Monday, November 26, 2012

My journalistic efforts at university: read "The Chronicle of Economic Affairs"

Spam alert. This does not really have to do with Italy, but the magazine I write for at my university, "The Chronicle of Economic Affairs" has been published and, needless to say, we are very proud :)

If you have a look at the second issue you will find some great articles about current affairs, included Obama re-election and the economic crisis, including two articles written by me. One is about the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU; the other one is about the latest political scandal here in the UK, the so called "plebgate", involving former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell, who had a row with the policemen outside Downing Street and then resigned because of it. In that article I actually draw an amusing parallel with Italy and Roberto Maroni, now leader of the Northern League. He too had a "misunderstanding" with a policeman, but things ended a little differently in Italy...


Link to the magazine:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reuters: "Italy cuts number of provinces in cost-saving drive"

As the matter of the province cut is fairly technical, I preferred to report an article by Reuters instead of writing it myself. I would just like to point out that I have been hearing about the plan to cut, or even to abolish, provinces coming from the most diverse political points of view since I was a kid. But now that it took the technocrat government to finally do it, everyone is complaining, simply because parties will have less employers in powerful positions. 

"Italy cuts number of provinces in cost-saving drive"
ROME | Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:49pm EDT
(Reuters) - The Italian government approved a law on Wednesday that will almost halve the number of provinces as part of a drive to cut the heavy cost of regional administrations.
The decree, which will cut the number of provinces to 51 from 86 at present, is part of a broader effort to attack the bloated cost of Italy's local and regional governments, a notorious source of waste and inefficiency.
Prime Minister Mario Monti has been conducting a wide ranging review of public spending to try to eliminate waste and help control Italy's mammoth public debt which amounts to some 126 percent of gross domestic product.
The government gave no estimate of the savings it expected from the reform but said it would have a clearer idea once a wider reorganization of local and regional administrations was complete.
Approved at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the decree includes large cities such as Milan, which will incorporate the province of Monza, but does not include semi-autonomous regions such as Sicily.
The provinces, which are responsible for functions including motor vehicle registries and some schools are part of a complex, overlapping web of local administrations that includes municipal, provincial and regional governments.
Under the decree, the provincial governments will be abolished from 2013. It also include measures to prevent local officials from holding several offices at once.
The cabinet also approved a separate package of measures intended to cut 40 million euros a year from the cost of regional governments, by reducing waste and inefficiency.
(Reporting By James Mackenzie; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

President of the Chamber of Deputies Gianfranco Fini called "a traitor" for moving away from Fascism during Neo-fascist exponent's funeral

A few days ago, Italian politician Pino Rauti passed away.
Rauti was one of the most famous leaders of the far right in Italy. He was a leading member of the Italian Social Movement (MSI), a party founded by Mussolini’s supporters in 1946. Among the party members, there was Gianfranco Fini, current President of the Chamber of Deputies. Rauti was the party leader for a while, but afterwards he was defeated by Fini. In 1995, the MSI was dissolved and replaced by National Alliance (AN), still guided by Fini. Rauti thought that the new party was too far from the original fascist ideology, and he founded “Fiamma Tricolore” to continue the path of Fascism. He eventually founded another party called “Social Idea Movement” in 2004.

Pino Rauti and Gianfranco Fini

If you read so far, you might think that Rauti and Fini must have been pretty much alike. They were in the old days. But here is the big difference: Fini moved away from Fascism, renouncing his “faith” in it in 2003. Rauti never did. Rauti was always a Fascist.
Fini attended Rauti’s funeral in Rome yesterday. He probably shouldn't have. When Fini arrived, he was booed by the whole crowd, people yelled “Traitor” and spat on him. Some fanatics even tried to physically assault him. Only because he is not a Fascist anymore.
Fini is not perfect, that’s for sure. But if there is one thing that he undoubtedly did right in his life was abandoning Fascism. You could dislike him for many reasons, such as the anti-immigration law he wrote a few years ago, not to mention all the years that he spent defending Berlusconi’s ridiculous deeds, but you have to give him credit for giving up Fascism. But he is called a “traitor” instead.
After the terrible history of Fascism in Italy, I don’t even understand how someone can talk about it in a positive light. And yet, when Rauti’s coffin was taken into the church, the crowd gave him the Roman salute.  And then tried to attack Fini.
Personally, I find all of this not only really uncivil, but a little scary too.
Here is the video.