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  • Facts & Stories
    Gennaro Matino(December 17, 2014)
    “He shall be called Francis.” Never before had a name rung with such clarity in the ears of those awaiting word of the new Pope in Saint Peter’s.
  • Playwright Mario Fratti takes on the work of one of Italy's greatest playwright, actor, author and poet... Eduardo De Filippo. Together with young actress Giulia Bisinella, the author of Nine will read, on December 2nd at the Italian Cultural Institute, excerpts from Filumena Marturano both in the comedy's original language and in its English translation.
  • A united Europe is an irreversible process.Perhaps what we call the European message is best summed up in the expression “the United States of Europe,” which may also be easier to understand for people on this side of the Atlantic, including many of Italian origin, who are proud to be citizens of the United States of America.
  • With a speech in which he will announce Italy’s program for Europe, Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, 39, assumes the six-months presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 2. But even before announcing his proposed program goals, Renzi spoke movingly of the reason for the existence of a united Europe, in which Italy today, with 59.7 million people, represents both 12% of the total European population, and, with its GDP of E 1.560 billion ($2.13 billion), 12% of the European economy.
  • Most of the pundits and pollsters got it wrong - seriously wrong. Not one had hazarded that Premier Matteo Renzi's Partito Democratico (PD) would walk away with almost 42% of the vote for a new European Parliament, and - even more startling - that his blustering arch-rival Beppe Grillo of the Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) would manage to lose some 2.5 million voters, claiming at best 21.6% of the electorate. (The figures are not definitive because they do not include the overseas vote and some outlying Italian districts.)
  • On Sunday Italians go to the polls to elect 10% of the new deputies at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Although premier Matteo Renzi stressed that the results “are not a test for my government,” that is how they are being read, with Renzi’s Partito Democratico measured against Beppe Grillo’s Movimento Cinque Stelle. The vote is also important on its own. The new Euro Parliament will elect the next president of the EU Commission, even as the Euro monetary system itself has become a convenient scapegoat in Italy.
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(July 27, 2012)
    The upward surge of the spread to today's 506.48 for 10-year bonds (but 519 at the opening of the markets) has reignited interest in holding elections this November, six months ahead of schedule. The emergency premier Mario Monti reportedly told President Giorgio Napolitano Wednesday that, "My government has done what it could." Whether or not these were Monti's precise words, they definitely express a darkening mood.
  • There were no fireworks this 4th of July in Strasbourg, where the otherwise clamorous case of the Vatican bank, Istituto per le Opere Religiose (IOR), founded in 1942, was put on the table for its first ever evaluation by the Council of Europe's powerful MONEYVAL Committee. Properly known as the "Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism," MONEYVAL was created in 1997 to monitor banking in member countries.
  • Op-Eds
    Judith Harris(December 07, 2011)
    “Blood and tears” was what Premier Mario Monti warned would be in store for angst- and debt-ridden Italy, and so it is, with a prime time TV turn thrown in for good measure. And by the way, those who thought Winston Churchill was the first to use this seminal phrase demanding sacrifice in the national interest are in the wrong. The first among the emulators (Theodore Roosevelt before Churchill) was none other than—appropriately for this 150th anniversary celebration of Italian unification—Giuseppe Garibaldi, who called upon the revolutionary nationalists in Rome on July 2, 1849, to offer up their “blood, toil, tears and sweat.”