When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

The mayor of the Italian city of Bari, an ex-prosecutor, posts pictures of public employees allegedly slacking on the job.


Emiliano's Facebook page


BARI - Michele Emiliano, a former magistrate and the mayor of Bari, has been using a new phrase on the stump lately: "I govern with Facebook."

It's not just a reference to the social network's ability to break down the distance between him and his constituents, or as a tool to liven up the dialogue with the people. The second-term mayor of this southern city has come up with another application. Emiliano has discovered that with Facebook – either on his own or with the help of his fellow citizens – he can publicly shame municipal employees wasting time while on the clock. How? By posting photos of them slacking on the job.

The first to be immortalized in their alleged slothfulness were several drivers of the municipal transport company. Now it's the garbage collectors' turn. Recently someone passed on to Emiliano photos of three uniformed employees of Bari's municipal waste-disposal agency hanging out while they should have been working. The center-left mayor, who received the photos from a Bari resident complaining about his neighborhood's lack of cleanliness, then posted them on Facebook with the question: "Why aren't these three people working?"

The "media pillorying" of public employees has sparked a citywide debate in Bari, the capital of the Puglia region. The heads of the municipal companies whose employees wound up on the mayor's Facebook page are under increasing pressure. Antonio Di Matteo, who heads the transport agency AMTAB, has launched an internal investigation to get to the bottom of the phenomenon. AMIU, the trash collection outfit, is following suit.

But the photographs also prompted debate about Emiliano's methods. The mayor posts the pics on Facebook, and then adds notes inviting the citizens of Bari to file other reports. The goal: improving control over the quality of services provided to tax-paying residents who want their buses to run on time and live in clean neighborhoods.

But the mayor - an investigating magistrate for two decades before being elected - has gone further. After showing garbage collectors shooting the breeze rather than sweeping the streets, he requested the help of other AMIU employees In his Facebook post, Emiliano wrote: "If anyone recognizes someone in this picture, they could help us understand why their colleagues were talking to each other instead of working, as we all expect them to do."

The garbage collectors have not yet responded to the mayor's accusations. But if they remain silent, they may see a rising number of messages and photographs showing that the city isn't functioning. This is what happens when a born prosecutor gets elected mayor and discovers social media. Yet another chapter in the Facebook revolution.

Read the original article in Italian

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ