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Italian report Italian report
by Euro Reporter
2009-05-03 09:59:29
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Berlusconi soap opera

Lario Berlusconi has reacting to reports that her husband, Italy's PM Silvio Berlusconi was considering selecting as MEPs four young, good-looking women who are, respectively, a trained ballerina, an actor, a professional singer and a former Miss Italy contestant, and she made no bones about what she thought about him treating women in this way. "What's happening today behind a front of bodily curves and female beauty is grave," she wrote, adding, in case no one got it, that it was wrong to use the women as "pieces of costume jewellery" to attract votes. "Someone wrote that all this is to sustain the enjoyment of the Emperor. I agree with this - what has emerged is shameful trash, all in the name of power. I want to make it clear that I and my children are victims and not accomplices in this situation," she said. "We must endure it and it causes us pain."

The G8 summit in L’Aquila

The next G8 summit, scheduled for July on the island of La Maddalena off Sardinia, will be moved to L’Aquila. The decision was taken by the council of ministers at a special meeting in the Abruzzan capital. Premier Silvio Berlusconi justified the move by noting that it would save money and resources that could be used for reconstruction. He added that it would put Abruzzo at the centre of the world’s attention. The Italian government will now contact the other participating nations to find out if they are willing to agree. The United States and the United Kingdom have already indicated their consent.


And environmental news for the summit

Lisa Jackson, head of the US environmental protection agency, was in Syracuse for the G8 environmental talks. In answer to a question on moving the international summit from Sardinia to Abruzzo, she said that President Obama had spoken to Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and that if it went ahead, there would have to be adjustments. The Downing Street spokeswoman, Lynn Eccles, expressed profound solidarity with the Italian people in the wake of the tragic events at L’Aquila and said that the UK was ready to assist Italy in every way possible. Decisions regarding the venue for the G8 summit lie with the Italian government, she concluded.


The anti-kebab law

Controversy surrounds the by-law passed by the Lombardy regional council last Tuesday to impose restrictions on retail businesses involved in the direct sale of foodstuffs, such as kebab shops, pastry shops, ice cream shops, rotisseries, takeaway pizza shops and delicatessens in general. One of the limitations is a closing time of no later than one in the morning, unless individual municipal authorities decide exemptions. Consumption of food on the pavement outside shops will also be prohibited. Facebook and other social networks are now buzzing as word spreads of Lombardy and Milan councillors’ “gastronomic disobedience” date at 12.30 pm on Thursday for the consumption of kerbside kebabs and ice creams in Via Borsieri.

Meanwhile, the regional council has issued clarification. The by-law does not prohibit the consumption of ice cream, croissants, kebabs or pizzas outside shops but it does ban small food businesses from placing furniture such as tables and umbrellas on the pavement. The council also points out that fines for failure to comply, which range from 150 to 1,000 euros, will be issued to traders, not their customers. The Northern League’s Daniele Belotti and Forza Italia’s Carlo Saffioti, who tabled the two proposals that led to the by-law, said the opposition’s interpretation was deliberately tendentious. “If customers eat ice cream standing up or seated on a public bench outside the ice cream shop, they can continue to do so”, said Belotti and Saffioti in a joint statement. “But if they eat the ice creams at a table, or under a gazebo, or on decking installed by the owner of the ice cream shop, this is in contravention of the by-law. It’s not a new development. On the basis of the Bersani law, small-scale food processors cannot install outdoor furniture for the consumption of their products. In other words, clients at Luini’s, the “panzerotti king”, will be unaffected so long as they stand up on the pavement to eat.



The situation is much worse than it appeared initially. After the first 1,000 checks carried out by the civil protection agency on buildings still standing, it transpires that one in two is unsafe. This is enough to confirm that the historic centre of L’Aquila and the villages at the epicentre of the quake could be in a state of near-catastrophe. The investigation, launched by the public prosecutor’s office, concentrated on the three streets with the highest numbers of victims – Via XX Settembre, Via Luigi Sturzo and Via Generale Francesco Rossi – along with public edifices that either collapsed or suffered severe damage, despite having been built to comply with anti-earthquake criteria.

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dailybeast2009-05-03 15:16:09
In addition, the respectable PM made another so-called "joke" about the earthquake victims, advising them to buy their new furniture at IKEA.

dailybeast2009-05-03 16:23:46
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