Thanks to Yesmoke, the Italian cigarette market has been liberalized, and in the coming months we will be seeing the devastating effects on the business of Big Tobacco and the benefits for the State coffers.
But in the subalpine capital a new company like Yesmoke—not very placid and very pissed off—has not found its habitat.
From the San Paolo Bank that refused to open accounts for it to that parlor Masonry that hoped the company would fail and that its workers and their families would end up in the street, a small army of useful idiots went to work to block the new that was advancing, so that the city—provincial and smug—would always remain the same.
A High-Class Bank Only for High-Class Companies…
In 2005 the then Banca San Paolo, today Banca Intesa, refused to open accounts for Yesmoke, a new company in Italy that was beginning to build a factory in the Turin area. The bank also invited the company owners to transfer their private accounts elsewhere. This, despite the fact that neither the owners nor the company had ever been or ever will be in years to come, object of any sort of legal conviction.
Banca Intesa is the bank of Philip Morris, and Yesmoke, although a Turin company, could not stay under the same roof as Big Tobacco. So the bank kowtowed to the will of a multinational that has collected a series of lawsuits and convictions for smuggling all over the world. Furthermore, every year in our country the tobacco giant pockets money with blatant tax evasion, something nobody dares to look into.
The Attack of the “Intelligentsia”
Illuminati or useful idiots? What Yesmoke has seen in its “conflict” with the salons of Turin is a picture of the most insane situation that one could imagine; it is an emblematic and ridiculous chronicle, rich with characters and plot twists that would make a fascinating novel.
The triggering factor was the behavior of Yesmoke’s first attorney, Professor Aldo Frignani, a big shot of the local “intelligentsia.” Prior to the hearing on the minimum price of cigarettes before the regional court – the TAR of Lazio on May 13th, 2009, Prof. Frignani, without informing his client, made an agreement with the adverse party for a postponement. The intention was to have another hearing to add to his fees. Yesmoke revoked his mandate and denounced the outrage.
From then on, almost all the subalpine attorneys, who have worked for Yesmoke in the countless lawsuits it is involved in, from a condominium dispute to the war against the multinationals (including the suits against the lawyers), have tried to stab the company and its owners in the back, together with the workers and their families, causing the greatest financial damage possible. They seemed to be competing to see who could behave in the most despicable way. It was as if the “brothers” of the eminent professor had taken up arms to sabotage the company, guilty of a sort of “Masonic lèse–majesté.” And if persistent rumors are to be believed, there were even some who consulted with BAT on the actions to be taken.
Perhaps it was not a coincidence that when Yesmoke discovered irregularities in the VAT tax calculations involving BAT, amounting to 500 million euro, the lawyers of “Happy-hour Turin,” far from understanding the scope of Yesmoke’s battle whose recourse was to lead to a new law that would bring order to the field, tried to involve the company in a ridiculous libel suit brought by BAT and aimed at building up legal fees in a period of severe financial difficulty.
On last April 5th, Yesmoke won its appeal before the TAR (Administrative Court) of Lazio against the minimum tax on cigarettes, defeating the cartel of the three tobacco multinationals, Philip Morris, BAT and JTI. But why did the company have to act alone? The appeal to the Administrative Court was an elementary move, but no subalpine lawyer advised it. We cannot understand why, for instance, even a well-known foreign company that aspires to enter the Italian market, assisted by that big shot Frignani, stopped just when it was about to reap the benefits of its efforts, after paying so many attorneys’ fees. Is it possible that an administrative lawyer can forget to appeal to the TAR?
A City “at the Service” of the Foreigner
The fact that we are a country of ass-lickers, considered by foreigners a great flock of simpletons, seems to be beyond the imaginings of “Happy-hour” Turin. If it were not for Yesmoke, everything would be exactly the same as before, to the delight of the cartel of the three multinationals Philip Morris, BAT and Japan Tobacco, who infest Italy.
The subalpine “intelligentsia” is rooting for thieves, crooks and tax evaders, whose hands they would like to shake at an exclusive party. Yesmoke is fighting to annihilate the parasite; they want to be hired to serve it. Conflict is the natural outcome.