Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Futility of Courts, Laws and Agreements

On the Micro-Level

And today I went to an auction for an apartment. But today no apartment was auctioned. Welcome (once again, if you have read my previous article a couple of days ago) to the Italian court system, when you can have a procedure started in 1993 to seize and sell an apartment for unpaid debts and the apartment is not yet sold 13 years later and will not be for at least another year and a half now. What was the reason this time? One of the lawyers of the creditors noticed this morning a little irregularity in the papers. THIS MORNING! The papers had been presented FIVE years ago. In five years, neither the lawyers, nor the judge noticed (if she ever read them) it and the procedure followed untill today, when it was postponed again sine die without even hearing the ones who had convened to take part to it.

Now, besides that I wasted two hours of vacations (having had to be present and therefore needed two hours out of the office that will be escalated from my days off) and 22 euros (1.81 just to get back MY money that I had deposited to be part in an auction that never took place), I wonder... why one should ever repay a debt in Italy, if he can use the goods he bought with the money for 13 years afterwards, even if he hasn't paid back a dime? And more interesting, why would anyone ever give money as a loan, considering it can take more than a decade to seize and sell the goods given as a guarantee?

And the horror of a "court" that was in a simple, overcrowded, room with piles of documents, again, everywhere and where people dressed in questionable way surrounded a judge who could had been a janitor (no, she didn't have her judicial robe as the drawing all) and a chancellor that was really looking like a cheap Christmas tree. Even the auction I managed to see before my own short-lived procedure was astonishingly horrible, with 7 people standing in front of the judge, their overcoats still on, mumbling their offers (incidentally, a two rooms apartment in a pretty slum-side of the city got sold for 197.000 euros).

I dearly love my country and I adore my city, but sometimes I feel so sick and disgusted and ashamed of being a roman living here. Today is one of those times, quite so.

On the Macro-level

Back in 2002, Ahmad Sa'adat, Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), accused by israel of having organized and carried out the murder of Israelian minister Rehavam Zeevi, was arrested by PNA following an agreement between the said PNA, USA, UK an Israel and detained in Jericho, under american and britain custody.

Few weeks ago, Hamas won the election for the PNA and among the first things its future government members said was that they would had not recognized any of the agreements signed by the ANP and Israel, starting from the Oslo agreements and down to the one related to the prisoners in Jericho.

Yesterday, as the day the Hamas goverment will install itself to power draws closer, the american and british soldiers presiding the prison withdrew, complaining that the security measures around the prison, which had never been particularly high, had been deminished even more, and the IDF, the israelian army, surrounded the prison and, after a day of siege, took Sadaat under custody. In the meanwhile, westerners were being kidnapped by palestinians all around Palestine, regardless of their nationalities, and american and british offices (included a British Council Cultural center) were stormed and burned down. Among those kidnapped, the director for gaza of the Red Cross (so much for the "never shoot on the red cross" principle), various workers for international humanitarian organizations (so much for the "do not bite the hands that feeds you" principle) and so on and so forth.

Now, was Israel justified in seizing Sadaat, storming the prison, considering it was reknown that he was going to be set free soon, despite the previous agreements? I'm pondering about it.


Marina said...

To start a blog was a very good idea. Very interesting, really. Once you opened the page, you can't help doing it every day. Like a detective story :)
I wanted to ask, why do you wait for this apartment for so long? You could probably find another one?
And what could be SO wrong in the documents that the CREDITOR's lawyers (who must be interested to finish the auction!) blocked it, I wonder?


Marinka said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Guido Costantini said...

Spasibo :)

I didn't actually wait for this apartment for so long. The years of research were not about this specific apartment, more like a general thing. In fact, the time spent above this specific one was more or less 3 weeks.

I think I'll write a post about the housing in Rome to explain why it is taking so long fo rme to find a place on my own.

As for the creditor's lawyer... I think he's being secretely paid by the debtor. The thing was that on the documents it was not written under what title the person present (or actually, present 5 years ago, date of the overview) in the apartment is (was?) there, which technically is absolutely unimportant.

C'est la vie.