domenica 29 novembre 2009

domenica 15 novembre 2009

L'Economist e Mr Berlusconi

Italy's justice system Imposing limits Nov 14th 2009 | ROME From Economist.com Photo AFP/Shutterstock A bizarre attempt by Silvio Berlusconi's government to constrain Italy's courts IF YOU live in Italy and are planning to commit a moderately severe crime—perhaps beating your children, or a white-collar offence such as cooking the books, or even stabbing your neighbour—the law might soon be of little hindrance to you. If a bill tabled in parliament this week were to become law, it would mean you could commit any of the above offences and could expect a reasonable chance of avoiding paying a penalty. The proposed law, which is backed by Silvio Berlusconi's conservative government, suggests that the charges against defendants would have to be dropped two years after they were laid unless, by then, the trial has been completed. The same two-year limit would be applied to both of the appeals to which defendants (and prosecutors) are subsequently entitled under Italian law, meaning that the complete legal process would have to be complete within six years. In a court system that is overloaded, underfunded and renowned for inefficiency, the chances of completing each of the three stages in less than 24 months are low. The proposed law, which would apply to trials already being held, excludes from its provisions defendants with a criminal record, offences for which the penalty is a jail sentence of 10 years or more, and certain serious crimes such as those related to terrorism or the mafia. But the corporate body that represents Italy's judges and prosecutors says the law’s effects would be “devastating”. It estimates that more than 100,000 trials would have to be scrapped. In addition, the proposed law would have effects beyond Italy's borders. It would apply, for example, to copyright violation, bribery, the marketing of counterfeit goods and the defrauding by Italians of EU funds. One of the trials it would halt stems from the 2003 Parmalat fraud whose victims include foreign as well as Italian bondholders. The law sounds like madness, but not if you are Mr Berlusconi. Last month the constitutional court overturned a law that had been introduced by his government that gave him (and three other senior officials) immunity from prosecution. Italy's prime minister is already a defendant in two trials, for tax fraud and bribery, and other investigations are ongoing. If the bill were approved by parliament, where his coalition has a substantial majority, it would cancel both the trials and make it very likely that any charges brought against him in future would be 'timed out'. In any case Mr Berlusconi appears not to be taking any chances. On Wednesday, one of his MPs tabled another bill that would restore the immunity that all Italy's national lawmakers enjoyed until 1993. Either or both of the proposed laws could run into stiff resistance if referred to the constitutional court. But their introduction makes it ever more likely that the rest of Mr Berlusconi's time in government will be dominated (as was his previous spell) by his legal struggles. All this will prove to be an unhelpful distraction from more important matters, such as trying to get Italy out of recession and to deliver much-needed economic and social reforms. Mr Berlusconi's supporters argue that introducing time limits will promote swifter justice. Maurizio Gasparri, the leader of his party in the Senate and the bill's main sponsor, suggests that “if the magistrates worked harder, trials would be quicker”. But he acknowledges that they also need better resources and says that funding for the courts will be increased in the 2010 budget. Even if the government were to deliver on that promise, it will take years to undo the decades of neglect to which Italian justice has been subject. In the meantime, if Mr Gasparri and his leader have their way, Italy would become an even more lawless society than it is already

venerdì 6 novembre 2009

VUOI ESSERE SIRENA O BALENA?

Qualche tempo fa, sulla vetrina di una palestra, comparve un manifesto che rappresentava una ragazza spettacolare, accompagnata dalla scritta: "QUEST'ESTATE VUOI ESSERE SIRENA O BALENA?" Si dice che una donna, di cui non ci è pervenuta la tipologia fisica ha risposto alla domanda in questi termini: "Egregi signori, le balene sono sempre circondate da amici (delfini, foche, umani curiosi), hanno una vita sessuale molto vivace, ed allevano dei cuccioli che allattano teneramente. Si divertono come pazze coi delfini, e si strafogano di gamberetti. Nuotano tutto il giorno e scoprono posti fantastici come la Patagonia, il mar di Barens o le barriere coralline della Polinesia. Cantano benissimo e registrano talvolta dei CD. Sono impressionanti e sono amate, difese ed ammirate da quasi tutti. Le sirene non esistono. Ma se esistessero farebbero la fila dagli psicologi in preda ad un grave problema di sdoppiamento della personalità (donna o pesce?. Non avrebbero vita sessuale perché ucciderebbero tutti gli uomini che si avvicinano (e del resto come farebbero)? Non potrebbero fare neanche bambini. Sarebbero graziose é vero, ma solitarie e tristi. E del resto chi vorrebbe vicino una ragazza che puzza di pesce? Non ci sono dubbi, io preferisco essere una balena. P.S.: In quest'epoca in cui i media ci mettono in testa che solo le magre sono belle, io preferisco mangiare un gelato coi miei bambini, cenare con un uomo che mi piace, bere un vino rosso coi miei amici. Noi donne prendiamo peso, perché accumuliamo tante di quella conoscenza, che nella testa non ci sta più e si distribuisce in tutto il corpo. Noi non siamo grasse, siamo enormemente colte. Ogni volta che vedo il mio sedere in uno specchio penso "Mio Dio, come sono intelligente!"

mercoledì 4 novembre 2009

Le novità di Astraea: il 5 novembre la presentazione a Milano

Ecco le ultime novità di Astraea: il Pink Book Eleganza per lei di Arianna Chieli giornalista multimediale, e il Black Book Stile per lui di Alessandro Giannotti, giornalista e animatore di un bel blog per viaggiatori. Il 5 novembre 2009, alle ore 18.30, gli autori, insieme a Alessandra Ceriani, la brillante illustratrice, ne parleranno allo Spazio Eventi Mondandori Multicenter di corso Vittorio Emanuele a Milano insieme con Gloria Brolatti, caporedattrice di Tu Style.