Former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi
takes the helm of Italy
New Italy's PM Draghi talks to the nation addressing Covid and economic crisis as main challenges
New PM Mario Draghi called to drive the country out of the crisis and ensure the administration of 222bln euros European Recovery Fund.
Draghi accepted with 'reserve' to be only removed after constructive talks to rebuild a working majority in the Parliament.
“The idea is to get in somebody competent to draw up the government and get the recovery on the right track. It is rightly seen as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lay the groundwork for economic recovery”, said to the New York Times Federico Santi, senior Europe analyst at think tank Eurasia Group.
"It's a difficult moment", started Mario Draghi in his first speech to the nation after accepting the mandate of PM from the Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
"Defeating the pandemic, completing the vaccination campaign, giving answers to citizens' daily problems, relaunching the country: these are the main challenges we are called to face".
As former ECB head, Draghi made clear the massive EU Covid funds give Italy "the chance to realise a lot, with a keen goal to the young generations' future and to strengthen social cohesion".
The appointment puts an end to a political manoeuvre at the Senate of a the minority ally of Giuseppe Conte's government, Italia Viva, led by Matteo Renzi, Conte's predecessor. Conte, who has a wide popular support, resigned with the hope to rebuild a stable majority, but after days of consultations and power politics among the leading majority groups (moderate socialists/populists 5SM, dems PD and left Leu), on the one side and the right and far right asking a short transition government and new elections asap, the stance for a stability prevailed and a EU technocratic model and champion of political balance prevailed.
"I trust from the dialogue among political parties and parliamentary groups and with the social representations will come out unity along with the ability to give a responsible and positive answers to the President's call".
UK - Priority access to housing given to domestic abuse victims
Request for help doubled under lockdown
London, 2 May 2020 - Following the desperate alarm launched by homeless, women and refugee charities a new bill is coming into force to support victims of domestic abuse. Over this lockdown requests for help doubled along with the victims: many already lost their lives.
For the first time a statutory definition of domestic abuse is enshrined in law, which also includes economic abuse. British Secretary for Housing Robert Jenrick managed today to give a meaning to the daily government briefing on coronavirus introducing the new set of rules that, he said, will take to account domestic violence perpetrators and ensure priority need status for access to housing to the victims “so nobody has to make the unbearable choice to stay somewhere they know is unsafe”.
The bill is funded with 76mln pounds to charities as an answer to last weeks steep rise in domestic violence with victims facing nowhere to go. Since lockdown started victims are so many that Boots pharmacies set up a safe space run by charity HESTIA.
As calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline rose by 49% Dame Vera Baird QC, victims’ commissioner for England and Wales told MPs last 15 April that charity Counting Dead Women “got to a total of 16 domestic abuse killings in the last three weeks”, while number of women killed by men over the first three weeks since lockdown is the highest in 11 years.
During this lockdown home is not a safe place for thousands of women and children. In UK number of victims of domestic abuse has more than doubled to the point charities asked for safe place to be set in pharmacies.
In order to face the crisis government ensured today a 76mln funded bill which ensure priority access to housing to victims.
UK: 3million passports to Hong Kongers. Generosity, need of fresh votes or a slam to Beijing?
London, 1st July 2020 - The following day of the approval of a controversial immigration Law which “will ensure immigrants will enter Britain on the base of their skills and not of nationality”, the Tory led government announced it will offer 3million UK passports to Hong Kong citizens.
Though, apparently, the move expresses solidarity to the former British colony revolting against Chinese regime imposing a new security law to tighten control, in reality the generous offer turns out to be a new Conservative domestic political strategy to obtain new fresh votes:
3 million new British citizens defecting from China and favourable to Britain under which rule they lived in relative freedom will be ready to express their gratitude to the Tories on a ballot paper.
Video © Copyright South China Morning Post
UK: Government slow in the name of business and political interest.
Opposition needs Starmer's legal profile in view of a public inquiry
London, 6 May 2020 - "The UK was slow into lockdown, on testing, slow on tracing, slow on supply of protective equipment. Yesterday's figures show deaths in care homes continue to go up"
Keir Starmer gets back to Johnson and to government's failures which are staggering to the point that the call for a public inquiry on its response to the pandemic gains strength day by day, figure after figure.
The core of the totally off track strategy is not just the initial misleading herd immunity, but the issue behind that folly: keeping business going regardless of workers health; Johnson's post recovery speech is a confirmation for that.
"So let me say directly also to British business - said Johnson last 27 April - to the shopkeepers, to the entrepreneurs, to the hospitality sector, to everyone on whom our economy depends: I understand your impatience, I share your anxiety. And I know that without our private sector without the drive and commitment of the wealth creators of this country, there will be no economy to speak of, there will be no cash to pay for our public services, no way of funding our NHS".
"The argument that international comparisons can't really be made when the government keeps using slides like these to make international comparisons, simply doesn't really hold water" said leader of the opposition Keir Starmer showing the last of a long series of charts comparing UK COVID-19 figures to the rest of the world's.
This is Tories' priority: business, the private sector: the main source of their political consensus. If they have been that slow is just because they feared to lose political gains. And here is the ground for an overdue public inquiry. It's easy.
From the rally: Sturgeon, Khan, Umunna, Cable , Lucas
It was evident people at the massive rally for the People's Vote were for the most part British citizens. Rallies and protests against Brexit have been organised initially by EU citizens addressing concerns over citizenship rights and related issues after the exit from the EU. Over the last months, the British public, whether voters or not, regardless they voted to leave or remain, of all ages, social, cultural, regional backgrounds, started to think differently and understand the major points of concerns related to Brexit: the causes, the powers and lobbies behind it, the (already hitting) consequences, the structural risk for the whole economy and new generations.
Over four months the People's vote army has seen a sevenfold increase: from the 100.000 of last June rally to 700.000 of October 20th. Their call for a second referendum draws a sharp line between a previous referendum sold by irresponsible politician as a 'choice of liberty' only for political/electoral purposes, and a new fresh referendum as a result of the peoples' will. From the interviews emerge serious concerns of the young who see their future opportunities to work and study already damaged and compromised, and the bitter awareness of men, women, families, elderly disappointed from a political system which through the Brexit revealed its real identity of votes collection hi-tech machine.
20 OCTOBER 2018
A call for unity and to "quarantine" politicisation of coronavirus pandemic.
The daily conference update of WHO chief dr Tedros Ghebreyesus put the whole global establishments and political parties in front of their responsibility towards their citizens.
It had to be the World Health Organisation director general to remind them, especially US and China, the immense ongoing humanitarian catastrophe. “For God's sake over 60.000 people died isn’t this enough? It’s more than enough”.
The call should be even embarassing for presidents, prime ministers, party leaders, G20 head of state and even if not explicitly mentioned, the EU leaders, all currently unable to find a common successful strategy against the global pandemic which dynamics, developments and length are still uncertain as dramatic figures and death toll say we are far from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
WHO chief Dr Tedros Gebreyesus called politicians at national and international level to take responsibility and stop "politicising Covid" because only with unity we can defeat this global threat.
He also revealed having been threaten with racist messages, but did not react for being personally targeted but only when black people have been racially abused.
"Quarantine politicising Covid".
WHO chief Dr Tedros calls for national and global unity and for honest leadership from US and China
London, 5 May 2020 - On the day UK death toll is the hightst in Europe the need for an inquiry on government's choices and policies is stronger than ever: over 32.000 dead is the hitting home figure issued by the Office of National Statistics.
Opposition’s rage bounced back: "The figures released this morning are heartbreaking, but also further demonstrate the need for a public inquiry into the Government's response to the COVID19 crisis. The British public will want to know whether the Government could have done more and they deserve the answer to that question." said Lib Dems acting leader Ed Davey.
While the mild words from Labour shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth frustrate expectations that Leader Keir Starmer on Wednesday’s PMQs will call for an inquiry given the staggering number of deaths, the lack of transparency on testing and the absence of any credible policy on whether wearing masks should be made compulsory or at least strongly advised like in most countries. "Today’s confirmation we have the highest official death rate in Europe is a tragic reminder of the severity of this horrific disease.
Foreign Secretary Raab “frankly” admitted that government doesn't want to risk that making masks compulsory for the public would leave NHS frontline unprotected given the short supply. Such a dilemma points to government responsibility in getting PPE supply but the issue goes beyond this government irresponsibility: businesses and their incapability to switch production in such a crisis and to thinking outside the box of the profit is the root this tragedy stems from.
The public will rightly ask why our death rate is so high", Ashworth said “We should take all action necessary to suppress the virus, save lives and minimise harm. We have set out the principles for what should happen next and urge ministers to work constructively with us to take these forward.”
Looking to a public inquiry
highest death toll in Europe, wrong policy and lack of transparency
London - On Saturday 22 February 2020 some of the artists who showed the world that Britain is (or was) a country where democracy makes possible to genius and talent to freely stand out and not get suppressed in the name of commercial and political interests, gathered in Parliament Sq to support Julian Assange and call for his liberation as "Julian is an innocent man": Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Vivienne Westwood, Chrissie Hynde, took the mic in defense of Wikileaks founder ahead of his trial Monday. With them the human rights activists and former Finance Minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis, Wikileaks editor in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, representatives of the National Union of Journalists and many other prominent figures supporting freedom of speech.
John Shipton, Assange's father, from the stage with a feeble and moving voice, said the Wikileaks' founder is under increasing torture from years as the Human Rights rapporteur on torture confirmed: Brian Eno made reference to an interview to Nils Melzer on the Italian daily La Repubblica as a confirmation.
Freedom for Assange = freedom of information
It doesn't matter there were few hundreds in Parliament Sq, journalists now have to prove to have power to guarantee our rights and reach millions
Test, test, test: in England hospitals are more
infectious than Wuhan wet market
London, 1 April 2020 - Today Tory led British government announced that 2.000 NHS staff have been tested for coronavirus. In order to understand the irrelevance of the figure we have to think that the total number of NHS staff is around 1.5 million.
Since the pandemic is hitting the country, doctors and nurses are saving lives on the frontline without being tested and with no protective equipment risking to get the virus and die. Four of them so far lost their lives on the battlefield after getting infected in the hospital environment. The simple fact that hospitals in the UK, and in England in particular, are places where contagion is spreading, therefore dangerous places, is a scandal, a plague itself.
UK: People being sent back to work without safety measures
PM spoke with CBI but no rules have been put in place
London, 10 May 2020 - Workers in England have been said to go back to work from tomorrow without any mandatory safety measure in the workplace and without any rules on wearing face masks. There's no need to stress the liability of this government's decision as PM's broadcast speech speaks for itself.
Those who "should be encouraged" to restart working asap are in construction and manufacturing sectors, where in fact people are close one another and sites can really turn into new outbreak spots.
More than on the shameful herd immunity strategy, here the focus must be on industry and CBI in particular. Just listen to what CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn said after a call with Johnson mentioning he was setting a "guidance on how to make our work place safer. What we know is the development of safe workplaces is critical. We highlighted at the beginning of the week seven different workplaces the government is being examining" Fairbairn said. Why then tomorrow British workers are sent back unsafe with no guidance?
Beyond that, construction sector being considered as crucial for the economy in this moment means banks' interests are being prioritised, as new buildings are linked to mortgages and no public infrastructures have been flagged urgent except for 5G (which is not actually urgent at all).
The apparent cautiousness of the three steps plan stumbles at 'step one' where'stay home' is replaced with 'stay alert', when instead the true red alert is only on worker's health.
Ursula von der Leyen, elected President of the European Commission. the new European Commission will officially take up its duties on 1 December 2019. (Photo Copyright © EU Commission)
London 27 Nov. 2019 - The fact that the election of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen does not appear on UK media front pages gives us an idea of the level of isolation Britain is currently in. That's the consequence of an involution spiral of politics exasperated by an electoral campaign where chances of alliances and convergences look impossible; all this makes what happens in the continent nearly irrelevant.
None of the opposition parties commented today, while election was ongoing in Strasbourg, the EU infringement procedure against British government following Boris Johnson's refusal to nominate a commissioner; an absolutely meaningless choice from the PM because, in case of exit from the EU, the nominee would only have lasted two months.
It's all part of his 'get Brexit done' propaganda: a ready to go replacement to Farage's extremism and the occupation of the leavers margins from the Labour Party where Corbyn pledged his neutrality in case of second referendum right to keep a tight grip with lefty Brexiters and eurosceptics.
What's happening in the EU is not in the news,
but Britain will have to cope with that sooner or later
rMA15: the story of Mice Adapted SARS-COV-1
From 2007 SARS was studied on rats in biolabs
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND DOES NOT REFER TO ENGINEERED VIRUSES AS CAUSES OF COVID-19. IT EXPLAINS HOW FROM 2007 SARS HAS BEEN STUDIED ON MICE IN BIOLABS ACROSS THE WORLD.
London, 24 April 2020 - In January 2007 in the US Laboratory of Infectious Diseases of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in Bethesda, Maryland, researchers were carrying out experiments on SARS-CoV virus after 2003 epidemic caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-1) that originated in bats.
They decided to use mice as models of human SARS disease as they are easily accessible and relatively unexpensive. As mice support SARS-coronavirus replication in the respiratory tract, but do not develop the disease, the team decided to ‘potentiate’ SARS-COV-1 by adapting it: as one single inhalation of the virus did not produce effects, they made 15 serial passages in the respiratory tract of young mice. The use of this mouse-adapted virus allowed studies on viral disease and its prevention in a mammalian host.
London 31 August 2019 - The unannounced rally will be the first of a long series, some protesters said to us: "the formal opposition needs to step up; the people are now the opposition".
"It is a coup d'état; it is the beginning. This is a small feeler that has been put out to test the waters, to see how we react - says one young man - if we do not stand up now to prevent this from escalating any further, then they can only do more and more severe things, this is a feeler to see how far they can get away with beyond Brexit"
Meanwhile a petition against the Prime Minister to stop Parliament prorogation reached over one and a half million signatures asking: Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled.
The lefty crisis in Western Europe: aerial view
London, 13 August 2019 - It's right to be concerned about populism and rising of far-right across Europe. But this is useless, unless we understand populism as a political behaviour (and not as ideology) and identify the crisis of the left political parties as the deepest crack weakening our political structures, as this lies behind the massive swift of votes towards the right.
Let's start from Italy, the most recent crisis we are witnessing, with far right Lega reaching 36% (Ipsos Mori) and now marching towards snap elections on the rhythm of a populist style electoral beach tour, a way to widen Lega’s consensus by expanding into declining 5Star Movement area of voters. After one year coalition government with populist 5Star, Salvini decided to break the so called ‘contract’ by taking immediate advantage of a lost majority at the Senate: the left opposition PD (Democratic Party) voted in support of the far-right Salvini backing Tav (high speed railway project connecting Italy to France) while, as expected, 5Star who always opposed it, voted against.
But why Italian Dems who had always opposed Tav suddenly changed their minds? The answer is obviously this: they took the chance of the vote to divide the coalition, trigger a government crisis and go to new elections as confirmed by current PD leader Zingaretti. But former PM Matteo Renzi, who leads an influent fringe within the party, came out from the backstage to revive the traditional infighting fractionism of Dems by saying it would be crazy going to snap election before the government set 2020 budget to be discussed within next 19 October.
London 13 June - A non elected minority government with no Prime Minister led by a party at 9% in the latest polls and without a leader, is shutting down the Parliament over the summer to drag Britain out of the EU by abusing the result of an advisory referendum held in 2016. This is happening today in what is considered an advanced European democracy.
A similar event in Hungary, Turkey or some Latin American countries would be immediately held by the international community as coup d'état. But, as the United Kingdom has a long standing democratic history, nobody expresses concerns (the union jack brand reputation holds...).
Tories prevailed by a bunch of votes, 309 to 298, blocking what Keir Starmer put forward as a genuinely cross-party motion of the opposition asking Parliament's works to go on over the next weeks in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit. As a justification for hampering the Commons from having a say, Conservatives MPs mentioned the impossibility to go back to any negotiation before new European Parliament legislature will restart end October.
Keir Starmer, Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, while putting forward a cross-party motion asking a new parliamentary vote to avoid a dangerous exit from the EU without a deal
London, 20 June 2019 - The British Government must suspend the licences for the sales of arms to Saudi Arabia used in the war in Yemen. The landmark verdict has been issued this morning by the judges of the Royal Court of Justice in London. Solicitors of the well know firm Leigh Day won the case brought to the court by CAAT, Campaign against arms trade.
Solicitor Rosa Curling explains in the video the verdict favourable to the team led by QC Martin Chamberlain: "The verdict says the decision of the Secretary of State [for International Trade] on licences has been unlawful because the process has been done on an unlawful basis, the Secretary of State has to reconsider the decisions in relation to existing licences and in relation to the decision not to suspend licences. But on top of that we have and undertaking from the Secretary of State that no new licences would be granted in the meantime".
CAAT spokesperson, Andrew Smith said "Tens of thousands of people have been killed in a war supported by UK Government. Five billion pounds in bombs and jets have been spent for arms to Saudi used in Yemen creating an humanitarian catastrophe. This has been (the verdict) a brutal condemnation of UK foreign policy and a strong judgement against it".
Asked by Talk Europe if the verdict is based on EU law Smith answered "As long as UK is in the EU is bound by EU common position and there is no sign the UK government is going to stop that. However as the law stopped the UK government from awarding any other licence this (verdict) may have to be taken on board by other countries as the UK is not the only arms exporter in Europe"
London 23 March 2019 - Regardless the chance Art 50 is revoked, a second referendum is still considered the only way out of Brexit madness, the only one solution to restore legitimacy after the lies and crimes of the previous 2016 referendum.
While the petition reaches over 4.6 mln signatures, people want to restore a trustful democratic process through a new vote in a country where de facto, the minority government is no longer in power. Many say if we stop Brexit without a second vote, the country would remain dangerously divided, while the certainty of a second legitimate vote where lies and fake propaganda are replaced with awareness of the truth and respect of electoral law, will be the basis for the way forward to fresh general elections.
Infighting within both the main two parties show it would be even too early for national polls: Tom Watson is on stage and wants to 'Put it to the people', but the crowd sing in tune 'where's Jeremy Corbyn?' Asking whether or not it's pure strategy to gain remainers votes while the other side of Labour supports Brexit, does not stop the clock ticking and the only way to use the short time left is stopping Brexit, going to a second referendum and once legality is restored, call new general elections.
Over one million. The historic march for democracy forces MPs to face the reality: Britain needs to vote again on Brexit. Interviews make clear people's concerns over compromised democratic guarantees.
If Art 50 is revoked, would it still be the case for a second referendum?
Watch video interviews at the 'Put it to the People' historic rally in London