'Racist' German commercials and catenaccio politics: when Italy feels under siege

Article published on May 31, 2008
community published
Article published on May 31, 2008

You are or you are not part of the Eurogeneration? To find that out, check out this commercial!

Have you seen that? Right, you do not speak German. In that case, my colleague Katharina, will explain to you what all the fuss is about:

“We are in Germany. A client of Media Markt, of blatant Italian origins, called Toni, asks a shop assistant in a strong Italian accent:

- A man, finally a man! Well, if you want to buy a TV set, to watch the football match for instance, you always need a man! Why? Because only a man knows about the technique and football. Women instead do not know anything about it!

Then a gorgeous female sales assistant passes by and our man changes his mind:

- I am sorry, "un attimo"

And talking to the beautiful girl he says:

- "Scusi", can you please tell me how that appliance works?”

So, how would you define this commercial?

1. Racist and offensive. I approve the official complaint letter sent by the Italian ambassador in Berlin, Antonio Puri Purini, I will support the boycott of the Media Markt products as Laura Garavini, Pd deputy elected in Germany, invites us to do. I am glad that Media Markt has decided to stop broadcasting the aforementioned commercial.

2. Simply amusing. I have travelled and lived abroad, I have got plenty of friends from all over Europe, and all these stereotyped jokes should not be taken personally. According to my experience, as an Italian, I was always greeted and welcomed with warmth.

Obviously this blog goes for the second answer and firmly condemns this curfew atmosphere everybody has been able to experience in Italy lately. Ours, from the outside, looks like a country under siege. And not only on commercials. A minister (Maroni) who would like to renegotiate the Schengen agreement on the free circulation of people to tackle the problem of Roma immigrants. The anger of many after the world’s surprise on the management of the rubbish in Naples. The deafening silence by the Democratic Party (centre-left) on the xenophobia accusations after the publication of the Security bill approved by the Government. Anti-Roma populist billboards belonging to the Democratic Party. Bottom line, Donadoni, might as well make as many efforts as it takes to deploy an aggressive Italy at the European Cup due to start soon… but the Italy of politics and the Italian society is freaking out on a more and more defensive position. It is the curfew politics!

Traduzione Alessandro Mancosu