.
The over 150 guests welcomed by the Italian Ambassador Alain Giorgio Maria Economides, enjoyed a pleasant evening surrounded by spectacular Italian art.
And while one may claim that all Italy did is rotate from one Italian-made car to another, what really happened is public funding was used to purchase a $200,000 car that ultimately padded the revenues of a private, publicly-traded company, Fiat (which last we checked has not been nationalized. Yet) and its shareholders. Because all that is happening is public money going to private profits, i.e. the 1%: precisely what everyone lately has been agitating against.
And yet nobody cares.
So the next time the "common people" in Italy (or Spain, or Greece, or any other country) ask why their standard of living is deteriorating even as public spending and debt issuance continues to simply go up, look at the picture above... or that of the Italian ambassador to the UK below.