Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tourism Ministry Shake-up

The typical public-sector employee in Sicily's ministries, including Beni Culturali (Cultural Assets), which includes tourism, historic sites and museums, has held his/her position for at least twenty years, having been hired with the help of a political party and a friend or two. He/she is not particularly competent or productive, speaks no English and is "protected" by a trade union - and therefore can not be fired.

But such a do-nothing or charlatan - like the charming clown shown here - can be transferred to another division of the same assessorato (agency). That is exactly what Sicilian governor Rosario Crocetta is doing, 60 or 70 managers at a time. It's the biggest shake-up in sixty years, and most Sicilians support it 100 percent. That includes your editors.

Administration of these regional agencies is mediocre and has been for decades. Altering the organization can only help matters. Things are so bad that it cannot possibly hurt. It is long overdue, and it will benefit the function of tourism-related services in Sicily.

Though lacking a solid legal basis for their position, employees and unions are threatening strikes and street protests. No problem; we Italians are used to that - and after a few days of protesting the employees will return to their newly-assigned offices and (for a change) do a little work.

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