Archive for the ‘ITALY’ Category

US government securities seized from Japanese nationals, not clear whether real or fake

In AMERICA, ITALY, JAPAN on 08/06/2009 at 2:42 PM

Italian authorities have not yet determined whether they are real or fake, but if they are real the attempt to take them into Switzerland would be the largest financial smuggling operation in history; if they are fake, the matter would be even more mind-boggling because the quality of the counterfeit work is such that the fake bonds are undistinguishable from the real ones. Italy’s financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso (40 km from Milan) on the border between Italy and Switzerland. They include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollar each… Asia News


Ireland set to go bust, claims economic historian

In ECONOMY, EIRE, EUROPE, ITALY on 29/05/2009 at 2:51 PM

A dire warning that the Republic is a prime candidate to go bust has come from one of the world’s leading economic historians. “The idea that countries don’t go bust is a joke,” said Niall Ferguson, Harvard professor and author of The Ascent of Money. “The debt trap may be about to spring” he said, “for countries that have created large stimulus packages in order to stimulate their economies.” His chosen prime candidate to go bust is “Ireland, followed by Italy and Belgium, and UK is not too far behind”. Argentina is top of his list of shaky countries but “the argument that it can’t happen in major western economies is nonsense”… The Independent

Could a teenage girl topple Berlusconi?

In BERLUSCONI, ITALY on 27/05/2009 at 3:04 PM

Italians are always scornful about the obsession of the “Anglo-Saxon” media with the private lives of the rich and famous, but for the past month the Italian newspapers have been preoccupied with one subject and one subject only: the relationship between Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and a young woman from Naples called Noemi Letizia. Mr Berlusconi has been caught out telling numerous lies about the relationship and refuses to explain them. And with important elections pending, his popularity, at an all-time high only six weeks ago, may be eroding… The Independent

Turning red into green, Ferrari unveils a more competitive F1 car

In AUTOMOTIVE, ITALY, RUSSIA on 01/05/2009 at 4:15 PM


After merging with Chrysler and keeping on talks with GM to buy out Opel, Fiat automotive embarked on a new partnership with Russian AZLK Moskvich to develop this futuristic, greener prototype to replace their run down Ferraris in the Formula 1 world championship.

RADICAL LIGHT – Italy’s Divisionist Painters 1891-1910. National Gallery, until 7 September 2008

In ARTS, ITALY, RADICALS on 01/09/2008 at 1:50 PM

Luigi Russolo (1885-1947), 'Lightning', 1909-10

This exhibition explores the complex relationship between Italian Divisionism and the emerging Futurist movement in the early years of the 20th century. It is the first of its kind to be organised outside Italy. Centred in Milan, Divisionism was arguably the most significant art movement to emerge in Italy during the last decades of the 19th century. Dissatisfaction with modern civilization led Divisionist painters to explore Symbolism. Their aim was to represent political concerns and make their art into an instrument for social change. The movement also sprang from research into optics and the physics of light. Inspired by French developments with pointillism, and fuelled by a desire to increase the luminosity and brilliance of their paintings, artists developed new techniques applying paint in a variety of dots and strokes. This exhibition features around 60 paintings, including works by the main protagonists of Divisionism: Vittore Grubicy de Dragon, Giovanni Segantini and Gaetano Previati. It will also display works by the Futurist artists Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni and Carlo Carrà. Radical Light is a unique opportunity to explore a lesser-known, yet undoubtedly important movement, offering a link to the National Gallery’s great historical collections of Italian art.

Il Ritorno di Berlusconi (or The Robber Baron Returns)

In BERLUSCONI, ITALY on 01/07/2008 at 2:02 PM

THE HIGHLIGHT of the Gnomington Summer season will be the premiere of this little-known Italian masterpiece, based on an Italian folk tale. The robber baron, Silvio, returns from two years’ exile, after the kingdom has been usurped by another robber baron, Roman di Prodi. The chorus of villagers sing despairingly “Mama Mia”, as the hated and corrupt tyrant steals back the throne. Another highlight is the “Alitalia Chorus”, to celebrate the villain’s seizure of the State airline.

Radio Three, Live from the Met – Berlusconi’s “The Robber Baron and the Gypsies”

Having returned from exile to his throne in Italy, Silvio, the robber baron, finds an encampment of gypsies outside his palazzo. The gypsies dance and sing, “Grazie, grazie a Brussels”, a chorus of praise to the EU for allowing them to come from their homes in Romania to earn their livings as window cleaners, olive pickers and workers in the crime and sex industries. The baron is enraged and sings the famous aria, “Sono solo ladrone” (“I do the robbing around here”). He incites the townsfolk, with the support of the carabinieri, to attack the gypsy camp and burn it to the ground. As they do so, they sing the joyful closing chorus, “Arrivederci Roma” (“Immigrants go home”).

Bus vs Tram…

In BUS, ITALY on 14/02/2008 at 2:50 PM

Picture: Corriere della sera
What happened today in the centre of Milan, I would call it “spectacular” if only a woman hadn’t lost her life, another one leg, and there are 25 seriously injured, among them the two drivers currently fighting for their lives in hospital. but neither of them is to blame for the fatal crash: apparently an idiot on a Porsche SUV invaded the lane reserved for public transport in a mad manoeuvre, sending the bus, whose driver desperately attempted to avoid a head-on collision with him, to head-crash the tram instead. the clever SUV driver was arrested and identified as a Swiss: he would never have dared doing something like that in his own country, but in Italy he felt at liberty… the accident particularly impressed your MW for it happened a few yards from the bus stop where I used to get off the very route 60 bus involved, when studying nearby in high school, years ago… I live abroad now, but Milan is my hometown, I miss it, and I’m sad tonight about SUVs: Stupidly Unsafe Vehicles for SuuuuuuuuuuuVs – Shameless unable, unfit, unkind, unmistakable, unpleasant, unpopular, unqualified, unrepentant, unrestrained, unruly, unscrupulous Velocists. (and polluters)