NOVEMBER 18, 2005
Noisy old Monza
The Autodromo Nazionale in Monza has been there since 1922 and so anyone who is old enough to remember the place without the speedway is going to be well into his or her eighties and probably not having quite as good hearing as younger folk. Thus it is fair to say that everyone who lives within earshot of Monza knows that from time to time there is going to be noise. If they want guaranteed peace and quiet, they should move to the countryside somewhere else. Monza is an international mecca for motor racing fans and if it were not for the race track the only thing the city would have as a claim to fame in recent years was that its member of parliament is Ilona Staller, better known as Cicciolina (which means cuddles) who was formerly involved in the adult movie business and apparently did rather more than just cuddle. In 1978 her breasts were the first to be seen bared on Italian TV. Having the speedway is probably not a bad idea to deflect attention.
Alas, some residents of the village of Biassono have made an official complaint about noise from the Autrodromo and they have found a friendly ear with Milan magistrate Marco Manunta who has ruled that the Italian Grand Prix is a "socially-useless activity that has a major impact on the environment". Manunta has thus ruled that the circuit comply with certain noise restrictions which would make it impossible for the Grand Prix to take place. This is all very worthy but the last time the Italian Grand Prix was threatened the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi became personally involved in the issue and ended up chopping down trees in the Monza park (or at least allowed others to do so) and gave Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley medals for being so understanding. If Manunta thinks that his intervention is going to make a difference he should perhaps take a look at the Italian Prime Minister's previous dealings with the judiciary and realise that he's wasting his time - unless of course he only wants to see his name in the papers.
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