Italy in a recession, Confindustria says

Italy’s industrial employers’ association Confindustria said on Friday that the country was already in a recession and that GDP will continue to shrink for the rest of the year. Confindustria made its observation after national statistics bureau Istat reported that Italy’s industrial output fell 0,6 per cent in July, compared to the same month in 2007, and that the drop …

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Italian Reform Minister Umberto Bossi‘s giving the finger to Italy’s national anthem led to an outcry earlier this week, but on Friday it was his supporters who were outraged by Ryanair‘s running of an advertisement showing the minister making the gesture. A photograph of Bossi, middle-finger raised in the insulting gesture, posted under the phrase “Minister Bossi to Italian passengers”, …

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The Power To Be Afraid

The Italian carmaker Fiat on Friday apologised to China for a television commercial (see below) starring United States actor Richard Gere that it acknowledged ”could disturb the sensibility of the Chinese people”. The ad shows Gere, a long-time supporter of the Tibetan Independence Movement, drive the group’s new Lancia Delta model from Hollywood to Tibet, where he and a child …

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The Italian Sicko

For those of you who think that a socialized health care is the way, and that Italy is a model, it could be useful to know that record numbers of Italians are travelling abroad for medical treatment, according to patient figures released on Thursday. Around 5,000 Italian ‘health tourists’ filed requests in 2005 to receive treatment abroad, the majority of …

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The Italian Bankruptcy

Alitalia appears more than ever en route to bankruptcy, after its proposed sale to Air France-KLM ran into political turbulence and unions insisted on having the right to re-negotiate the merger terms. Center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi, who polls indicate is in the lead to become the next premier, has abandoned his previously neutral position and branded the Air France-KLM offer …

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A Stylish Incinerator

Campania region’s rubbish crisis may soon get a makeover with a new ‘signature’ rubbish incinerator designed by Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry, the mayor of Salerno said Thursday. Vincenzo De Luca flew to Los Angeles to meet the 79-year-old architect, who is behind the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Disney Village …

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