Italia

Alongside the flat-earthers, 9/11 truthers and Obama birthers, the anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists have always had a special distinction: They can do immediate and specific damage in a way that the others can’t. Birtherism surely increased Americans’ distrust of politics, though in ways that are hard to pin down. By contrast, when anti-vaxxers persuade parents not to vaccinate children, the result can be sickness and even death.

How, then, to push back against them? Does sympathy with parents who are spooked by vaccines help to bring them around, or is it better to be tough? Over the past few years, both of these tactics have been tried in Italy, a country where, starting in about 2012, vaccination rates plunged.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hace 10 años publicaba en EL PAÍS un artículo bajo el título No al modelo Venecia lamentando como tantos el vaciamiento de la ciudad, la sustitución de gentes que la habitan por personas que la observan, de tal manera que los 100.000 residentes censados hace 40 años se han reducido a poco más de 50.000. Bien conocidos son los corolarios sociales y ecológicos de este proceso.

Motores cada vez más potentes en el transporte lagunar tienen efectos sísmicos que dañan los fundamentos de los inmuebles. Desde mucho tiempo atrás los grandes palacios que ya no podían ser mantenidos por los descendientes de familias patricias habían sufrido una reconversión, en algún caso (por ejemplo, Ca Sagredo en Canal Grande), albergando dependencias municipales o profesionales que podían interesar al habitante de la ciudad.…  Seguir leyendo »

In June 2018, the newly elected Italian government refused to allow the Aquarius, a ship carrying 600 refugees, to dock in an Italian port. This story was news, and Corriere della Sera, Italy’s paper of record, covered it accordingly, with articles written from different angles and with different headlines. But the one that really affected readers on Corriere’s Facebook page had a headline featuring the name of Italy’s then-new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, as well as his declaration: “Our ports are closed to Aquarius!” A new study — carried out by my London School of Economics Arena project , the University of Venice and Corriere della Sera itself — found that, in 2018, this was the second-most “engaged with” post on the topic of migration on Corriere’s Facebook page, the one that attracted the most clicks, likes, dislikes, comments and shares.…  Seguir leyendo »

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini of Italy on the Italian talk show “Porta a Porta” in Rome last year, while a picture of Pope Francis was projected in the background.CreditCreditAndreas Solaro/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

On paper, Italy’s deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, is a dubious poster child for Catholicism. Mr. Salvini is divorced. He has two children by two women and is in a relationship with a third. But that hasn’t stopped him from reinventing himself as Italy’s Catholic-in-chief. “I am the last of the good Christians,” Mr. Salvini, 46, said recently, during an appearance on the popular TV show “Non è l’Arena.” “I defend our history and the existence of Catholic schools,” he said during the same appearance. “If I believe in God,” he asked rhetorically, “and if I even ask for Mary’s protection, does that bother anybody?”

It bothers the Pope, for one.…  Seguir leyendo »

An overflowing trash bin in Rome on June 24. (Andrew Medichini/AP)

All across Milan, condolences rain down upon the head of the traveler bound for Rome. One Milanesi friend showed me photographs, sent by his niece, of the garbage that hasn’t been cleared from the Roman streets. Another told me to watch out for the smell: “If you haven’t been there for a long time, prepare for a shock.” The expressions of concern are dispensed with just a touch of glee, for Rome, unlike Milan, is now ruled by a mayor from the Five Star Movement. This newish Italian political party was founded by a professional comedian who used to describe politicians as “parasites,” whose leaders rail against the “establishment” and whose electoral lists were filled with people who had never before run for office.…  Seguir leyendo »

Italia se enfrenta a una doble crisis económica en que dos recesiones y una crisis bancaria a lo largo de la última década se han sumado a un lento declive estructural del crecimiento en un periodo mucho más prolongado. Y el alto nivel de deuda pública del país deja a las autoridades con opciones limitadas.

La deuda pública alcanza hoy la astronómica cifra de los €2,3 billones ($2,6 billones), o un 131% del PIB, lo que exige que las autoridades emitan más de €400 mil millones al año de bonos de gobierno. Todo esto vuelve a la economía italiana extremadamente vulnerable a los golpes externos, y hace que la cuidadosa administración de las finanzas públicas sea crucial para mantener la confianza en los mercados.…  Seguir leyendo »

Earlier this month in Italy, angry protesters and members of the extreme-right party CasaPound Italia (CPI) tried to block a Roma family from accessing its assigned council apartment in the Casal Bruciato district of Rome. When riot police escorted a woman and her child back to the apartment, some protesters raised their arms in a fascist salute; others shouted racial insults and rape threats.

This was just one of a series of CPI-promoted anti-immigration actions in low-income neighborhoods in Italy. The Italian media also spotlighted the arrest this spring of a CasaPound town councilor for alleged gang rape, and the mounting controversy over the participation of the group’s semiofficial publisher in the Turin international book fair.…  Seguir leyendo »

Parábola de una estrella

Un deseo. Solemos asociarlo a una estrella, o tal vez, siguiendo su etimología, al temor, al miedo a perder la protección de los astros. De-siderium.Por tal motivo, mejor una constelación. Que forma un movimiento: el Movimiento 5 Estrellas, para ser precisos, que hoy, como es bien sabido, es uno de los dos socios de gobierno de una Italia que está perdiendo el rumbo. Parábola de una estrella, hemos titulado este artículo, aunque más que al movimiento aristotélico de las parábolas, de la sucesión de formas de gobierno, nos parece asistir a una decadencia, temprana y fulminante, a la visión de una triste estrella fugaz.…  Seguir leyendo »

La situation préoccupante de l’économie italienne – une dette explosive (130 % du PIB), une croissance faible (1,2 %) et un taux de chômage particulièrement élevé chez les jeunes (33 %) – et les coûteuses promesses électorales de son gouvernement, rangent désormais ce pays, avec la Grèce, au mieux parmi les mauvais élèves de la zone euro, au pire parmi les bombes à retardement en Europe.

Les risques que représente l’économie de la péninsule pour ses partenaires européens sont suivis avec une réelle inquiétude outre-Rhin. Le débat y fait rage sur le système de paiement européen Target 2. Lancée en 2007, cette plate-forme de paiement de l’euro-système, qui implique à la fois les banques centrales et les banques commerciales, exécute les virements les plus importants entre pays de la zone.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿La “Iniciativa Un cinturón, una ruta” de China es “un tren que Italia no se puede dar el lujo de perder”, como dice el ministro de Finanzas italiano, Giovanni Tria? El primer ministro Giuseppe Conte también piensa que Italia debería montarse a ese tren, con el argumento de que el plan de infraestructura chino de miles de millones de dólares es “una oportunidad para nuestro país”.

El gobierno italiano planea firmar un memorándum de entendimiento con China sobre la iniciativa BRI (por su sigla en inglés) durante la visita del 22 al 24 de marzo del presidente chino, Xi Jinping, con lo que Italia se convertiría en el primer miembro fundador de la Unión Europea o país del G7 en hacerlo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hoy Italia es la línea de trinchera en la batalla por el euro. Un viento político de cola impulsa a su vice primer ministro, Matteo Salvini, y tras las elecciones de mayo para el Parlamento Europeo podría reforzar su capacidad de hacerle mucho daño a la Unión Europea. Lo fascinante y desconcertante del caso es que lo que genera la xenofobia en la que se sostiene la creciente autoridad de Salvini es la arquitectura defectuosa de la eurozona y el consiguiente juego político de culpabilización mutua.

En su último informe sobre los desequilibrios económicos de los estados miembros de la UE, la Comisión Europea culpa al gobierno italiano por su incapacidad para poner freno a la deuda, a la que adjudica la falta de crecimiento.…  Seguir leyendo »

Flags compete during a Yellow Vests demonstration in December in Ventimiglia, Italy, near the French border. Credit Valery Hache/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

White sauce and migration, the fork and the Mona Lisa, a fast train and an African currency — the points of contention are many. Since coming to power eight months ago, the most unpredictable and quarrelsome government Italy has ever known has managed to pick a colossal fight with, yes, France.

On Thursday, the French government called back for “consultations” its ambassador to Italy. Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, both deputy prime ministers of Italy, had said that they gave their full support to the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests), who have been protesting throughout France for weeks, rattling the presidency of Emmanuel Macron.…  Seguir leyendo »

Does the EU Have an Italy Problem?

On 7 February, the French government recalled its ambassador to Rome as a sign of its displeasure over the numerous forays the current Italian government has made into the domestic affairs of its European partner. It came only a few days after the EU failed to establish a common position on the Venezuelan crisis because the Italian government refused to endorse a call for elections. The week’s events are just the most recent manifestations of perhaps Italy becoming the European Union’s biggest headache. The list of issues on which the Italian government has clashed with the EU and its partners includes the question of Russian sanctions, migrants, and economic policy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Two Hearts Believing in Just One Mind

Two hearts, believing in just one mind… Phil Collins’ amazing hit Two Hearts from 1988 could perfectly represent the status of the current Italian Government. We have two very different and distanced hearts, the Five Stars Movement (5SM) and the League, believing in just one mind which is represented by the very delicate goal to make the government last to May 2019 European elections. And as we get closer to this electoral appointment, the objective becomes more and more difficult to achieve, for a several range of varieties, starting from domestic to foreign policy ones.

As for the domestic dimension, each of the two coalition ally is making greater efforts in preserving and putting in place the political proposals they put forward during the 2018 electoral campaign, (which by the way never ended and it is still on-going): on one side, the 5SM with the minimum citizen income, on the other, the League with the pension reform.…  Seguir leyendo »

Una advertencia italiana para Francia

El apoyo de los líderes populistas de Italia a las “protestas de los chalecos amarillos” en Francia tristemente es un suceso que ocurre por primera vez en la historia de la Unión Europea. Nunca antes uno de los seis países fundadores del proyecto europeo había intervenido con tanta determinación en los asuntos internos de otro. Y, añadiendo sal a la herida, Italia brinda su respaldo a un movimiento que contiene elementos que rechazan patentemente los valores fundamentales europeos de tolerancia y respeto por las instituciones democráticas.

Italia se encuentra perdida, transitando por un mal camino, y Francia necesita entender por qué; y así, consiguientemente, podrá luchar en pos de garantizar que el populismo no gane terreno dentro de su propio país.…  Seguir leyendo »

Maurizio Martorana

The penicillin factory is a sprawling, abandoned complex on the outskirts of Rome. The first thing I noticed when Italian photographer Maurizio Martorana and I visited in November 2018 was the trash. Stacks of T-shirts, juice cartons, plastic plates, clothes racks, and bicycle parts. A path led through a series of buildings, and against every wall was a makeshift shack. At the time, some 500 people, the majority of them African migrants and refugees, lived there amid the debris.

The second floor of the factory was covered with shit—with no working plumbing, people had nowhere else to defecate. The street-side windows looked out on a tennis club.…  Seguir leyendo »

Como hogar tanto del Imperio Romano como del Renacimiento, Italia ha estado durante mucho tiempo a la vanguardia de los desarrollos culturales en Europa y Eurasia occidental. Pero también ha servido como un ejemplo de decadencia política. El clásico de Edward Gibbon Historia de la decadencia y caída del Imperio Romano, después de todo, estaba pensado como una advertencia para los contemporáneos con veleidades imperiales del autor.

El estancamiento económico de Italia después de principios del siglo XVII también fue considerado un ejemplo admonitorio. El crítico inglés del siglo XIX John Ruskin imploró a miembros de la sociedad mercantil de Gran Bretaña que reflexionaran sobre las tragedias de Tiro y Venecia.…  Seguir leyendo »

A couple withdraw their first euro banknotes from an ATM in Rome in the early hours of 1 January 2002. Photograph: Claudia Gazzini/AP

I’ll never forget the early hours of 1 January 2002. Crowds of Italians emerged from restaurants and clubs where they’d been celebrating the new year, and rushed to queue at cash dispensers. Families and groups of young people mingled and joked. They were all in a hurry to get their hands on banknotes of the freshly launched European single currency. It seemed like miracle money that would at last replace our old lira and its chronic devaluations, a symbol of Italy’s many woes.

That night we felt we were entering a new world, a place inhabited by serious, steady people blessed with a respectable currency.…  Seguir leyendo »

An SS Lazio v Napoli Serie A football match in August. ‘By the mid-1990s, ultras had largely evolved into criminal gangs with neo-fascist sympathies Photograph: Fabio Sasso/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

This week has shown, once again, that Italian football has a deep-seated problem with racism and fascism. At the Boxing Day game at the San Siro stadium in Milan, the black Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was booed for the entire match. Then, the next day, it was revealed that the fan who had died in a fight before the game between rival “ultras” (the hardcore fans) was a neo-Nazi member of a gang called Blood and Honour.

No country is free of racism, as the banana skin thrown at the recent north London derby and the abuse of Raheem Sterling, made clear.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why the U.S. Should Not Assist Italy in Forfeiting a Rare Bronze

In recent years, museums in the United States have surrendered antiquities to numerous countries after determining that the objects had been illicitly acquired. Those restitutions were necessary: no museum should retain a work that was stolen or transferred in violation of international law or treaty obligations. Due diligence in acquiring an antiquity requires, at a minimum, documentation of where it was discovered in modern times and its subsequent movements across national borders. Applying those standards is not always easy and, at least until recently, often not undertaken with appropriate thoroughness. There is, though, a notable exception: the J. Paul Getty Museum’s 1977 purchase of “Statue of a Victorious Youth,” a Greek statue known as the Getty Bronze that Italy is claiming as its own.…  Seguir leyendo »