Interesting times ahead for Italy. I'm here on holiday while waiting for my PhD viva and the first thing to say is that awareness of the general public is better than 5 years ago. Much of the credit has to go the EU directives that force our government to act in a somewhat consistent manner: no devaluation of currency, some small liberalizations against monopolies, international obligation forcing people to swallow the pill of crucial reforms. I am slightly amused. As a chartered engineer I'm even being offered projects without the unwritten plea of tax evasion for payment. Sure, our sultan Silvio is fighting as usual against the trials he is going to face; he also needs to explain the brotherhood with his fellow -now felon- sultan Muammar from Tripoli. Several other "mistakes" (Ruby the bellydancer, AC Milan out of the Champions League, the nuclear infatuation in spite of Japan's disaster) make his government shakybut all in all life is nice under the Alps these days. Really hoping to wake up in September and come back to London now, I'm not used to sunny days any more.