A real scandal
The current ‘scandal’ of cheap Modican chocolate at Lidl is an example of the incomprehension of the Consorzio di Cioccolato and the Mayor of economic reality. Mayor Abbate has thrown all his weight behind the promotion of Modican chocolate as tourism. Perhaps now he will acknowledge that the production of chocolate is a business that is allied with tourism and not tourism in itself. I know of nobody who goes to Naples purely to eat a pizza, nobody who goes to Marsala to drink Marsala. In their promotion of Modica, the mayor and Consorzio choose to ignore the fact that the possibility to buy a bar of chocolate is not enough to bring tourists to Modica. Churches that are closed because the cooperative have not been paid, museums closed for years, a centro storico not adapted for tourism, a tourist office itself that runs on the goodwill of ‘volunteers’ and a lack of events and attractions. Instead the administration has chosen to spend huge sums of tax payers money on chocolate and supporting private business, whilst totally ignorant of the fact that the better producers already have a ample presence throughout the world. You can buy Modican chocolate in London, Paris and New York, and now even at Lidl. That is the law of the market. Even at Perugia, the city is a destination in itself with chocolate as an associated business. Why would Modica be any different? It is symbolic of a fundamental economic illiteracy and incomprehension of tourism that Modica has put all its eggs in one basket.
In his end of year press conference the Mayor omitted to tell us just how much of the tax payers money was spent in 2015 on the promotion of Modican chocolate. How much of the tax payers money was given to Sig Guarducci, how much of the tax payers money supports private business in Modica to the detriment of tourism and other businesses. In the name of transparency I ask the administration to publish the full figures and allow the Modican taxpayer to judge if it is money well spent.