Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Silvio Berlusconi is seldom shy about making headlines, and he’s also known to turn on the charm when he meets foreign leaders.
So it was hardly surprising the Italian prime minister kicked off a three-day visit to Israel on Monday by declaring his hope that Israel might one day become a member of the European Union.
“My greatest dream, a
s long as I am a mover and shaker in politics, is to welcome Israel as one of the European Union’s member states,” the 73-year-old billionaire announced to Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who went on to praise the shared Judeo-Christian roots of Rome and Jerusalem.
While Berlusconi’s comments made headlines, at least in Israel and Italy, it’s not the first time he’s laid out such an ambition – he said almost exactly the same thing during a visit to Croatia in January 2003, when he backed Zagreb’s bid to join the EU and said he hoped Israel, Turkey, Ukraine and Moldova would follow.
Hiking through rubble-strewn streets, taking in a quake exhibit or bedding down in a concrete police compound — leaders at this week’s G8 summit in the Italian town of L’Aquila are in for a change of pace from the routine luxury spa and resort experience of past summits.****** Devastated by an April earthquake that killed nearly 300 people and ringed by tent camps with portable toilets, L’Aquila is a far cry from previous G8 host cities like the Baltic seaside town of Heiligendamm, French lakeside resort Evian and Scottish golf resort Gleneagles.************ ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders are being housed in a grey police school building on the outskirts of the mountain town, where they are to stay in spartan rooms with granite floors and cream-coloured walls and furnished with little more than simlpe wooden beds with white sheets.****** “There won’t be the luxuries of hotels on (Sardinia’s) Emerald Coast or (Rome’s) Via Veneto, but there will be dignified accommodation worthy of welcoming such important people,” said Italy’s emergency services chief, Guido Bertolaso.****** Room service menus will be absent, but each room will be supplied with instructions on what to do in the event of another earthquake. Aftershocks have been persistent and plentiful in the run-up to the summit.****** In their free time, leaders can browse through an exhibit on “100 years of earthquakes” in Italy or take up Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s offer of a guided tour of areas laid to waste by the tremor, like Germany’s Angela Merkel did on Wednesday.******Earthquake victims have even welcomed leaders with a giant sign on a hill near the summit site declaring “Yes we camp” to protest the slow pace of reconstruction in the area.****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******For all the lack of luxury, L’Aquila does guarantee voters back home will see images of their leaders rolling up their sleeves under the hot Abruzzo sun at a time of recession and financial turmoil.****** “I think it’s better to have (the summit) in a damaged zone than in an ultra-touristy region where people are spending millions of dollars on their vacations, while the leaders are there to discuss solutions to the global economic crisis,” said Dimitri Soudas, spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ahead of the summit.****** Italy was initially set to host the annual summit of leaders from the world’s richest nations on the picturesque island of Sardinia, but hastily moved it to L’Aquila citing solidarity with victims when faced with complicated logistics and spiralling costs.****** One thing that won’t be lacking at the summit is fine Italian cuisine, since good food is not a luxury given up easily in Italy. Among the local delicacies on offer are goat on skewers, baby lamb, rabbit from the small town of Goriano Valli, artichokes from Prezza and red garlic from nearby Sulmona.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is the consummate campaigner. No matter where he finds himself, the indefatigable 72-year-old always makes sure the cameras are squarely on him.
Although he is quick to flash a smile to his supporters, Berlusconi can be just as fast in delivering barbed words to his critics. And when he does not have the time to do it, his supporters are more than happy to oblige.
from UK News:
The shockwaves reverberating through Westminster as the MPs' expenses scandal unfolds have been compared with the "Clean Hands" bribery scandal that effectively demolished Italy's post-war political establishment in the space of a couple of years in the early 1990s.
If things are going to get that bad, the guilty politicians are going to have an uncomfortable time.
A month after an earthquake killed nearly 300 people in Italy, the initial goodwill towards authorities for their swift handling of the disaster appears to be giving way to anger as survivors face an uncertain wait for promised funds and the prospect of a long summer in tents.
Italy’s government is promising to start providing the thousands made homeless in the central Italian region of Abruzzo with new, furnished houses by September — in what would be record speed anywhere. But continued aftershocks, rain and chilly temperatures have made life increasingly difficult for survivors in tents, which left-leaning newspapers have seized upon to issue long accounts of the “nightmare” of life in the 170 tent camps.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s quip about Barack Obama’s permanent “suntan” almost certainly wasn’t intended to offend. But now he’s battling accusations of racism.
Clearly, race is a delicate issue. And for those who have covered Berlusconi over the years, it’s easy to understand how such a gaffe prone leader would stumble — spectacularly — on such a sensitive subject.
The European Union has come under sharp criticism for having a fragmented approach to the financial crisis. It is exemplified by Ireland’s go-it-alone decision to guarantee all accounts and Germany’s surprise announcement after a meeting of leading members that it was taking unilateral action too.
Relief, then, that the 27 member states issued a statement on Monday that they would do what it takes to bolster citizens’ savings and build financial stability. Only problem was, they could not coordinate the announcement. First Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi released it, then Portugal. Only after a while did French President Nicholas Sarkozy weigh in. He does head the current EU presidency after all.
Italy’s far-left alliance of Communists and Greens may not conjure up images of glitz and New York steaks, but leader Fausto Bertinotti has nevertheless picked the Hard Rock Cafe on Rome’s fashionable Via Veneto to wait out the tally of election results on Monday evening. Conveniently located next to the American Embassy, the Hard Rock promises everything from hickory smoked chicken wings to mac & cheese to help ease the long wait ahead for the leader of the Rainbow Left coalition.
Other candidates have chosen more traditional venues for the evening: the centre-right’s Silvio Berlusconi will be waiting it out at his villa in Arcore near Milan, while centre-left rival Walter Veltroni will be standing by at his party’s offices in Rome dubbed the “Loft”.
With her striking good looks and stiletto heels, Italy’s far-right candidate Daniela Santanche has been turning heads on the campaign trail. But is centre-right candidate Silvio Berlusconi also among her admirers?
“Berlusconi? He’s obsessed with me. But I won’t give it to him…,” Santanche said during a campaign stop this week.
Non sono solo le foto di Oliviero Toscani a stupire. Talvolta lo sono anche le sue parole e quando, ieri sera a “Niente di personale” su La7, ha dichiarato che – lui, elettore radicale da sempre – non andrà a votare nello studio s’è creato un attimo di silenzio, poi è partito addirittura un applauso. Se qualcuno dice che queste elezioni non entusiasmano, che il dibattito fa sonnecchiare, scoppia l’applauso. A 40 anni dal “tutto è politica” gridato nelle strade dai manifestanti del ’68, la politica annoia, anche se in scena c’è uno scontro elettorale fuori ordinanza.
Non deve stupire quindi se domenica il numero 2 del Pdl Gianfranco Fini ha licenziato in tronco i vertici siciliani del suo partito dopo essersi trovare a fare un comizio a Palermo in una sala semivuota.
La politica stanca, e il tema sta diventando un ritornello anche sulla stampa. Ha iniziato domenica Avvenire che ha lanciato l’”allarme” di un possibile astensionismo record. Ha proseguito il critico televisivo del Corriere della sera Aldo Grasso che ha parlato dei bassissimi livelli di audience delle Tribune politiche e dei dibattiti politici in tv. Ha proseguito oggi il quotidiano Il Foglio, il cui direttore Giuliano Ferrara è impegnato direttamente in campagna elettorale alla guida di una lista anti-aborto che rischia di sparire addirittura dalle cronache non per censura, ma per disinteresse generale: “Il voto sarà anche utile, ma la campagna elettorale è vuota”, ha titolato.