The Italian Almanac

cursed snow

Entitled to Swear

Italy's highest appeals ruled that mayors are entitled to swear at companies who fail to carry out services necessary for citizens to go about their daily life. The Cassation Court made the ruling after the mayor of a small town in Molise accused a company contracted to clear snow off the streets of ''a couldn't-give-a-f*** attitude and scant professionalism''.

The mayor made his claim in a desperate plea to the provincial government after the town of San Paolo Matese had been blocked by a winter snowfall for three days, hoping the company would be slapped with a fine. Instead he found himself in court on charges of defamation.

The Cassation Court ruled that the mayor was only doing his duty and that the words he used, ''while inelegant and of a type that should not be used in official reports'', were not offensive.