Carnival loses its glitter

mask.jpgCarnival has ended in most of Switzerland with the Mardi Gras festivities. But in one town, they hardly got off to a start this year. The authorities in Locarno, canton Ticino, called off the partying after a local student was savagely beaten by three other men. The young man was taken in a critical condition to a nearby hospital with severe brain damage. He died the next day without ever waking up.

But the story has moved on from being simply a tragedy, with the three perpetrators displaying callousness beyond the most people’s comprehension – they continued to party on and even went to Bellinzona in search of a more festive atmosphere. After their arrest though, the whole crime has taken a political bent. It turns out that the three’s origins lie in the Balkans, and two of them are naturalised Swiss.

Enough to get the Lega and the Swiss People’s Party out and baying for blood: they have demanded the expulsion of the perpetrators once their prison sentences are completed and for the two Swiss, the revocation of their citizenship. But do they really care about the victim? They are certainly being accused of making political mileage out the affair.

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