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Dottoré!

A Cave Of One's Own

"Who am I to be horrified by poverty while I have no means to offer relief, no alternative to show these people?"

Photo of a man holding a smoking cigarette

No place like home ...

Mariateresa Fichele

Picture a cave, complete with a vault and yellowed walls. Inside, a single room with a small table, a double bed and a bunk bed. And there, imagine three brothers living together.

"Excuse me," I said, "but where is the bathroom?"

"Outside, Dottoré.”

"And the three of you live here?”

"Of course. This is our house. Mom and Dad raised six children here."


"But couldn't you rent a bigger and brighter house? It's humid here, it's bad for you!"

"Humid? No, no, the air is gray because of cigarette smoke. And during the day it's full of sunlight — in the summer it gets really hot!"

"You could put an air conditioner on, at least!"

"We did, but then it stopped working because of the smoke."

Home sweet home

At a certain point I looked at the three brothers’ faces. God knows what history of deprivation and suffering they carried with them. Their place was in a shocking state.

But for them it was home, and I could hints of mockery in their answers.

This place belonged to them, it was their world.

Who am I to be horrified by poverty while I have no means to offer relief, no alternative to show these people?

The state to the rescue

On my way back to the hospital, caught up in my own dilemmas, I noticed unusual movements from a number of law enforcement officials.

I asked what was going on, and was told that they were preparing for arrivals from Rome.

I then looked it up online and read something that calmed me down — an epiphany of sorts, an answer to my worries. "Tomorrow, Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese will be in Naples. It sends a strong message that the State is present."

Now that I know this, I can go home in peace ...

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Economy

How Much Longer Can The Russian Economy Survive Sanctions?

The head of the Kremlin boasted at the recent forum in St. Petersburg International Economic Forum about Russia’s economic resilience against Western sanctions. But behind the scenes, Russian business leaders tell a different story.

At a Veshki distribution center for the food retailer VkusVill, a chain of online Russian grocery stores.

Benjamin Quénelle

-Analysis-

MOSCOW — "The most effective sanction to weaken the Kremlin? Not to target us and punish us, but to give us visas instead ... to abandon the sinking the ship!" This businessman's iconoclastic perspective embodies the anxiety one could detect percolating just below the surface at the "Russian Davos" Forum in St. Petersburg last week.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Officially called the "International" Economic Forum, the annual event organized by Vladimir Putin is meant to attract foreign investors — but this year, the elite of the national business community were cut off from the rest of the world. "Just among Russians... And forced to line up behind the regime and its economic strategies that lead us to a dead end," says the same source, a Russian manager in one of the main state-owned companies.

Like so many others, this man in his 40s, a typical representative of the new upper middle class, with a foreign passport in hand, educated in the West, liberal and multilingual, discovered his name on the lists of Western sanctions. Directly or indirectly, a large part of the Russian business world has been caught up in the European and U.S. sanctions against Moscow.

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