France and Italy Granted Pardon After Breaking EU Rules

After France and Italy had breached its budget limits, effectively violating the EU budget rules, the European Commission had refused to make an example of France under the EU’s tougher budget regime.

Meanwhile, Italy had also been granted pardon after it quickly failed to reduce its debt level. Currently, Italy’s 133% debt is second only to Greece. It had been named one of the worst economies of 2014 in Europe.

According to EU Economic Chief and Former French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, the commission was convinced it had to avoid a sudden correction that wouldn’t be easy to correct. According to him, it was a political commission taking decisions on the basis of objective information.

However, the commission hopes that the commission will maintain pressure against France and Italy to improve its economy effectively.

With five years of austerity-led economic policies, Eurozone sovereign debt is now expected to hit 94.4% of gross domestic product this year.

Mafioso and Slow Reform The Challenges to Mateo Renzi’s Government

Italian President Mateo Renzi was seen by international and local politicians, including supporters of his advocacy as the “demolition man” who would introduce reforms and change the “old” system that has slowed down Italy’s progress. However, his government and cabinet had been involved in a series of organised crimes and public administration scandals.

Worse still, his reform agenda is progressing slowly, with resistant politicians still trying to hold the fort.

Renzi still argues his reforms are essential to help Italy gain international investment.

Italy’s government is still at negative growth with a 13.2% unemployment rate and a debt ratio of 132.6%. He has pushed the “Jobs Act” labour reform designed to encourage local businesses and employees to take up occupations. However, Standard and Poor has downgraded Italy to a “BBB-“ rating.

The passing of the “Jobs Act” had been challenged by the opposition after the ‘Roma Caput Mafia’ involved 37 people with administrative roles in Italy had been arrested for Mafia-type crime that included traditional usury, bribery, extortion and money lending.

One Roman Godfather may have also attended a Renzi fundraising dinner in November. Labour Minister Giuliano Poletti had been seen having dinner with Mafia Boss Salvatore Buzzi.

Italy has yet to see how Renzi will handle everything that is happening and how he could reverse the negative progress that it had contributed to Italy.


Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino Registers Same-Sex Marriage Against State Laws

Rome City Mayor Ignazio Marino had registered 16 same-sex marriage celebrated aboard the city hall registers. However, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that his marriages were considered invalid because it was unconstitutional.

Mayor Marino hoped that “this will become a normal day.” He posted photos of himself wearing the mayor’s sash in between some newly-wed couples and their families inside city hall. On another post, he said “how could you not call this love?”

However, Alfano said through his own social media account that Alfano’s transcriptions were invalid. He said that the Italian constitution makes it impossible to marry two people of the same gender. Alfano stressed that Marino’s signature is not a substitute for law. He even called it an “autograph.”

Alfano also stressed in his interview with local Roman news radio RTL that city authorities must cancel the same-sex registrations or government representatives will step in and annul them.

However, Mayor Marino insisted that “people opposed to the transcriptions probably live in the wrong century” in the Corriere della Sera.

Same-sex marriage is legitimate in some states of the US, the UK and France. These new laws have been constitutionalised in such countries. Without Italy’s consideration, all marriages in cities are invalid.


Italian Army to Grow Medical Marijuana at Secret Location

Medical marijuana has been legal in Italy since 2007, but due to high costs only a very small percentage of the population have used it on a regular basis.

This looks set to change in the coming months, as the Italian army are growing medical marijuana at a secret location just outside of Florence in a bid to cut costs and make it cheaper. Once a batch is fully developed, then it will distributed in pharmacies throughout the country.


The move is expected to raise a few eyebrows, especially among Italian anti-drug campaigners. However, the Defense Minister Roberta Pinotto said “the army already produces some medicines, and we can guarantee security conditions.”

Medical marijuana is not the only hot topic in Italy at the moment, as a new supplement called phytoceramides has been causing a lot of controversy recently.

If you’ve never heard of the phytoceramide supplement then it is basically a tablet that promises to restore skin from within, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, smooth aging skin, and even increase the hydration of dry skin. Quite bold claims for sure, but the question on the lips of the Italian population is “does it work?”

In technical terms, the phytoceramide supplement works by replenishing the ceramides that are naturally lost by the body as you get older. This is basically a form of “lipid” and is incredibly important if you want to have young looking skin that gives you confidence and makes you feel younger.

Quite possibly one of the biggest recommendations that phytoceramides has received is from famed and respected TV host Dr Oz. He features the supplement on his show on a regular basis, and advises his faithful viewers to “cheat their way to a facelift” by only taking one little pill a day.

You will also be pleased to hear that phytoceramides are completely 100% safe and natural. As long as the manufacturer uses scientifically tested natural ingredients and is approved by the FDA then you can feel confident about moving forward and making a purchase.

Interestingly, many people who take the supplement start noticing results in as little as 7 days. Just imagine looking in the mirror this time next week and seeing your fine lines and wrinkles almost gone! This could soon be your reality.

Who knows…maybe the Italian army will start producing phytoceramides once it starts to become really popular in order to drive the costs down? Anything is possible.

Seeing the Point of View of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

The charismatic young prime minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, gave an interview to the Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth and expressed his view of Italy’s needs and what he can do.  After speaking at the UN General Assembly, he gave a few clues about his plans to re-invigorate Italy’s economy.

When asked about his plans to change Italy’s long recession, Renzi said that Italy can change that if it allowed itself to implement labour and constitutional reforms, which many ministers in the past had promised but had not fully committed themselves to implementation. He also said that cutting the red tape of bureaucracy is also an important factor.

He expressed that old legislation had barred the younger generation from gaining access to the labour market and understanding the country’s legislation completely. He said the government’s system is out-of-touch with the digital age. He said it is impossible to help Italy with an old system, let alone its labour market system.

Renzi stressed that Italy needs lesser laws and should bolster the growth of both entrepreneurs and employees. Employees laid off from work could attend a training program related to their field and then accept work from the government.

However, unions have been against him on this idea. Renzi said that it is quite easy to explain his solution, but not to realise it.

Other questions in his interview tackled issues regarding the IS threat in the Middle East and the Ukraine-Russian crisis.


IMF Says Italy Will Remain in Recession for The Year

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s forecast, Italy’s GDP will drop by 0.1% by the end of the year. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will need to push his ambitious reforms into place to help the country’s growth potential, or it will be buried under the load of its increasing debt.

However, the IMF forecasted that Italy’s economic growth will increase by 1.1% in 2015 if all credit conditions normalise. The European Central Bank’s support measures for the Eurozone economy to ease the situation will also play a vital role for Italy.

Domestic demand is curbed by very tight credit conditions, weak corporate balance sheets and deeply-structured rigidities is the IMF report’s summary on Italy’s economy.

Italy’s debt is the second largest in the Eurozone, peaking at 136% of its GDP this year and had declined in the following years. The IMF calls on the government to target inefficient spending.

Meanwhile, young Prime Minister Renzi must step up to remove the deeply-rooted troubles that limit Italy’s growth potential. Political resistance, vested interests and corruption continue to hamper Italy’s continuous growth.

Italy’s European partners also look on him to do good on his promise to reform the Italian justice system and labour market to reduce government spending and cutting the average length of a civil trial, where divorce cases for last for half to a full decade.


Slow, Expensive and Unpredictable Italian Law System to be Abolished

Young Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that to restore world confidence in Italy’s economy, the country’s legal system will require reforms. He said bureaucracy had become a great obstacle to international investments. Renzi indicated that his series of “reforms” will help speed up civil and corporate cases.

In Italy, eight years is needed to resolve a civil case as trials drag on and on with continuous appeals. Business contracts take three years to get a verdict, which is driving away foreign investment as Italy’s economy declines. Renzi intends the improvements to cut the legal backlog in half.

Court summer holidays would be cut short, new systems for court settlements is expected to make things easier and speed up company and family legal disputes.

Previous governments have attempted the same reforms, but to no positive results. According to Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, the move is highly ambitious because of budget constraints.

The Italian government also intends to introduce an “Unblock Italy” decree that would speed up infrastructure projects in Naples, Bari, Palermo and Catania.

Meanwhile, Renzi is scheduled to attend a European Union Summit in Brussels. Being in office for six months, the country has yet to see what Renzi can do, but his work had been highly criticised by the media, business groups and trade unions.


UK Foreign Office Called Out By Rome Mayor Over Pickpocketing Announcement

Rome city Mayor Ignazio Marino said that “London is worse” following the UK Foreign Office’s travel advisory regarding the increasing number of pickpocketing cases in the city. According to Marino, the advisory is “misleading and false” as he insisted that the situation in London is worse.

According to analysts, Marino is defending the city’s primary source of capital as having an image of a premier tourist destination. Marino claimed the advisory had the “whiff of inexistent superiority” and it was an insult to the locals of Rome. He pointed to international data regarding pickpocketing and other crimes in London being more severe than how Rome is.

The Foreign Office announced in its website acknowledged the low crime rate in Rome. In its advisory it said that coordinate gangs that included minors were very common in the big city centres. The FCO had announced particulars, including overcrowded buses, trains and main airports in Italy.

They warned that the gangs make use of hassles or jostling to distract their prey as their belongings are snatched away.

In the previous week in Rome, 32 suspected pickpocketers and snatchers have been surprised in action and had been arrested. According to local police, the tourists are the main victims of Rome’s gangs.


Rome’s High Tourist Prices Continue to Spark Disappointment From Visitors

An American couple staying in Rome had called the police after they were charged for €13 for an ice cream in a local store. James and Marian Luciani, travelling with a friend, had bought their ice creams at the Bar II Caffe. They were charged €42 for the three ice creams and a bottle of water they purchased.

According to James Luciani, they initially paid €59 for their dinner but € for an ice cream was too much. They thought it was a scam, so they called the police. Returning with the police, the menu clearly stated the price of the ice cream, which left them without any case.

Tourists in Rome had repeatedly been disappointed with the tourist prices in the country. In May the previous year, four British tourists were charged for €16 for ice creams near the Spanish Steps. The Roman Mayor had apologised to them and had given them a proper tour of Rome.

In Rome, different cafes serve different types of ice creams made from Gelato. While there is no shortage of ingredients for creating the sumptuous sweet, prices continue to rise. Most cafes also put the prices in small print, according to James Luciani.

Italian tourists have often complained about Rome’s prices. The Rome City Council had said that bad publicity could be the undoing of Rome and its tourism sector.


Pope Francis Praying for Iraqi Christians Trapped in the Ongoing Conflict

After the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS had invaded the northern regions of Iraq, Christians from Mosul were forced to flee. Iraq’s second largest city is home to many Christians, and Pope Francis had expressed them in his prayers during his Angelus blessing on Sunday. The Iraqi Christians “were persecuted and chased away” by the Muslims, who never took any possessions with them.

The semi-autonomous Kurdistan in Iraq had also chased away Christians in Iraq. According to reports, they were issued an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a high tax or be killed and executed. The Iraqi Christians were forced out of the community.

The Pope had also called for negotiations to finally end the conflict all over the world. He said that violence is not overcame with violence, but peace.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had also condemned ISIS for targeting Iraq’s Christians. He had compared them to the Daesh Terorrist Gang in Iraq’s Ninevah Province. He expressed that the terrorist group’s activities reveal the true nature of the ISIS.

Meanwhile, ISIS had issued complete control over Mosul, and exporters from Turkey and Germany express their concern regarding the invasion of the Turkish Consulate General with its staff taken as hostage.

The Turkish border trade with Iraq, amounted to $12 billion in the previous year is threatened, had 30% lower exports to Iraq from June 15 to July 15.