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Italian report Italian report
by Euro Reporter
2011-04-12 10:23:28
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Historic race off UN list

Italy's Tourism Minister has blocked the centuries-old Palio horse race from being nominated for World Heritage status over concerns about animal cruelty, angering local politicians and residents who say the event is a ''cultural spectacle'' that should be included.

The Palio was on a shortlist of festivals, events and traditions that Italy planned to submit to UNESCO for inclusion on a global list of cultural treasures.

But it has now been withdrawn over concerns voiced by Tourism Minister Michela Brambilla that horses are injured and even killed as they thunder around Siena's main piazza in the race held in the Tuscan city on July 2 and August 16 each year.


Italy lashes out at European Union over immigrant influx

Tensions rose between Italy and its European Union partners on Monday over how to handle an influx of immigrants from North Africa, prompting the Italian interior minister to question the utility of the European Union. At a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, European Union interior ministers said they would not recognize the temporary permits that Italy had said it planned to issue to scores of immigrants who have arrived in Italy since January, intended to allow them free travel within Europe. But Europe is divided over whether the permits would be valid in the entire visa-free Schengen area, which covers most of Western Europe, and on Monday, France and Germany rejected Italy’s plan.

“If this is the answer, it is better to be alone than in bad company,” Italy’s interior minister, Roberto Maroni, said. “I wonder if it makes sense to stay in the European Union.” Mr. Maroni, who is a member of the Northern League, a party known for its strong anti-immigrant stance, has been vociferously critical of the European Union, accusing it of “abandoning” Italy. But it would be highly unlikely for Italy to act on any such threat to leave the union. On Monday, Mr. Maroni, called the European Union “an institution that acted immediately to save banks and declare war, but when it comes to give solidarity to a country in difficulty like Italy, it is nowhere to be found.”

Italy had been calling on its fellow European Union members to help share the burden of receiving the more than 22,000 immigrants who have arrived in Italy since January, the majority of them “economic migrants” from Tunisia seeking work in France and elsewhere in Europe. On Monday, the French interior minister, Claude Guéant, said that France would step up controls along its border with Italy to prevent immigrants from entering, unless they could prove they were economically self-sufficient. Last week, Mr. Guéant said France would help Italy to patrol the Tunisian coast. Germany has said it would take in 100 refugees who arrived recently in Malta from North Africa, but it has been reluctant to accept economic migrants seeking work and has said that Italy should handle the influx on its own. “Italy must live up to its responsibilities,” Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich of Germany said in a television interview on Monday. He said that “Italy is a large country” and that the number of immigrants was not so great. “Last year, Germany took in more than 40,000 asylum seekers, so the ball is in Italy’s court,” Mr. Friedrich said, adding that “Italy must negotiate with Tunisia.”


'He is so sexy he does not need to pay girls'

A Russian friend of Silvio Berlusconi has said that the Italian prime minister is so attractive that he would never have to pay for sex. Raisa Skorkina, 29, said she did not have enough words to describe the 74 year-old's goodness, saying he helped her with money, advice and "everything". "I cannot tell you the whole truth," she told the Russian daily paper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

"Now, me and him are just good friends. For me, Silvio is my second family. He is my guardian angel." When asked whether Mr Berlusconi needed to pay for sex as prosecutors have alleged, she said: "He totally does not need to do that. He is very handsome and regardless of the fact that he is well advanced in his years he is very sexy." In an earlier interview with Italian paper La Repubblica, Miss Skorkina, a former model, said: "He is a rich, exciting man full of power and charisma."

Investigators recorded Miss Skorkina telephoning the prime minister last year to tell him that she had run out of "petrol" (code for money), to which he was heard replying that he would instruct his accountant to help. She said she first met Mr Berlusconi on Sardinia in 2004. "When I saw Berlusconi I got butterflies in my stomach," she said. "What a handsome man. With a white bandanna round his head." She added. "I am not dating anyone now because of Silvio."

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Anne2011-04-20 00:57:54
More like immigration by de facto!!!!

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