Italian Politics

Re: Italian Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:41 pm

Somali immigrants rescued near Lampedusa
Pregnant woman and baby among refugees
13 January, 18:24

(ANSA) - Lampedusa, January 13 - The Italian Coast Guard rescued 72 immigrants near the island of Lampedusa off the coast of Sicily on Friday.

Eighteen women, one of whom is pregnant, and a young baby were among the refugees rescued from a drifting dinghy around 40 nautical miles south of the island.
http://ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2012/01/13/visualizza_new.html_44144829.html

Africans continue to make the dangerous journey across the open water to Europe. What are African governments doing to make home countries more settled and prosperous?
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Re: Italian Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:12 pm

I get the impression from the articles that the EU seems keen to see Italy right itself from its financial problems. Do the citizens get the fact that Premier Monti is doing things for Italy that his predecessor did not seem to want to do?


Italy eyes breakthrough in fight against tax evasion
Inland Revenue to introduce new method to find dodgers

31 January, 17:57
(ANSA) - Rome, January 31 - Italy is upping the ante in its fight against rampant tax evasion and is looking to make a breakthrough in the first half of this year with a new system to find dodgers by cross-checking incomes and spending, the head of the nation's Inland Revenue Agency said Tuesday.

With the government needing cash for its bid to emerge from the debt crisis and balance the budget by 2013, Premier Mario Monti has launched a drive against tax cheats, who he recently said "are giving poisoned bread to their children".

The campaign has featured a number of headline-grabbing operations among rich tourists in Cortina d'Ampezzo and the Ligurian Riviera, shoppers at exclusive stores in Rome and nightclub owners in Milan.http://ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2012/01/31/visualizza_new.html_72057978.html

Inland Revenue's website-look at the income tax table in the link. 23% tax on income up to $15,000 Euros.
http://www1.agenziaentrate.it/inglese/italian_taxation/income_tax.htm

And on a side note, the labour market in Italy:
Wages in big firms down 2% in November
But up 0.7% over year
31 January, 12:35
(ANSA) - Rome, January 31 - Wages in big firms fell 2% in November compared to October, Istat said Tuesday.

But wages were up 0.7% on November 2010, the statistics agency said.
http://ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2012/01/31/visualizza_new.html_71991754.html

Istat website doesn't seem to have the latest report on the English homepage.
http://en.istat.it/lavoro/lavret/

First mission of EU employment task force next month
Barroso wants 'concrete progress by mid-April'
31 January, 18:07
(ANSA) - Brussels, January 31 - A new European Commission employment task force will pay its first visit to Italy next month, EC President Jose' Manuel Barroso said Tuesday in a letter to Italian Premier Mario Monti.

The mission will aim to "identify the necessary elements of a plan for youth employment, as well as accelerating and increasing support for small and medium-sized firms, the source of new jobs across the EU," Barroso wrote.

The EC chief said he wanted "concrete progress by mid-April".

Italian unemployment hit a seven-year high of 8.9% in December while the youth jobless rate was virtually unchanged at 31%.

Other EC 'action teams' are headed for Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Lithuania, Portugal, Latvia and Ireland.
http://ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2012/01/31/visualizza_new.html_72059028.html
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Re: Italian Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:54 pm

If Premier Monti ever wants to look into inefficiencies with public funds, he could take a look at Rome's abandoned snow plows, ones that never got on the road due to the city council's decision in mid-December. The equipment exists but getting them into use like during the recent snowfalls proved a non-starter.

Snow Plough Graveyard at San Saba
Mayor stripped AMA of responsibility for managing exceptional situations in December. Scuba divers and hunters among capital’s volunteer salt spreaders

ROME – Rome’s snow plough blades languish under a blanket of white. The tools have been in the same place for several years and were certainly there on Friday afternoon and evening. That was when residents were trapped in tailbacks on the city’s beltway or the many other roads paralysed by snow and the evident failure of the emergency plan.

Later, the civil protection chief Franco Gabrielli said that at eight in the evening, Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno “phoned me trying to get hold of a snow plough”. As indeed were most other Romans, looking around in the hope of spotting vehicles that could clear the roads – and their lives – of the snow and traffic chaos. At the time, the plough blades were lying abandoned. They had been purchased with Roman taxpayers’ money and then left unattended in Via Bacelli in the San Saba district, where the depot of AMA, Rome’s municipal environment enterprise, is situated behind a senior citizens’ centre. Dozens of fixed and piston-driven movable blades are stored there, waiting to be attached to AMA refuse trucks and turn them into snow ploughs. The blades were purchased by AMA in several instalments over the years when the council’s emergency plan hinged on the municipally owned company. But everything changed when Gianni Alemanno moved into the Capitol.

The December 2005 snow plan was unequivocal: “AMA should carry out its duties with all the vehicles at its disposal, and with the necessary personnel, collaborating with municipal bodies to remove snow and spread salt”. But in a document dated 14 December 2011, the council decrees that “AMA will contribute support, if compatible with its own statutory duties (...) for snow ploughing AMA will make available six vehicles, three mechanical shovels, one blade and two salt spreaders”. Six units. And who is going to spread the salt? The gardens department, “companies contracted for road maintenance” and voluntary associations. So who are these volunteers tasked with saving Romans from the big freeze? Retired municipal police officers, the Misericordia Appio Tuscolano group and the Park Forest Rangers. With them are Federcaccia and Blu Sub, hunters and scuba divers.http://www.corriere.it/International/english/articoli/2012/02/08/san-sa-rome-snow.shtml

Rome weather-crisis probe opened
More harsh weather forecast
08 February, 15:27
(ANSA) - Rome, February 8 - An investigation into delays and difficulties in Rome brought on by last week's harsh weather conditions was opened on Wednesday.

Non-criminal complaints by consumer associations have been filed, in particular regarding interruptions in road traffic circulation after snowfall in and around the capital Friday and Saturday.

http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2012/02/08/visualizza_new.html_76430556.html

Just for contrast, there is a story about people wanting Rome to bid on the 2020 Olympic Games. Given Italy's money issues, providing public money for a bid and more is not a wise idea.

Totti, Pellegrini make plea for Rome Olympics
'Dear Monti, approve the bid' say top athletes

07 February, 18:48
(ANSA) - Rome, February 7 - Soccer star Francesco Totti and Olympic swimmer Federica Pellegrini were among 60 top Italian athletes who asked Premier Mario Monti on Tuesday to endorse the country's 2020 Olympic bid. "Dear Monti, approve the government's commitment to Rome 2020," said the petition. Bid organizers are campaigning the premier to sign a motion to support the games, the final stamp of approval needed before officially sending off a proposal to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by February 15.http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2012/02/07/visualizza_new.html_75692568.html
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Re: Italian Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:30 pm

Govt sticks to guns on contested labour-market reform
But Monti vows to avert 'discrimination'

22 March, 20:04
(ANSA) - Rome, March 22 - The Italian government is sticking to its guns on the most contested point of planned labour-market reforms despite the fierce opposition of Italy's biggest union and seismic rumblings in the second-biggest party in the right-left coalition that has so far backed it to the hilt.

Premier Mario Monti on Thursday confirmed that sacked workers would no longer be automatically reinstated but instead offered compensation in a key reform to Article 18 of the 1970s workers statute, a provision the government and employers say has discouraged investment and stunted growth, but which has long been a jealously guarded totem for unions, especially the leftwing CGIL union, Italy's biggest.

The CGIL forced then premier Silvio Berlusconi to back down on an earlier and broadly similar plan to revise the article when it brought more than a million protesters out onto the streets of Rome in 2002. On Thursday, after final talks with Italy's big three unions, including two who have grudgingly signed up to the reform, Monti promised to make sure the revised article could only be applied "without discrimination and abuses". http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2012/03/22/visualizza_new.html_155170152.html

Interesting statute. Let's have a look at parts of it:
http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/emire/ITALY/WORKERSSTATUTE-IT.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/world/europe/italy-tackles-labor-laws-that-divide-young-and-old.html?pagewanted=2&amp&%2359;pagewanted=2
The most delicate topic on Mr. Monti’s agenda is the infamous Article 18 of the Italian labor statute of the 1970s, long a sticking point in labor talks. It states that workers cannot be fired without just cause and, if fired, can sue their companies to be reinstated — cases they generally win in Italy’s employee-friendly courts. While such cases are pending in the notoriously slow legal system, companies are required to keep fired workers on the payroll, a system that critics say rewards the clever at the expense of a company’s solvency.



Ah, the matter of contention is revealed--while the process takes its time in the court system, the employer is obligated to keep a worker on payroll.
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Re: Italian Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:30 pm

People who follow Italian legal matters could chime in on how its possible for the Italian government to charge scientists for not providing sufficient warning in advance of the L'Aquila earthquake in spring 2009.

Earthquake experts get six years in jail for failing to warn people in Italian town
Published on Monday October 22, 2012
ANNALISA CAMILLI
The Associated Press

L'AQUILA, ITALY—An Italian court convicted seven scientists and experts of manslaughter on Monday for failing to adequately warn citizens before an earthquake struck central Italy in 2009, killing more than 300 people.

The court in L'Aquila also sentenced the defendants to six years in prison. Each one is a member of the national Great Risks Commission.

In Italy, convictions aren't definitive until after at least one level of appeals, so it is unlikely any of the defendants would face jail immediately.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1275309--earthquake-experts-get-six-years-in-jail-for-failing-to-warn-people-in-italian-town

Would builders be similarly charged if their residential structures were not up to earthquake code in L'Aquila? Then what of the historical structures that fell apart during the quake-what has become of them?
From one article in Ansa IT:
The ruling cannot be anything but a topic of deep review in appeals," said defence attorney Marcello Petrelli. The case, in which seven defendants argued it is impossible to predict a quake, received international attention, with over 5,000 scientists from around the world having signed a letter supporting those on trial. The trial focused on one event in particular, in which the Committee on Major Risks met on March 31, 2009 in L'Aquila to examine rumblings that had frightened residents for months. In a memo, the experts concluded that it was "unlikely" that there would be a major quake, though it stressed that the possibility could not be ruled out. One week later the 6.3-magnitude tremor hit, toppling buildings, killing 309 people and displacing 65,000 more in and around the city. According to prosecutors representing the city council of L'Aquila, the accused are guilty of a "superficial and ineffective" assessment of seismic risk and of disclosing "inaccurate, incomplete and contradictory" information regarding earthquake danger. Critics of the indictments include the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "This is the death of service provided by professors and by professionals to the State," said physicist Luciano Maiani, the current president of Italy's Committee on Major Risks.
http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2012/10/22/Earthquake-scientists-get-6-years-Aquila-ruling_7674394.html
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Re: Italian Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:39 pm

Some government officials in the line of disaster prevention, seeing the trial outcome of the scientists, have resigned from their jobs to protest the outcome and to comment on the end of their line of work in Italy.

Experts quit over L'Aquila quake verdict amid global shock
'Country of Galileo' says US body

23 October, 17:49 (ANSA) - Rome, October 23 - Some of Italy's top earthquake experts resigned on Tuesday after a controversial manslaughter verdict against seven of their colleagues in the catastrophic L'Aquila quake of 2009.

Monday's ruling, in which seven top-level scientists and public officials were found guilty in connection with the tremor that killed more than 300 people, also spurred disbelief and dismay across the global scientific community.
http://ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2012/10/23/Experts-quit-Aquila-quake-verdict-amid-global-shock_7679452.html

The Galileo reference is meant to remind people that the 16th century scientist Galileo was sentenced to house arrest for his research indicating that the Earth rotated around the Sun. As his findings went against Roman Catholic church teachings of the time, he was tried and sentenced. Yet centuries later, the Church did issue a statement on the matter.

*Pope John Paul II addressed the matter of Galileo Galilei on October 31, 1992.
http://www.vatican.va/beatificazione_gp2/documents/pontificato_gp2_en.html
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Re: Italian Politics

Postby southernfry on Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:58 am

It looks like they are back in the dark ages again. So much for progress and common sense. Guess they think the world is still flat as well.

While all that is going on their former Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to 4 years in jail. Doubt that will happen once the appeals process is finished. Unless all judges are gunning for him to do jail time, he will probably win his appeal. That or do his time in Italy's version of Club Fed. More like a country club setting, because I can't see them throwing him in one of their regular jails.


http://www.thestar.com/news/world/artic ... il-for-tax
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Re: Italian Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:09 pm

Premier Monti has resigned from government, compelling the Italian President to dissolve the Parliament. Just before the holidays too-for what reason? The budget vote. Mr. Monti has been in his job for about 13 months, considering he was appointed to get involved in November 2012 to deal with Italy's money issues.

http://ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2012/12/21/Premier-Mario-Monti-resigns-house-vote-2013-budget_7989859.html

What surprises me is that former Premier Berlusconi even maintains an interest in politics. He was seen in public recently with a 28 yr. woman said to be his current girlfriend. Yet, during Berlusconi's last term as Premier, financial problems existed as did legal problems concerning young women.
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Re: Italian Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:56 pm

Italians will be going to the polls this weekend. Mr. Berlusconi must be feeling a lack of attention because he's said something unacceptable to a woman on stage at a public function. He does not understand sexual harassment and yet he does not lack money to obtain medical help for his issues (self-importance, fascination with sex, inability to denote boundaries,etc.).

The woman has demanded an apology from Mr. Berlusconi.
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/02/19/berlusconis_sex_banter_on_stage_sparks_demand_for_an_apology_from_woman.html

There's a Stop the Decline party running in the election. One candidate is having false degree problems and he's indicated he's open to solutions by the party.http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2013/02/19/Free-market-candidate-may-resign-false-master-claim_8274847.html

Sale of one of the last independant tv channels to an associate of Berlusconi's is causing discussion.
http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2013/02/19/Bersani-Berlusconi-cross-swords-La7-sale_8275936.html

A German foreign minister has lent his advice to Italian voters-don't forget to keep Italy on the paths of reforms it started. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/top-german-politicians-warn-italians-against-voting-for-berlusconi-a-884265.html
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Re: Italian Politics

Postby southernfry on Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:20 pm

CielOnTap -
Mr. Berlusconi must be feeling a lack of attention because he's said something unacceptable to a woman on stage at a public function. He does not understand sexual harassment and yet he does not lack money to obtain medical help for his issues (self-importance, fascination with sex, inability to denote boundaries,etc.).



Yet, he still runs the party and they are only a few votes behind the leader. If by a slim chance he wins, can a convicted person hold the office of Prime Minister in Italy?
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