Petition to allow Italian students to vote abroad

A decree regulating the vote of Italians living abroad is banning students from voting in next month’s elections.

Point no.2 of the decree considers only “the army or the poice”, “civil servants abroad because of their job” or “researchers and professors” as Italian citizens temporarily abroad.

On February 24 and 25, tudents on the Erasmus program or those studying at foreign universities for less than 12 months will not be allowed to vote via post from abroad. The government doesn’t even provide said students with a discount on flights in case they wanted to go back to Italy and use their right to vote.

You can sign Change.org’s petition to allow Italian students abroad to vote here.

A brief translation of Monti’s classy end-of-government speech

Mario Monti held a classy end-of-government speech after his resignation, including his refusal to run for February’s election, a special emphasis on measures Italy needs to take to stay afloat and his take on the previous governments’ mistakes. Here’s my summary of a great speech by a great statesman.

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Branch closures create wave of protests in Sardinia

A wave of protests hits Sardinia as workers demonstrate against the closure of a factory and for the renewal of a mine’s production.  Continue reading

European Court of Human Rights says Italian law on IVF is “inconsistent”

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg rejected Italy’s law on artificial insemination saying it is “inconsistent” in relation to its ban on pre-implantation diagnosis on embryos. 

The decision comes after 30-year-old Italian citizens Rosetta Costa and Walter Pavan appealed. The couple would like to avoid their second child the cystic fibrosis that affects their first. However, Italy’s Legge 40 (Law 40) bans IVF for non-sterile couples and the selection between healthy and not healthy embryos. The Strasbourg Court said Law 40 violated the couple’s right to privacy and family life. For this, the Italian state has to pay €15,000 for moral damages and €2,500 for legal expenses. Continue reading

The 15th of August: Ferragosto

The 15th of August in Italy is known as Ferragosto,a one-day bank holiday people generally celebrate on the beach or with a family outing.

The festivity of Ferragosto is supposed to celebrate the virgin Mary’s ascension to Heaven. However, its celebrations are generally far from holy.

The term Ferragosto comes from the Latin feriae Augusti (August’s rest)and it was created in 18 B.C. by the emperor Augustus, who also gave birth to the idea of celebrating this holiday with concerts and games. Continue reading

Tavolara Film Festival

A large number of Italian actors, film-makers and producers attended the Tavolara Film Festival in North Sardinia last weekend.

Una Notte In Italia: Tavolara Film Festival took place from July 19 to 22 and hosted actors such as Jasmine Trinca, Neri Marcoré, Kasia Smutniak, producer Domenico Procacci, director Ferzan Ozpetek and journalist Beppe Severgnini (who also writes for the Financial Times) to present a series of Italian films. Continue reading

Italian hostage held in Mali is freed

An Italian hostage held in Mali for nine months was freed yesterday with two Spanish colleagues after what looks like an exchange of prisoners, said the Italian Foreign Office. 

Rossella Urru, an Italian NGO worker from Samugheo, was released yesterday with her two Spanish colleagues by the Al-Qaeda cell who had kidnapped her. According to the Italian Foreign Office, Urru was released in Burkina Faso by the same Al-Qaeda cell who had kidnapped her, the Movement for Uniqueness and Jihad in Eastern Africa. Urru’s release was granted by an exchange of prisoners and the payment of a ransom. Continue reading

Berlusconi blackmailed by a politician involved with Mafia

Former president Silvio Berlusconi paid a senator over €40 million ( about £32 million) to silence a story on his connection with Mafia, the Palermo court said today.

According to Giovanni Bianconi on today’s Il Corriere della Sera, Berlusconi was “blackmailed” by Senator Marcello Dell’Utri (from Berlusconi’s own party, the People of Freedom). Dell’Utri, who was involved with the Mafia in the 1970-80s, received more than €40 million from the former president over the past ten years to avoid any leaks on Berlusconi’s implication with Mafia. Continue reading

Berlusconi pressures councillor involved in bunga bunga to resign

After announcing a much dreaded come-back, former president Silvio Berlusconi is putting pressure on a regional councillor to resign after her involvement in the bunga bunga scandal.

Berlusconi’s recent announcement of a come-back was casually followed by the downgrading of Italy’s debt from A3 to Baa2. The former President however hopes to regain followers and is ready to have a complete make-over: He plans on getting rid of his former pervert image at the cost of his former protegeé Nicole Minetti, 27, Lombardy’s regional councillor. Continue reading