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Italian report Italian report
by Euro Reporter
2008-06-20 09:15:37
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Tuna net survivors

At the end of May last year, in the Mediterranean 60 miles off Libya and 120 from Malta, there were 27 men perched on the walkway of a tuna net. Some of the men in the photo are waving; all of them must be shouting. They had been clinging to the net for three days and three nights, towed by the Maltese-registered tug Bufadel. After a week on a boat that threatened to capsize at any moment, the 27 had asked the captain of the Bufadel for help. He refused to take them on board, apparently fearing complications with the Maltese authorities, although he did raise the alarm. But no boats left Malta to help. Libya denied that the group had started out from its coastline. As politicians and bureaucrats bickered, the men held on for their lives without food or water. In the end it was the Orione, an Italian naval vessel searching the area for another vanished boatload of migrants, that came to rescue them.

Two days later, a British daily newspaper, the Independent, put the photo of men and tuna fish on the front page. Underneath, in very large letters, was the caption: “Europe’s Shame”. The words may have reflected a feeling that was widespread at the time: “This should never happen again” was the general sentiment in Rome and Brussels. But it does continue to happen. Every so often, news comes in of more migrants who have survived by climbing onto a tuna net. No one will ever know precisely how many have died attempting to make the crossing. These are the “illegal” but that’s just a label. We don’t see the faces, hear the names, or listen to the stories, which could be very similar to those of the 27 men in that famous photo.

An Italian tuna fish sandwich that continues!


Berlusconi … Reindeer Pizza

“BITE INTO BERLUSCONI” – The trouble is that the reference to Italy’s prime minister is not exactly complimentary. With its tongue stuck firmly in its cheek, Koti Pizza, a Finnish pizza restaurant chain, presented the new product at the New York Pizza Show in March, where it edged two Neapolitan chefs out of first place. Now the chain is exploiting the product’s unexpected victory, playing on Mr. Berlusconi’s unpopularity in Finland and somewhat cheekily poking fun at him. The company has launched five radio commercials and is also promoting its latest creation with two slogans on posters and in the press: “A 97-year-old granny bit into a Berlusconi. Be like that sprightly old lady” and “A minister forked up a Berlusconi. You can, too, sensibly and responsibly”, concluding “Order now your Koti Berlusconi, judged the best pizza in the world”. The reason for this insistence, skillfully orchestrated by Koti Pizza’s marketing department, is very familiar to Finns.

Three years ago, Silvio Berlusconi earned the antipathy of the entire nation for a fateful quip about Finland’s dietary habits. A diplomatic incident ensured with various repercussions, including attempts to boycott Italian food products.

I’m sure Berlusconi soon will visit Finland for a …bite!!!


Don’t move to another town!

One Italian in two “would never change” the town where he or she lives even if they could simply close their eyes and fly away. Some 47.2% of interviewees were content, satisfied or perhaps resigned to their fate and the figure rises to 53.2% among those who live in very small towns. The approval rating drops steadily as the same question is put to residents in medium-size (42.9%) or large towns (40%). Small is beautiful. Or perhaps we should say that small is easy because it only takes you five minutes to walk to work and you don’t have to waste an hour driving (even if many small-town residents commute elsewhere). Or we could say that small is cheap because houses cost less and you can also see a difference at the supermarket checkout.

It’s a return to local focus. The founder of Censis, Giuseppe De Rita, explains: “It’s no coincidence that at the last election, territory-rootedness was mentioned as the deciding factor by winners and losers alike”. The Centre-right has the Northern League representing the north of Italy and Walter Veltroni admitted the Democratic Party had a problem connecting with the territory.

Anything to do with the wine in the local pubs?

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Emanuel Paparella2008-06-20 12:43:54

On the Berlusconi pizza: the above link will introduce the readers to the winner Jarmo Valtari who seems to have a Finnish first name and an Italian last name. An evolving multi-cultural global pizza? Maybe that's what's missing in the Lisbon Treaty as a unifying symbol of sort. Wasn't it Stalin that observed that it took te Italians to change the face of genuine Communism via Antonio Gramsci? The may still manage to change the face of the EU via soccer and pizza.

Thanos2008-06-20 14:17:29
I had a ...bite from that Pizza and I have to admit it was ...bitter!!! :)))

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