mercoledì 18 giugno 2014

Ken Loach, Fo sign against Valsusa High Speed Train line

VIPs back no-global appeal to 'Permanent People's Tribunal'

(ANSA) - Turin, June 18 - UK director Ken Loach and Nobel literature laureate Dario Fo are among intellectuals supporting an appeal filed Tuesday to a Permanent Tribunal of Peoples (TPP) against the high-speed TAV train line being built through the Alpine Valsusa area, organisers say.

Also among those signing the protest organised by the Valsusa Counter-observatory movement headed by retired magistrate Livo Pepino were French economist Serge Latouche, sociologist Luciano Gallino and designer Ellekappa. So-called 'No-TAV' protesters have staged demonstrations for years to try and halt the work on the high-speed rail connection in the Alpine pass, arguing that it will upset the ecological balance in the area.

The appeal is believed to be the first of its kind in Italy or Europe to the TPP, an independent body that issues opinions and rulings on cases of suspected systematic violations of human rights. "The situation in Val Susa raises fundamental questions of democracy and the respect for human rights," Pepino said. 

Quasimodo, Renzo Piano, 1914-2014 asked of 'bac' candidates

Hermetic poet, Pritzker Prize winner in school-leaving exam

(ANSA) - Rome, June 18 - Hermetic Nobel Prize-winning poet Salvatore Quasimodo and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano were among the options that emerged for those sitting the maturita' school-leaving certificate or baccalaureate Wednesday. Quasimodo, who comes at the end of the syllabus and is seen as a hard option, had not come out for 12 years.

The question on Piano asked about his and others' efforts to revamp urban peripheries. Other options included a comparison between 1914 and 2014, focusing on the ills and violence of the 20th century. 

Soccer: Italy eye early passage against Costa Rica

Buffon expected to return for second Group D match

(ANSA) - Rome, June 18 - Italy are looking to close in on a place in the knockout round of the World Cup in Brazil on Friday when they face Costa Rica in their second Group D game. The Azzurri are upbeat after their impressive 2-1 win over England on Saturday, a performance that led former national-team coach Marcello Lippi to say he could see the same spirit that his squad had on the way to winning the 2006 World Cup.

Victory over Costa Rica in Recife will secure Italy's passage for the next round with one game to spare if Uruguay fail to beat England on Wednesday. If Uruguay, who lost 3-1 to Costa Rica on their opener, do beat England, Cesare Prandelli's men would need a draw in their final game - against Uruguay in Natal next Tuesday - to be certain of progressing. "I hope we'll go through to the next round with the match against Costa Rica," Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. "Uruguay and England play the day before and the situation will be clear. We'll have the chance to qualify, either mathematically or virtually".

There is optimism that captain-goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will be back for the Costa Rica game. Buffon, 36, has returned to training after missing the England match with an ankle sprain. Even if he doesn't return, the Azzurri should be in good hands anyway with Salvatore Sirigu, who played well in goal against England There is speculation Prandelli may make some changes in defence, the one department that had some wobbly moments against the English.

Gabriel Paletta is expected to be dropped at centre back. Pundits expect Prandelli to replace him with Leonardo Bonucci or reorganise the backline, shifting Giorgio Chiellini across from left back, bringing Ignazio Abate in at right back and moving Matteo Darmian from the right flank to the left. Left back Mattia De Sciglio, who missed the England match with a thigh-muscle problem, looks likely to stay on the sidelines. The boss is also thought to be considering resting midfielder Marco Verratti, who missed several days of training last week with flu, and selecting Thiago Motta in his place. 

Men's wear goes 'wild' at Pitti Uomo

With tropical prints and flowers

(ANSA) - Florence, June 18 - Men's wear spring-summer 2015 collections walk on the wild side of fashion at the 86th edition of Florence's Pitti Uomo trade fair wrapping up Friday. If formal clothing has rediscovered the undying allure of men's staples with a twist, from waistcoats to the slim-fitting blue blazers famously donned by Italy's 39-year-old Florentine Premier Matteo Renzi, casual clothes will be all about tropical prints, flowers and colonial styles when temperatures start soaring next year. Angelo Nardelli 1951 vied for a 1970s look with a collection dominated by flower patterns on both jackets and pants. Paolo Pecora Milano also dived into the botanical look with tiny flowers on its 1950s-inspired ties and embossed on suits, jackets and pants.

Marches tailor Lardini embraced next summer's soaring horticultural fecundity with beautiful blooms on its most elegant waistcoats. From blooming Western gardens to Caribbean sunsets, fashion savvy men next year will also be parading shirts, T-shirts and shorts with a tropical inspiration. Palms, lush undergrowth, hibiscus flowers and glimpses of beaches and waterfalls are all over collections - from jackets to jeans. Colmar Originals went for flowers and hibiscus to decorate the lining of its jackets while Italian shirt-makers Webb & Scott vied for the Hawaii spirit along with hip artisan shoemakers Raparo.

PT 01 - Pantaloni Torino launched a new line of chinos, the Fiji, paying homage to the exotic islands with a color palette of beiges and browns to give its pants a lived-in, discolored look. A cult brand of the 1980s, Mauna Kea, and Florence's iconic jeans manufacturers Roy Roger's went for beach couture hailing West Coast surf culture and East Coast glamour with flowers and printed beach photos. And the exotic hype is stretching from head to toe at Pitti Uomo.

Men next summer will be able to step under the sun with a flower-printed Stetson hat on their head and their feed clad in Gallo's Reef socks, hailing coral barriers, inside tropically inspired sneakers. Indeed the sneakers elevated to fashion must by top designers and trend setters like Marc Jacobs and Hedi Slimane are one of the highlights of this Pitti Uomo edition. Diadora heritage is nodding to the 1990s and this year's World Cup while D'Acquasparta pays homage to tennis and Wimbledon with vintage-looking sneakers.

Pantofola D'Oro is celebrating next year's rugby world cup and Italy's iconic Superga tennis shoes are bowing to a range of moods embracing Arabic-style patterns and the ever-popular skulls. And when the sun sets, if the summer breeze starts blowing and temperatures drop by a few degrees, De Praio has designed scarves for the boys with the omnipresent flower patterns and tropical prints. Elegance also has an exotic touch at Brunello Cucinelli.

The luxury brand's spring-summer collection was inspired by three leading European capitals - Paris, London and Amsterdam - yet in a color palette echoing the shades of Asia and Africa. The youthful polish of Cucinelli's slim-fitting suits was enhanced by colonial and exotic nuances of beiges and blues with touches of saffron, curry and orange inspired by spices. And if menswear labels are eyeing faraway countries for inspiration, data released on the eve of Pitti Uomo by the federation of Italian fashion businesses Sistema Moda Italia, showed foreign markets are also very good for business.

Exports in 2013 registered 4.3% growth worth 5.3 billion euros for Italian menswear labels - helping the sector's revenues as domestic sales shrank 9.3% while Italy was struggling out of its longest and deepest postwar recession. Overall, Italian menswear was worth 8.5 billion euros in 2013. While growth across EU markets remained stable - up 1.4% - the 1,090 companies presenting their spring-summer collections at Florence's Forezza da Basso will be vying in particular for markets outside Europe which registered a 7.4% hike last year, led by South Korea with a 35% increase, China with 29.5% and Hong Kong with 18%.

Traditional markets also grew, notably the US up 2%, Russia up 1.2% and Japan, which registered a 0.7% increase. According to data released by Italian statistics bureau Istat, exports will keep growing this year with a 4.7% increase already recorded in the first two months of 2014 on the same period last year. 

Calabrian Mob the one with the most reach in Emilia-Romagna

'Ndrangheta infiltration in post-quake reconstruction contracts

(ANSA) - Bologna, June 18 - A law-enforcement meeting in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region on Wednesday found that the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta mafia is the most infiltrated in this wealthy northern region, where it has caused a rise in financial wrongdoing and in the overall crime rate.

The meeting of prefects, police commissioners, Carabinieri military police, and tax police commanders found that 55 companies involved in reconstruction in the wake of two major earthquakes that killed 26 people and caused widespread damage in May 2012 have been black-listed after investigators found they had mafia links.

Of these, more than half had links with the 'Ndrangheta, and the rest were connected to the Sicilian Mafia and the Naples-based Camorra mafia. The 'Ndrangheta is believed to be the most powerful of Italy's mafias for its virtual stranglehold on the European cocaine trade. 

Nero's rundown Domus Aurea seeks sponsor

Hope for 'major firm' like at Colosseum says Franceschini

(ANSA) - Rome, June 18 - The fabled but rundown Golden House of Roman Emperor Nero is looking to the private sector to help fund a new multi-million-euro restoration project that should see it reopen after a 13-year closure in four years' time.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said Wednesday the legendary Domus Aurea would require yet another major restoration. He said the project, in which he hoped "a big private group will be involved", would cost an estimated 31 million euros. "The State will do its part but we'd really like to see the intervention of a major firm," as shoe king Diego Della Valle, the Tod's owner, has done for an ongoing restoration of the Colosseum, Franceschini said. The Domus has been shut since 2005 for work to make it more stable. After Franceschini's announcement, archaeologists said restorers will tackle the "very challenging" job by uprooting the 16,000-square-meter garden that now covers the Domus, and which is in a state of "serious" disrepair.

After that, they will excavate the underlying structures, strengthen the vaults, rebuild the pergolas, clean up the frescoes, and generally render the entire site safe for visitors. Then a landscape architect will redesign the garden to recreate its function at the time of Trajan, who built his baths atop the pleasure dome after Nero committed suicide in 68 AD. "It was a place for sport, chatting, and culture, and that's what we hope to restore it to," said monument director Teodora Filippi. The last reported occurrence of damage to the Domus was on March 30, 2010 when part of a ceiling in subsequent baths above it fell in.

The collapse occurred over what was once the central dome of the sprawling structure. Some 60 square meters of the baths built on top of the Golden House by Trajan, came down because of seepage from heavy rains.

At the time of the last collapse, then Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno said he was "very worried" about the state of the structure, one of Rome's most celebrated tourist attractions. The special commissioner for the site, Luciano Marchetti, said "more collapses were possible". The situation, he said, was "one of extreme alert". The Domus Aurea, built by Nero soon after the great fire in Rome in 64 AD, was closed after masonry fell from flaking walls and a high level of dangerous seepage was detected.

A recent project, still uncompleted, aimed to open up 2,600 square metres of the site. The top of the Domus on the Colle Oppio (Oppian Hill) is covered with parks, trees and roads whose weight and polluting effect are a constant threat. Archaeologists have also been trying to unearth more of the massive baths that Trajan built.

The golden palace of the ill-famed Nero (37-68 AD) first re-opened in June 1999 after 21 years in which it was Rome's best-kept secret - open only to art officials and special guests. Some five billion lire (2.5 million euros) were spent in refurbishing the visitable rooms filled with frescoes of weird animals like winged lions, griffins and tritons which led to the original coinage of the word 'grotesque', from the Italian word for cave (grotto). Architecturally, the Domus's 'piece de resistance' is the eight-sided Sala Ottagonale where Nero is supposed to have entertained his guests with his singing and lyre-playing on a rotating floor. According to Roman historian Suetonius, Nero surprised his guests by having marble panels slide back to shower guests with petals and perfume.

When the Domus was completed, it actually stretched for 50 hectares and covered most of the neighbouring Palatine and Celian hills as well. Nero was reputed to have remarked that finally he was beginning to be "housed like a human being". After Nero's suicide in 68 AD the Flavian emperors who succeeded him proceeded to bury all trace of his legacy.

The Flavian amphitheater, better known as the Colosseum, was built on the site of Nero's palace-side lake, while Trajan built his baths on top of the main part of the pleasure dome. The Colosseum is so-called because of the massive statue of Nero-as-Apollo, a colossus, that his successors dragged beside their own monument, after changing the head. The Domus also has a cherished place in Italian art history because Renaissance greats like Raphael and Michelangelo lowered themselves through the oculus on ropes to gaze at and copy the ancient wall drawings - a crucial stage in the full rediscovery of how to apply the laws of perspective to painting. 

EU youth employment summit may be moved from Italy

Security concerns in Turin may mean change of venue to Brussels

(ANSA) - Rome, June 18 - A European Union summit on youth unemployment planned for the northern Italian city of Turin next month may instead be moved to Brussels for security reasons, sources told ANSA Wednesday. First ministers from across the EU were scheduled to meet in the industrial city of Turin on July 11 to discuss high rates of youth employment across Europe.

However, organizers are concerned about possible unrest in the industrial city of Turin, where groups have announced plans to disrupt the event. Turin has been the scene of violent clashes between police and demonstrators in the past, on issues ranging from social housing to opposition to a high-speed rail link between the city and Lyon in France, to rallies against austerity-driven tax hikes. 

Govt outlines plans to boost investment, cut bills

Tax credits for companies that invest in machinery, says Padoan

(ANSA) - Rome, June 18 - Tax credits, a break on energy costs, and easier credit access for business are among measures included in a government plan to stimulate sluggish growth, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Wednesday. "(These will) help enterprises to make investments (in order to) put the recovery on a solid and sustainable path", Padoan said at a news conference.

Companies that invest more than 10,000 euros in machinery and capital goods will in 2016 receive a 15% tax credit on the value of the investment under the plan. A break on electricity levies will save an estimated 1.5 billion euros for small- and medium-sized business (SMEs), including 800 million euros this year, the economy ministry estimated. As well, a new rule allowing insurers to lend is also aimed at helping improve access to credit for Italian businesses and Padoan said incentives would be provided to encourage more companies to raise money by listing on financial markets. Industry Minister Federica Guidi said that Italy needed to give businesses a "positive shock" to jump-start investment and expansion.

The government of Premier Matteo Renzi has been trying to encourage economic growth in Italy as it struggles to emerge from its worst recession since the Second World War. Many had hoped that Italy was beginning to find its economic footing earlier this year, after the economy had posted positive growth for the first time in over two years at the end of 2013 - albeit growth of just 0.1% in the final three months of last year. However, those hopes were hit hard by reports last month that gross domestic product actually dropped 0.1% in the first quarter of this year compared with the final three months of 2013. At the same time, unemployment in Italy reached 13.6% in the first quarter of 2014, the national statistics agency Istat said earlier this month, adding that youth joblessness has hit 46%. Both national unemployment and youth unemployment reached record highs not seen since quarterly records were first tabulated in 1977, Istat said.

To try to fight against the economic headwinds, Renzi is also pushing for institutional reforms, including changes to the structure of the labour market. Meanwhile, his plan for personal and regional business tax cuts were approved in a decree Wednesday that includes an 80-euro monthly bonus for people earning up to 24,000 euros per annum and those on unemployment benefits. The effect of the tax bonus, which should cost around 10 billion euros per year, will decrease above 24,000 euros annual income and won't be given to people with incomes of over 26,000 euros per year.

The decree also features a 10% cut in the IRAP regional business tax and makes it possible for public bodies to cancel expensive rental contracts, following high-profile cases of properties rented by the Italian parliament for office space. The decree also includes a controversial 150-million-euro cut to public broadcaster RAI and cuts to the budgets of agencies such as ENAV and Poste Italiane which are being partially privatized. The decree raises fees for passports, and announces reforms to the foreign ministry, including new money for developing international commercial contacts and promotions. Padoan's business measures come two weeks after the European Central Bank announced its own package of steps to boost growth in the eurozone and fight the threat of deflation, including two interest-rate cuts and as much as 400 billion euros in new loans.

ECB President Mario Draghi said the ECB had also decided it must "intensify preparatory work related to outright purchases" of asset-backed securities, a limited form of the type of quantitative easing that had been practiced by the United States Federal Reserve. The Financial Times reported Wednesday that the International Monetary Fund was preparing to ask the ECB on Thursday to move ahead on implementing quantitative easing to fight the risk of deflation.

lunedì 16 giugno 2014

Suspect in 2010 teen murder identified

Yara Gambirasio vanished after gymnastic practice

(ANSA) - Rome, June 16 - Police have identified a man suspected of killing schoolgirl Yara Gambirasio in 2010, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Monday.

The suspect is Massimo Giuseppe Bossetti, a 44-year-old construction worker with no criminal record, sources said. Gambirasio, 13, vanished on her way home from gymnastics practice in November 2010. Her body was found three months later in a vacant lot 10 kilometers away. Alfano said he wanted to "thank everyone (for the) expertise and passion invested in the difficult search for this brutal murderer who, finally, is no longer faceless".

The breakthrough comes after DNA testing of the local population as part of a bid to find the killer. Last month investigators said the tests showed that the killer was the illegitimate child of a bus driver who died in 1999. 

Italy's population deficit worst ever, Istat report finds

Births fell by 3.7% as deaths slipped by 2%

(ANSA) Rome, June 16 - Italy's negative population deficit reached its worst ever level in 2013 with births falling by 3.7% as the number of deaths declined by 2%, the official Istat statistics office said Monday. In all 514,308 new births were registered on the peninsula last year (some 20,000 less than in 2012) while there were 600,744 deaths (12,000 less than in 2012), yielding a negative "natural balance" of 86,436, the worst such demographic mismatch recorded in Italy, Istat said in a report.

As many as 9.2 million, or some 15% of the population, live in 12 cities with more than 250,000 inhabitants, the report found. Rome and Milan together have some 4.2 million residents (2,863,322 in the capital and 1,324,169 in Milan).

Italy's foreign population now amounts to 1,052,000 foreign citizens resident in the country with their percentage in cities ranging from 3.1% in Bari to 17.4% in Milan. The "natural balance" is negative or close to zero in all the 12 biggest cities, according to Istat, amounting to minus 12 people in Palermo, for example. 

Gusting winds send tables flying, damage port in Naples

Storm floods roads, cuts yacht moorings, Metro station closed

(ANSA) Naples, June 16 - A fierce thunderstorm and gusting winds struck this port city Monday, sending café tables and chairs flying, severing yacht moorings and cracking walls in a building hit by lightning, firefighter said. Several streets near Naples' main Poggioreale prison were flooded including one linking the penitentiary to the Palace of Justice courthouse, preventing transfer of suspects from the Camorra, the Neapolitan version of the Mafia, to stand trial.

Emergency service telephones were jammed with requests for help from firefighters, traffic was snarled even more than usual, trees toppled and flower pots tumbled from balconies in the smart Vomero hillside district overlooking the Bay of Naples. The central Garibaldi station of the underground Metro system was closed due to flooding of tracks requiring draining while traffic proceeded at a crawl on the state highway 268 linking the city to Herculaneum, Pompeii and the rash of other towns nestling under the shadow of the Vesuvius volcano. 

Third authentic copy of manuscript by Giacomo Leopardi found

An original version of 'L'Infinito' to be displayed

(ANSA) - Recanati, June 16 - A third authentic manuscript of the poem 'L'Infinito' by Giacomo Leopardi, the famed Italian poet and philosopher born in the Marche town of Recanati, has been discovered and will be put on display this week.

The text, found in private archives, will be displayed Wednesday at the nearby University of Macerata, 20 kilometers from Recanati, during a conference dedicated to the poem and Leopardi's writings. Luca Pernici, director of cultural institutions for the city of Cingoli, also in the region of Macerata, discovered the manuscript in a private collection of papers. It was later authenticated by Marcello Andria of the National Library of Naples and a specialist in Leopardi's works. 

Italian scientists develop 'friendly gluten'

Breakthrough could be good news for coeliac sufferers

(ANSA) - Foggia, June 16 - A group of Italian scientists say they have developed a method to modify a protein in wheat gluten so that it does not spark the damaging reaction suffered by people with coeliac disease.

The process to create 'friendly gluten' may make it possible to produce wheat-flour breads, pastas, cakes, biscuits and other goods that, at the moment, coeliac sufferers have to avoid. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that reduces sufferers' ability to properly absorb nutrients from food in their intestine. It is caused by a reaction to the gluten proteins found in wheat and other grains such as barley and rye.

The only treatment for coeliac disease is to have a gluten-free diet. But the team from Foggia University (Università di Foggia) say they have created a way to modify the gluten protein in wheat to interrupt the chemical reaction that is damaging to people with coeliac diseases. This may make it possible to have products with gluten- friendly wheat flour that are just as tasty as traditional bread, pasta, pastries and so on.

There are many gluten-free versions of products usually made of wheat flour on the market, created with alternative ingredients such as corn flour and rice flour, but the taste is often not quite the same. It is also possible to extract gluten from wheat flour but, once this is done, the flour loses some of the characteristics that make it well suited as an ingredient for many foods.

The breakthrough is a result of research by professors Aldo Di Luccia and Carmen Lamacchia of Foggia University and Carmela Gianfrani of Italy's national research council (CNR). The team has patented its method for creating friendly gluten in Italy and the rest of the world. Coeliac disease is thought to affect up to 1% of people with Western Caucasian ancestry, although many sufferers go undiagnosed. Symptoms include a failure to grow properly in children, pain and discomfort in the digestive tract, chronic constipation and diarrhoea, anaemia and fatigue. 

Basketball: Belinelli thanks knockers after winning NBA

28-year-old first Italian to triumph in US league

(ANSA) - Rome, June 16 - Marco Belinelli has thanked his knockers after becoming the first Italian ever to win the NBA title. Shooting guard Belinelli was part of the San Antonio Spurs team that clinched the NBA title on Sunday, when they beat the Miami Heat 104-87, to claim a 4-1 victory in the best-of-seven final series. "It's truly incredible," said Belinelli, a 28-year-old from the town of San Giovanni in Persiceto near Bologna.

"I'm an NBA champion. No one would ever have said it was possible. "This success is for my family and all those who believed in me. "But I also want to dedicate it to all those who have criticised me over the years, those who said I'd never develop in this league. "They gave me incredible motivation and now I'm NBA champion". Belinelli has had plenty of up and downs in the NBA since he left Fortitudo Bologna in 2007 after being drafted by the Oakland-based Golden State Warriors and he was traded four times. 

Rome showcases early 20th-century Jewish women artists

Unprecedented GNAM show through October 5

(ANSA) - Rome, June 16 - A show of early 20th-century Italian Jewish women artists highlights their condition as a minority, in the year in which the 15th European Day of Jewish Heritage takes as its theme 'Women in Judaism'. From the Modigliani sisters to Adriana Pincherle and Antonietta Raphael, this beautiful exhibit of 150 works by 15 artists runs through October 5 in Rome's Modern Art Gallery (GNAM). Titled 'Novecento Women Artists Between Jewish Vision and Identity', the show not only displays the undoubted talent and individual personalities of these artists, but also traces the social and cultural milieu in which they grew and flourished, allowing viewers to reconstruct the artistic environment of the first decades of the 20th century between the academy and the avant-garde.

And while women were penalized as a gender and Jewish women doubly so, they also benefited from the strength of their families and their tradition, which places a high value on education for both sexes. ''There was no illiteracy in Jewish families, as both boys and girls had to study in order to be able to read the Torah'', explained one of the curators. Such was the case of Annie Nathan (1878-1946), whose father Ernesto was the mayor of Rome for six years, and who grew up in a cosmopolitan environment imbued with the republican and democratic ideals of Giuseppe Mazzini, one of modern Italy's founding fathers.

Nathan studied with Giacomo Balla, in whose school she learned to ''paint reality from reality'', entrusting her vision to pure and vivid colors. She died in Switzerland, where she fled Italy's anti-Semitic racial laws. Corinna Modigliani (1891-1959), a second-degree cousin to the better-known painter and sculptor Amedeo, studied in the atelier of Pietro Vanni and was also influenced by Balla, her landscapes and portraits of children swimming against backgrounds of chromatically interacting patches recalling the master's Divisionist period. Like Corinna, her younger sister Olga (1873-1968) embarked on what was at the time considered an unconventional lifestyle, eschewing marriage in favor of travel and art. An undisputed master of ceramic decoration, her work was exhibited at the 1914 Venice Biennale and featured in both private and public collections.

Turin-born Paola Levi Montalcini (1909-2000) is represented with early work from the 1920s, when like most of her city's avant-garde she was influenced by Felice Casorati. There are also paintings from her Abstract Expressionist period, and canvases from the 1970s, when she explored the limits between art and mathematics. The last two exhibition halls are dedicated to the two most prominent Jewish women artists. Pincherle (1909-1996), the elder sister of renowned Italian novelist Alberto Moravia, studied the Impressionists in Paris and was heavily influenced by Henri Matisse, whose flat perspectives and vibrant palette infuse her lovely portraits and still lives. Raphael (Lithuania 1895-Rome 1975), whose paintings and sculptures are a testament to her undisputed talent, was ignored by critics until the 1950s, when she finally gained recognition for her artistic output between the two world wars. Curated by Marina Bakos, Rome Jewish Museum Director Olga Melasecchi, and Federica Pirani, the show is promoted by the Rome department of culture, the Capitoline superintendency, the non-profit Foundation for Jewish Cultural Assets in Italy, and the Rome Jewish Museum. 

Schaeuble's office says Germany does not doubt EU pact

'Enough flexibility' in European Union budget rules

(ANSA) - Berlin, June 16 - A spokesman for German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Monday that the government has confidence in the European Union's Growth and Stability Pact and its rules on budget deficits. The comments came after German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel was quoted as saying that both Germany and France are interested in easing budget rules to help countries that need more time to reduce their deficits. "Countries that are embarking on reforms must have more time to cut their deficits, but it has to be binding - a binding chance to reform in return for more time," Gabriel said after meeting his French counterpart, the Bloomberg news agency reported.

When asked by ANSA for a response, a spokesman for Schaeuble said: "Nobody in the German government casts doubt on the Stability Pact". The spokesman said that the budget rules must be respected and countries affected by the eurozone crisis are "already being given more time". Added the spokesman: "There is enough flexibility in the Stability and Growth Pact".

The Stability Pact says the eurozone countries must keep the ratio of their deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) under 3% and sets out a series of strategic goals dealing with budget sustainability, growth, and encouraging competitiveness and job creation as well as dealing with debt levels. Italy has been close to the 3% limit on the deficit-to-GDP ratio imposed by the pact, which has forced the government to raise taxes and cut spending, arguably choking off economic growth as the country struggles to definitively emerge from its deepest recession since the Second World War.

The EC said Italy must "reinforce its 2014 budget measures" in order to stay in line with debt-reduction rules. At the same time, the EC's Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, acknowledged that Italy is "already implementing considerable reforms". Italian Premier Matteo Renzi's administration has been counting on a range of measures aimed at giving the lackluster economy a boost while reducing the deficit as a percentage of GDP. 

Schumacher pulls out of coma

Ferrari, Alonso hail news

(ANSA) - Rome, June 16 - Formula One great Michael Schumacher is out of his coma and is getting ready to leave the hospital in Grenoble, France, his family's spokesperson said in a statement Monday. Some unconfirmed media reports, notably in German daily Bild, said he was lucid and even talking to his family.

The former Ferrari driver and seven-time champion, who has been in a drug-induced coma since suffering a serious brain injury in a French Alps skiing accident last December, "is now beginning his long rehabilitation," said spokesperson Sabine Kehm. The statement did not reveal where rehab would take place, nor give further health details. Kehm said the family "wants privacy for this tough rehab process".

The news brought an enthusiastic response from fans who had all but given up hope their hero would get better. “Go Schumi go, we never believed what they were saying," said Gerhard from Duesseldorf in a blog post. "You've proved the doubters wrong again," said Mario on his Facebook page. News of Schumacher's progress was also hailed, but in a seemingly more muted and cautious vein, by Ferrari and its top driver Fernando Alonso.

"Good start to the week with Michael's news," tweeted the Spanish driver under the hashtag #KeepFightingMichael. "I am very happy that things are going in the right direction," Alonso said Ferrari said, on its homepage: "Michael Schumacher's emerging from a coma is encouraging news that gives us hope". An Italian expert on comas said Schumacher's recovery of consciousness shows that he was not in an irreversible coma but it is too early to predict his future state of health.

domenica 15 giugno 2014

Milan’s high-rise financial hub gives bankers mixed views

At following link an intresting Financial Times Article.

Soccer: Italy beat England 2-1 in World Cup opener

Goals by Marchisio, Balotelli give Azzurri fine start in Brazil

(ANSA) - Rome, June 15 - Italy made a strong start to their World Cup campaign when they beat England 2-1 on their first Group D match on Saturday thanks to goals by Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli. Marchisio thrashed home the opening goal of an entertaining encounter from outside the box after a superbly worked move from a corner in the 35th minute.

Wayne Rooney set up Daniel Sturridge to touch in from close range at the end of a fast counterattack to level just two minutes later in the intense heat and humidity of Manaus. But Balotelli grabbed the three points for four-time world champions Italy, heading in at the far post after Antonio Candreva broke free from England left back Leighton Baines and curled in a pinpoint cross. Italy next face Costa Rica, who stunned Uruguay 3-1 in the other opening group match, on Friday.