The Italian Almanac

Franco Battiato

No Money No Party

Italian singer-songwriter and Sicily Culture Councilor Franco Battiato said that his office's coffers were empty, forcing him to turn down an offer to host a major international music awards event. "We had to say no thank you to someone who wanted to organize the event in Taormina. You know why? Because we don't have one euro to invest," he said. "It would have been a phenomenal party, we would have sold the rights all over the world, but instead we had to say no".

Sicily Governor Rosario Crocetta named Battiato to his council in November. Battiato, who is also a painter and filmmaker, said the region would appeal to the European Union for funds.

The region has been particularly hard-hit amid Italy's recession and the euro crisis, with alarmingly high unemployment and a public debt that required a 400-million-euro stop-gap transfer from the Italian government this past summer.