The world’s eight richest nations meet in Italy this week, at an earthquake-hit venue whose experience could be seen as a metaphor for the financial shocks still battering the global economy. The G8 summit was moved to the city of L’Aquila after April’s devastating quake, with Italian host Silvio Berlusconi keen to draw attention to his re-building efforts.
Berlusconi: “I, as prime minister, besides all the appointments with the guests, will have various bilateral meetings with colleagues from the other countries and will take some important leaders to visit places damaged by the earthquake.”
But despite Berlusconi’s fine words, many in L’Aquila are losing patience. Three months after the quake, money was made available to prepare the G8 venue, but little seems to have been done to rebuild the medieval city.
300 died in the quake, and 60,000 people made homeless. They’re still living under canvas, at the height of an Italian summer. The G8 leaders will discuss spending trillions to rebuild the world’s finances, but the people of L’Aquila would just like a little spent on them.