Labour and welfare minister Elsa Fornero weeps for Italy

Article published on Dec. 5, 2011
Article published on Dec. 5, 2011

One feminist magazine called her the 'most beautiful minister in the world' ('la ministra più bella del mondo'). On 4 December 2011 Elsa Fornero, 63, dared to become emotional as she struggled to talk to an assembled group of male students about 'sacrifice'. This is what awaits the Italians once parliament adopts its 30 billion euro austerity package; for example, in a decade's time, retirement will have risen to the age of 67 under prime minister Mario Monti. Earlier Fornero, an economist and professor at the university of Turin, had made her mark by getting upset at the complete lack of women in the audience, complaining 'we will never get anywhere'. This is new for Italian politics. Fornero's tears have captured the media's attention, though more positively than in France, when presidential candidate Segolene Royal was criticised for openly weeping after losing out to Nicolas Sarkozy, or even her party rival Martine Aubry's show after defeat in 2002. A bit of humanity in the technocrat world is becoming more acceptable