The waste of EU funds. Italian newspaper La Repubblica publishes an interesting investigation on how these funds have not been used by Italy

The total amounts to roughly 12 billion euros that haven’t been spent so far and that the government should employ within 2015. The money had been made available by the Eu to help the weakiest economies across Europe.

By doing so Italy places itself at the bottom of the chart among the other european countries who badly employed the funds.

According to La Repubblica’s investigation, It seems that of the initial sum which was around 30 billion euros, only the 58 % had been spent back in july. Now in a country where the government and all political parties are trying all they can to boost economy and attract ivestments this waste can only sound as a scandal.

Some rightly argue that this money could have been spent to provide the appropiate resources to prevent enviromental disasters like what happened in Genova and the recent floodings.

Some argue that the problem lies in the lack of the poorly skilled people that should be in charge of managing the funds on behalf of the italian government, most fo these don’t even speak english and don’t even know how to set out the right spending plan. Other say that the issue is burocracy and the fact that it’s incredibly slow. Once you get the money it’s so hard to employ it because of problems with the burocracy.

Italy’s senate reform faces uphill struggle

Lawmakers are under pressure to meet the premier’s summer deadline for reform, part of Renzi’s broader revamp of the Italian political system.

A total of around 3,000 amendments have been put forward to the law, which was discussed on Tuesday

The government is said to be leaning towards the model in France, where senators are elected by officials across the country rather than by public vote

But the proposal is facing opposition from part of Renzi’s own Democratic Party (PD), with Senator Vannino Chiti presenting his own model of elected representatives.

The move has also faced opposition by Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

Constitutional reforms are badly needed in Italy not only to re-shape the Senate but also to change the functions and powers of the upper and the lower house. This might actually help make the whole system work faster

Renzi has made Senate reform one of the hallmarks of his premiership, aiming to cut the number of representatives from the current 320 and instead have mayors and regional presidents as senators. Under the proposed overall, Senate powers are also due to be reduced.

 

Italian house passes penal reform

The Italian House on Wednesday passed a major penal reform bill into law aimed at clearing painfully overcrowded prison cells and decriminalizing undocumented immigration.

The law follows repeated pressure from the European Union to shape up Italy’s prisons and penal system.

Last year the European Court of Human Rights gave Italy one year to institute reforms to eliminate inhumane prison conditions. The new law also decriminalizes a number of charges, including undocumented immigration.

Violations currently punished by fine, such as the failure to make social-security payments, will no longer be deemed a crime.

In Italy there’s is also a big issue with Maroccan prisoners. They are around 4,000 and recently Justice minister Andrea Orlando has signed an agreement with his Maroccan counterpart to have Maroccan convicts sent back home.

Overcrowding is still a problem in nearly half of European countries, according to a recent Survey by the Council of Europe. It also states that on average, European prisons were at the top of their capacity, holding 99.5 inmates per 100 places.

Prison overcrowding is a big issue here in the Uk too, where according to the latest statistics 1 in 4 prisoners stays in overcrowded cells. The worst affected prison is Wansworth. Overcrowding and staff cuts make sometimes life impossibile inside cells.It’s necessary to move more people to community services.

RENZI SAYS MESSAGE OF HOPE FOR ITALY FROM BRITISH BUSINESS

Last wedensday,on his second day of his visit to London (tuesday he had met with Cameron and Tony Blair), Premier Matteo Renzi said he heard a message of “hope” from business and financial leaders interested in investing in Italy.

After meeting with representatives of several banks, companies and the London Stock Exchange he concluded that thankfully there are many people – not only in England – who still want to invest in Italy.

Since he became premier in February, Renzi has embarked on a series of reforms aimed at boosting the country’s economic growth and reducing unemployment rate that has hit a record of 13%.

This was a very important visit for Renzi.Top of the agenda during his meeting with Cameron was Europe (mainly on the employement side) ahead of Italian EU presidency from next july. The other important appointment was the face to face with Blair

We have been speaking about how often the Italian premier is compared to Tony Blair and his style. Renzi himself has a great esteem for the former minister and he often refers to him and his work

VENETO SEPARTISTS ARRESTED FOR PLOTTING INSURRECTION

We have already been speaking about the fact that over 89 percent of residents in Italy’s Veneto region have voted in an unofficial referendum in favour of independence from the rest of the country.

Well in the last hours what seemed to be an innocent poll has become nearly an insurrection. 24 people have been arrested as they were planning military action to obtain independence for the region.

Among the arrested there was also former MP Rocchetta, the founder of Liga Veneta a separatist party. It’s interesting to note that the separatists wanted to act under the umbrella of the “Alleanza” movement, that reunites different groups that want to seek independece from the Italian State.

Inside Alleanza there are also people from Sardinia. The island seems to share the same intention. The Canton Marittimo movement wants Rome to sell the island to the Swiss. According to this minority of people independence is the island best chance of success.

Mainly because Switzerland is not Europe as these Italians no longer believe in Brussels’ ability to deliver the dream both economic and cultural they once thought it could.

89% OF VENETO RESIDENTS HAVE VOTED FOR INDEPENDENCE FROM ROME

The news has been widely covered all over the world in particular by the English press. A Russian online news website (Km.ru) has even compared the case of Veneto to what has recently happened in Crimea.

Over 89 percent of residents in Italy’s Veneto region have voted in an unofficial referendum in favour of independence from the rest of the country as Venetians seek to restore the glory of the old days by creating a state of their own.

Over two million residents of Veneto – the region of Italy surrounding Venice – took part in the so-called ‘Veneto independence referendum’ that lasted from Sunday to Friday. The survey, conducted online and backed by the region’s independence parties, has no legal power but aims to gather support for a bill calling for a referendum.

Though opponents described the poll on Twitter as “total madness,” supporters believe in a new, independent Republic of Veneto. They say the region would be inspired by the ancient Republic of Venice.

Veneto’s President Luca Zaia – who supports the independence movement – said the region is tired of the lack of respect from Rome.

And interesting enough it seems that this pro – secession mood has also reached Sardina. The Canton Marittimo movement wants Rome to sell the island to the Swiss. According to this minority of people independence is the island best chance of success.

The fact that Switzerland is not Europe is a plus according to these italians since they no longer believe in Brussels’ ability to deliver the dream both economic and cultural they once thought it could.

ITALY’S NEW DEFENSE MINISTER TO RAISE MARINES CASE AT NATO

Newly appointed Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti will raise the issue of two Italian marines at a meeting of NATO defense ministers Wednesday and Thursday.

Massimiliano Girone and Salvatore Latorre are facing trial in India for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen during an anti-piracy mission in 2012.

Ever since there has been a dispute between the two countries on where the two marines should be tried. Italy is trying to persuade the Indian government to release the two men and send them back to italy.

And yesterday, the Indian foreign ministry said that the two marines will still be tried in India.

Premier Matteo Renzi has said bringing the marines home is a priority for his new government, arguing they have been in India ”too long” and describing the affair as ”absurd”.

Prosecutors in New Delhi on Monday told the supreme court that they were in favor of dropping a request for the marines to be prosecuted under an anti-terrorism and anti-piracy law.

The possible application of the anti-terrorism law in this case caused major diplomatic tensions between the two nations, with Rome saying it equated Italy to a terrorist State.