The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi ... said the 17,000 people made homeless by Monday's earthquake should think of themselves as being on a "camping weekend". ... The quake, which devastated the city of L'Aquila and surrounding towns and villages, has now claimed 260 lives.
Berlusconi told the reporter for the N-TV channel that the homeless quake victims "lacked nothing". "They have medicaments. They have hot food. They have shelter for the night," he said. "Of course, their current lodgings are a bit temporary. But they should see it like a weekend of camping." ...
His remarks – which seem to have been intended to reassure the public – scarcely correspond to the experiences of the homeless. Between Monday and Tuesday, they had to endure a night of driving rain and hail during which temperatures fell to 4C ...
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
There are far, far, far worse things in the world than having Stephen Harper as a prime minister.
Such as ....?
Meanwhile, the Vatican reports that the Pope will visit the disaster area after Easter Sunday or when the ground in L'Aquila stops shaking.
Update: The Italian press is reporting that questions are being raised about the materials and techniques used to build a recently constructed residential complex which collapsed, trapping and injuring dozens of people. A firefighter observed that it wasn't the earthquake that killed people but the buildings.