Italy elects new Italian president

Sergio Mattarella, a jurist and former Christian Democrat politician, was elected today as Italy’s new President of the Republic by an overwhelming majority of the 995 “grand electors” – members of both houses of parliament together with representatives of the country’s 20 regions. Mattarella, 73, succeeds President Giorgio Napolitano, who resigned his office on January […]

Many Italians angered by alleged ransom payout

Many Italians are furious about the alleged gigantic ransom – the rumor is 12 million euros – that the Italian government is said to have paid to jihadists in Syria to free two, young would-be women aid workers. Government officials have denied paying anything since the official line here is that ransoms must not be […]

City police brouhaha puts spotlight on an Italian malady – absenteeism

The Italian government and top authorities in Rome have vowed to take punitive action against the hundreds of city police –  83.5% of those on call –  who did not show up for work on New Year’s Eve. Whether or not this will happen remains to be seen: in Italy, talk is cheap. But the […]

Italian president to leave office

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano confirmed on January First that he will be resigning his office later this month.  In April, 2013, the 89-year old  Head of State reluctantly agreed to stay on for a second term when, after four unsuccessful ballots, Italy’s wrangling political parties were unable to agree on a successor. It was the […]

Italian coast guard and navy shine in rescues

While the Italian government still has little to show for its plans to help the country out of its economic doldrums, the Italian Coast Guard, its Navy and Air Force get kudos for saving travelers aboard a stricken ferry and rescuing hundreds of illegal migrants arriving from war-torn and/or poverty-struck countries and abandoned in the […]

A country in crisis? Or maybe they are only window shopping?

This was the scene in Piazza di Spagna and Via dei Condotti on Sunday, January 3, when post-Christmas sales began in Rome.