Italy: Italy News & Italian Current Events | Italy Current Events
Italy: Italy News & Italian Current Events | Italy Current Events

 

Pope Francis is doing exactly what he is supposed to do: challenge followers to examine the lives they are leading. His broadening the conversation to include aspects of life that go beyond throwing a few shillings into a collection plate is a good thing

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Will Pope Francis turn out to be the Vatican equivalent of President Obama, delivering much less than he seemed to promise? The year ahead will show. But already the signs are that Francis could turn out to be one of the most radical reforming popes of modern times

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Since the start of the Global War on Terror, the military has been shifting its European center of gravity from Germany. In the process, the Pentagon has turned the Italian peninsula into a launching pad for future wars in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond

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  • It is not simply the euro zone that is threatened by the dramatic economic discrepancies that now exist among its members. Now it is the European Union itself that is in danger, mainly but not entirely because of the economic crisis inherited from Wall Street abuses

  • Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel says that the answer to Europe Union's problems is more political integration. But, one is left asking what closer political union can bring to the EU without a full transfer of national sovereignties to European institutions

  • I am not writing this to pile on two Harvard economists who put the Western world into economic mess. I am concerned about the policy professionals who accept such economic propositions even when they seem self-evidently too good to be true and defy common sense

  • After years of brutal austerity, collapsing economies, widespread unemployment, and shredding of the social safety net, Italians said 'basta!' Enough!

  • Before we see another Mediterranean renaissance, constitutional government would have to sweep the Muslim world. The bureaucracy of the European Union would have to reform or disappear. Unfortunately, the Mediterranean is reverting to its stagnant 18th-century past

  • The European Union has voiced concern about low fertility as a major demographic challenge. If it stays at these low levels, the population quickly moves from growth to decline, which is already happening in Germany, despite immigration

  • Lega Serie A has fined Inter Milan 50,000 euros after some of its fans directed racial taunts at AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli. Several supporters were also seen waving inflatable bananas

  • When the proposal was initially made for a common European currency, it seemed to be a good idea. Although inexpert in economics, it struck me as an effect of a false analogy with the United States that was common in Europe at that time

  • The global financial crisis has slowly yielded to a global unemployment crisis. This unemployment crisis will give way to a political crisis. The crisis involves all three of the major pillars of the global system -- Europe, China and the United States

  • The Italian police have made a significant breakthrough in the investigation into the global soccer match-fixing network with the arrest of a key suspect behind the alleged rigging of some 680 worldwide matches

  • In what could clear the clouds of political uncertainty, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi withdrew his leadership bid and revived his PDL party's alliance with the far-right Northern League

  • Italy has more of Europe's cultural heritage than any other country -- and the Italians are doing a fine job of sharing it with their visitors. Here is the latest, gleaned from my guidebook research for 2013

  • The euro crisis is now threatening to turn the European Union into something fundamentally different. The member countries are divided into two classes -- creditors and debtors -- with the creditors in charge

  • Seventeen economically disparate nations bound their fortunes together in creating the euro zone, and it is exactly this that has thrown the European project into crisis

  • At peak moments, sport, which can bring millions of joyful citizens on to the streets in celebration of World Cup successes, has shown itself capable of transforming the very idea of a nation and its politics

  • Italy's bronze medal at the London Olympics was their first in a major tournament since silver at Athens 2004 and the aim is to build a new period of dominance in men's volleyball

  • Italy could not fulfil their dream of gold in London but were still happy to claim their fifth Olympic medal after edging Bulgaria 3-1 in the Men's Volleyball Bronze Medal Match

  • The much awaited quarterfinals of the men's Olympic tournament eventually ended in four straight-set victories for Brazil, Italy, Russia and Bulgaria

  • You can learn a lot about Europe's current economic crises by just ignoring the sophisticated barrage of news analysis and instead watching, listening, and talking to people

  • All over Europe, the gospel is that tight-fisted Germans are at the root of the European Union meltdown: They worked too hard, saved too much, bought too little and borrowed not at all

  • Economists continue inveighing against austerity strategies. But none of them seem capable of explaining in plain, simple language why imposing austerity now is utterly foolhardy -- in fact, just plain stupid

  • Rather than yield a positive result, Spain's false nine formation backfired as the reigning European champion was held to a 1-1 draw by Italy in the opening match of European Championship 2012 Group C

  • Like ghosts from the past, we see political violence, xenophobia, migrants being scapegoated and extreme nationalism creeping into our public debates -- even into our parliaments. This is a Europe diverging from its founding principles

  • I returned to the Cinque Terre to check in on the rebuilding efforts and visit old friends. Both times, I was amazed by the progress and moved by the locals' devotion to restoring their little chunk of Mediterranean paradise

  • The Nobel Committee recently awarded its prestigious top prize to 500 million people who have, for the last 65 years, made a conscious decision to live together in peace and harmony: the European Union

  • Spain reasserted its lofty place in football hierarchy after hammering out a 4-0 victory over Italy in the finals of 2012 Euro Championship at Kiev Olympic Stadium

  • The Italians face the Spaniards in the UEFA Euro 2012 Championship Finals in Kiev, Ukraine. Their first encounter in Group C ended in a 1-1 draw

  • Striker Mario Balotelli scored twice in the first half as Italy continued its mastery over Germany with a 2-1 win to advance to the European Championship final for the first time since 2000

  • When I visit Rome, I get a thrill walking on the same stones as Julius Caesar or St. Peter. Huge basalt paving blocks form the sturdy base of this roadway

  • If the eurozone splinters, it will have been an avoidable disaster. The choice lies with Germany, which can save the monetary union if it allows for policies aimed at debt relief and growth, not just slashing deficits

  • Volterra and San Gimignano are two stony villages dotting the hills of Northern Tuscany. Within a couple of hours of Tuscan mainstays Florence and Siena, these towns provide an emblematic but contrasting look at this famed region

  • The plans all are financial solutions to a particular set of financial problems. But regardless of whether they are realistic in addressing the financial problem, the question of whether the financial issue really addresses the fundamental dilemma of Europe -- which is political and geopolitical -- remains

  • Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit rating of Italy to A from A+ and kept it on a negative outlook

  • Albania needs to calm its problems at home in order to move on the European integration, ministers say

  • Ties between Libya and Italy's elites are very, very deep, and, as benefiting the lives of the rich and famous, sometimes produce strange little stories that illustrate much larger forces at work -- in this case, the economic future of Libya moving forward

  • What doesn't change about Italy is that it's always changing. In Rome, the Colosseum is being cleaned from top to bottom and given permanent lighting

  • The crisis won't be over until the underlying flaw of the euro is fixed -- namely the separation of monetary and fiscal policy. German public opinion has to realise that the euro was built on imperfect foundations and that these imperfections must be corrected. Meanwhile, the Italian president of the ECB will need all his technical and political expertise to keep the Eurozone together

  • It was short-term good news in that it defused 'the bomb' -- the possible catastrophe vortex of failing banks and defaulting sovereigns. The bad news is that it will induce a recession. Banks will create a credit crunch in trying to meet capital adequacy ratios, and the new austerity will create a fiscal contraction

  • Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi prefers to have European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board Member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi as the next governor of the Bank of Italy

  • As Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announces a new austerity bill based on tax rises, this column argues that the country's leaders are in denial -- it is as if they are trying to take aspirin to hide the symptoms of pneumonia

  • AC Milan vice president Paolo Berlusconi's racist slur against Mario Balotelli caused an outrage in Italy. Berlusconi was attending a political rally when he made the comments that were caught on video

  • An Italian court in Milan has rejected a request by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to suspend his sex scandal trial

  • As I wandered Venice's meandering streets and canal-side walkways, it became obvious just how much the city is changing. Tourism continues to keep Venice afloat

  • Nearly every step towards total union has revealed still more of the inherent factors of disunity in Europe and has dramatized how distant 'Europe' has become from the simple and lucid ambitions of its origins

  • The European Union is at risk of being destroyed by the euro. The credit crisis has created divisions in Europe which are undermining what was supposed to be mutual confidence and solidarity

  • American midfielder Michael Bradley has officially joined Serie A powerhouse A.S. Roma after signing a four-year deal with the Italian club

  • Throughout the Euro crisis, the Euro elite has suffered from the same inability to imagine failure that led to August 1914. Even days before the outbreak of war, it was thought impossible because the consequences would end the system

  • With Germany enjoying historic lows in unemployment, why is she resisting calls to open her purse strings to help the eurozone's floundering members? It is worth examining why Germans see things differently

  • Italy barged into the semifinals of the European Championship after beating England, 4-2, via penalty shootout

  • Defending champion Spain needed a late goal from substitute Jesus Navas to knock out Croatia, and advance to the quarterfinal round. Italy also advanced by blanking Ireland, 2-0

  • Over the past two years, the eurozone members have done a remarkable job managing the short-term symptoms of the crisis, although the costs have been great. Yet the long-term challenge remains

  • The ancient city of Pompeii -- famously ruined in A.D. 79 when mighty Mount Vesuvius blew its top -- is one of Italy's most popular tourist attractions

  • Despite short-term improvements, long-term problems will hamper Italy's efforts to escape its economic crisis

  • Europe's new fiscal compact treaty attempts to force regional reform without challenging sovereignty

  • Of all the Italian hill towns, Civita di Bagnoregio is my favorite. Less well-known than Siena or Assisi, this stunning little gem has escaped the modern age mostly because of topography

  • While Europe panicked about Greece, Italy drew closer to the brink of economic ruin. No one was paying attention while Rome was burning. Until recently

  • Even before the financial sector and sovereign debt crisis began to destabilise Europe's banking system, European leaders were voicing fears that the Old World might be slipping towards global irrelevance

  • Prime Minister Mario Monti announced his new government has plans to get Italy out of its recession while calling on other nations to mount a 'united response' to the eurozone debt crisis

  • It could be the make-or-break moment for the embattled eurozone.

  • With Italy's debt ballooning to over $1.5 trillion, some leaders are now asking if the country has reached a point of being beyond rescue. The offer by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign from his post had failed to slow down the financial turmoil

  • At the heart of this particular crisis is the unpleasant fact that the common European currency project is, in its present form, simply not working

  • The European Union is presently a source of great instability that leaders have yet to tackle. This column argues the current policy response is misguided. The adjustment programmes are bound to fail to achieve sustainable budget deficits, and may result in an unprecedented destruction of economic activity

  • If you want the real reason for concern in the United States about what's happening in Europe, follow the money. A Greek (or Irish or Spanish or Italian or Portuguese) default would have roughly the same effect on our financial system as the implosion of Lehman Brothers in 2008. That is, financial chaos

  • Repressive regimes of the Middle East and North Africa had all the equipment they needed to quash Arab Spring protests, thanks to arms exporters

  • The snowballing global campaign against corporate greed has reached Europe, particularly the capital cities of London and Rome

  • The euro should now be recognized as an experiment that failed. The political goal of creating a harmonious Europe has also failed

  • A total of 17 people have been arrested in an investigation into match-fixing and illegal betting on matches

  • EU leaders announced a new plan to contain the debt crisis in the euro area, after private banks and investors agreed to write off 50% of Greek debt from their books

  • Conventional wisdom has it that the eurozone cannot have a monetary union without also having a fiscal union. Euro-enthusiasts see the single currency as the first steppingstone toward a broader economic union, which is their dream. Euroskeptics do, too, but they see that endgame as hell -- and would prefer the single currency to be dismantled

  • European Union leaders have brokered a deal to reduce Greece's debt and hopefully stem the continent's lingering debt crisis. The deal is a major move forward, but it is still only one step in restoring stability on a continent beset by economic woes

  • Europe was seen as a work in progress moving inevitably toward unification -- a group of nations committed to a common fate. What was a core vision in 2008 is now gone. What was inconceivable -- the primacy of the traditional nation-state -- is now commonly discussed, and steps to devolve Europe in part or in whole are being contemplated. This is not a trivial event

  • There's a revolution taking place in the eastern Mediterranean and it's all about oil ... olive oil

  • A new round of second-quarter GDP figures shows slowing growth in the EU, which makes for a complicated economic situation, as reduced government spending can further stifle growth. Some economists say that, in tackling this dilemma, European governments are focusing too closely on their balance sheets and neglecting to propose real growth policies

  • The latest fear is that the sovereign-debt crisis could spread to Italy -- one of the largest but weakest economies in the European Union

  • The Italians did not build on mountain tops for the view. What is picturesque now was safe haven from the barbarians back then. Except, the barbarians are back, only this time they are not tribes with scary names like Goths, Huns and Lombards. Today the brutes have bland sounding labels like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union (EU) and Moody's

  • Austerity measures will be felt primarily by a lower middle-class already tested by the ever-growing divide between rich and poor in Italy. But the bleak political prospect goes well beyond the sense of panic caused by the economic and financial problems which beset the country.

  • I'd spent the whole afternoon in my hotel room, splicing changes into the next edition of my guidebook. It was time for just a quick little break, but stepping outside was dangerous. There was a strong current out there, and I got swept out into a Roman sea filled with colorful -- and fragrant -- distractions. I didn't get back for hours

  • There are few more beautiful places in the world than the Amalfi Coast. Ancient villages vie with lemon groves for the prime real estate on the cliffs, with views that take you over the rooftops, through the fresh laundry flapping in the breeze, out to the blue sea. Truly gorgeous

  • The European Union, like the 19th-century Congress of Vienna, can point to one achievement -- a general absence of war in Western Europe for more than 60 years. Otherwise, almost all its socialist promises of an equality of result are imploding before their eyes

  • Though frequently called the Tuscany of the North of Italy, the Oltrepo Pavese in Lombardy is fairly unknown abroad. Tourists pass the area closely when travelling to the real Tuscany, to Umbria or further south. This is a pity as the Oltrepo really offers something worthwhile for almost every tourist, especially food and wine lovers

  • Flamboyance of the Latin kind gets you into the newspapers, but for bad reasons as well as good. Italy's Silvio Berlusconi is a success in politics apparently because the majority of Italians like him.