In a letter, published by the leading Italian dailies, to the administrators of the Italian Senate building in Rome, senators Rocco Buttiglione of the center-right and Albertina Soliani of the ruling center-left write that, ‘The cafeteria is not supplied with ice cream … We think it would be useful if it were and we are certain that it can be interpreted as the desire of many’.
Serving ice-cream, they add, would ‘improve the quality of life’ in the Senate and provide ‘a requirement of people’s daily life’.
In the past Italy’s MPs successfully made a request to have regional specialties such white buffalo meat on the menus of their two chambers, where the prices are heavily subsidized. In March they were also treated to a wine-tasting course.
Not all senators were impressed by the demand for ice-cream, however. Antonio Del Pennino, a member of the centrist Republican Party, complained that, ‘At a time in which there is an emergency in public spending, requests of this type can only further deteriorate the image of government representatives’. ‘I myself like gelato a lot,’ he added. ‘but I leave the Senate building and go and buy it in Piazza Navona.’
Senator Buttiglione, meanwhile, is unhappy about the controversy his request has caused. ‘The Left and the media have blown the matter out of all proportion to cover up the real problems of the moment,’ he lamented. ‘When there’s no other way to attack someone, they do it with ice-cream’.