Sunday, November 11, 2012

St Martin's Summer

Today is Saint Martin's Day, associated with "Saint Martin's Summer," an unseasonably warm period of Autumn. That was certainly the case today, with temperatures around 79 F (26 C) in some of Sicily's coastal cities. In fact, the entire season has been far warmer than average. It seems there is a hot day or two every week.

By tradition, St Martin's Day is celebrated with hard cookies and muscat or other fortified Sicilian wines. This is a good day to toast the new governor of Sicily, sworn in yesterday. (We mentioned his election in a previous post.)

Without expecting miracles, it's clear that there will be substantial changes in public administration. Sicily's newspapers continually report unproductive phantom consulting companies receiving millions from the Sicilian regional government, and millions of euros disappearing from public agencies. This week Mr Crocetta is firing all of the "external" consultants (there are hundreds) as well as all the public appointees of the outgoing regime. A clean slate is a good beginning.

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