Tag Archives: Italy

EUCO: anti-COVID19 plan

The 27 EU leaders decided to offer the eurozone finance ministers two weeks to find a common economic response to the coronavirus crisis, European diplomats said. After more than six hours of discussion by video-conference, the heads of state and government of the 27 EU countries have reached agreement on a draft joint declaration to tackle the crisis caused by the coronavirus.

“We take note of the progress made by the Eurogroup. At this stage, we invite the Eurogroup to present proposals to us within two weeks. These proposals should take into account the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 shock affecting all our countries and our response will be stepped up, as necessary, with further action in an inclusive way, in light of developments, in order to deliver a comprehensive response” the declaration reads.

“The COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge for Europe and the whole world. It requires urgent, decisive, and comprehensive action at the EU, national, regional and local levels. We will do everything that is necessary to protect our citizens and overcome the crisis, while preserving our European values and way of life.

“We recognise the burden these measures put on all our citizens and praise their sense of responsibility. We express our deepest sympathy with the victims of the pandemic and their families. We commend the dedication and tireless efforts of the healthcare professionals at the forefront of the outbreak and the contribution of those who provide essential services to the population.

“We will cooperate with the international community and our external partners in combating the global pandemic.

“We will continue to work along the five strands defined at our videoconferences on 10 and 17 March 2020 and do what is necessary to overcome the crisis.”

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte did not accept the draft conclusion at a video conference Summit of EU27 to find a common economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Italian government sources. Italy wants the European Union to acquire “innovative financial instruments that are truly adapted to war”, according to the Italian agency Agi, which quotes the entourage of the Prime Minister. In this response to the economic catastrophe that threatens the EU, the proponents of greater financial solidarity, the countries of the south, less virtuous in budgetary matters, and those of the north, confront each other.

#COVID19: Russian military medics support Italy

The Russian Aerospace Forces are ready to fly teams of virologists and medical equipment to coronavirus – plagued Italy starting Sunday March 22, the Defense Ministry said.

Following President Putin’s instruction, Defense Minister Shoigu (pictured) gave orders to set up an air group “for urgent aid deliveries to the Italian Republic for anti-coronavirus efforts, starting on March 22,” the Defense Ministry said.
As soon as Italy is ready, the Russian Aerospace Forces’ military transport aircraft will fly eight mobile teams of Russian military virologists and doctors, vehicles for aerosol disinfection of transport and territories, as well as medical equipment to the Republic,” the defense ministry said.
Italy has confirmed its readiness to accept Russian Aerospace Forces’ planes.

On March 21, Russian Defense Minister discussed aid delivery in a phone call with his Italian counterpart Lorenzo Guerini. “During the call, the Italian defense chief confirmed readiness to accept Russian planes with specialists, vehicles and equipment, starting March 22,” the Ministry said.
Guerini also expressed gratitude to Russia for promptly providing aid to fight the pandemic in accordance with an agreement between Vladimir Putin and Giuseppe Conte.

Upon his initiative President Putin phoned the Italian premier. The Kremlin’s press office said that the Russian president reassured him of Moscow’s readiness to promptly provide all necessary help and furnished information on its practical parameters. In particular, the supplies of protective means and mobile vehicles mounted on Kamaz trucks for spraying disinfectants over transport and in the areas as well as medical and other equipment are to be delivered. In addition, Russian specialists are going to be dispatched to the country’s worst-hit regions for practical assistance.

According to the latest reports, the death toll from the novel coronavirus has jumped to 793 in Italy in last 24 hours. The country has reported that 42,681 people have been infected with the novel virus, leading 4,871 victims, however over 6,000 people have recovered from the deadly disease.

Ukraine tourists vandalised Vatican fresco

A video was published in the “Italy for Me” community of the Facebook social network in which the user showed the names of tourists from Ukraine scratched on a Raphael fresco in the Vatican, the RIA Novosti news agency reports. The incident caused an outrage in social media, demanding the investigation into the this appalling act of vandalism.

Two Ukrainian tourists became notorious due to vandalism. Visitors of the Vatican’s Papal Palace discovered the clumsy scratched names of two residents of Vinnytisa on the fresco of the greatest genius of the Renaissance, Rafael Santi.

A video with traces of vandalism was published on Facebook by a user Alexander Voznesensky.

The graffiti were left on one of the frescoes in famous stanza of Rafael (from the Italian Stanze di Raffaello – the rooms of Rafael) – the precious masterpieces of the Papal Palace. The Italian genius painted the rooms in 1508-1517 with his apprentices. Each stanza has four fresco compositions of wall size.

For a minute I was even speechless from what I saw. It’s not even shame, it … I don’t have enough words. Some Lena and Tamara from Vinnitsa scribbled their names on Raphael’s mural,Alexander wrote on his page.

So far Ukrainian prosecution has not reacted yet upon the case of deplorable vandalism of World Heritage by two inhabitants of Vinnytsia, an industrial city of 370 000 inhabitants. There city also hosts the headquarters of the Ukrainian Air Force.

The recent case of vandalism involved 17-year-old Bulgarian studen, who has been accused of aggravated damage to a building of historical and cultural interest after carving her initial into a wall of the Colosseum in Rome.

The student was visiting the monument on a school trip on 28 April 2019 when she engraved the letter “M”, the intital of her first name, on an interior wall of of the ancient amphitheatre.

The Bulgarian tourist actions were noticed by security staff who immediately called police.

Following a sequence of barbaric incidents in 2016 Italian legislators approved a bill, introducing the specific offence of defacing or damaging cultural heritage or landscapes, and increased the penalty to a maximum of five years imprisonment. Previously the vandals were changed with €20 000 fine, which was not effective, preventing vandals from their barbaric actions.

COVID19: Italy wine fair cancelled

The novel virus outbreak has heavily disrupted daily life in Italy’s most affluent and productive regions, with schools closed and many public events canceled including world famous fashion shows and top-flight football matches.

Vinitaly, one of the world’s largest wine fairs that is held annually in the northern city of Verona, announced on March 3 it was postponing the 2020 edition from April to June.

Industry lobby Confindustria forecast on March 3 that the economy, which was already teetering on the edge of recession before the outbreak, would contract in both the first and second quarters of this year.

National Health Institute chief Silvio Brusaferro urged Italians to wash their hands frequently, remain at least a meter apart, refrain from hugging each other and avoid crowded places.

Italy receives hundreds of migrants

A vessel with 363 migrants on board, operated by Spanish charity Open Arms has received the permission to dock in Sicilian port of Pozzallo. (Image above: illustration).

Earlier on February 1, the charity announced that they have storage of food for another two days as it remained stranded in the Mediterranean hundreds of migrants on board.

Italian media outlet Rai later reported that they would be distributed across the EU, as laid out in an EU agreement on settling migrants and refugees rescued in the Mediterranean, however there were no further details provided about the countries who agreed to receive them.

Boats operated by non-profit groups have transported over 600 migrants in the Mediterranean within a week. The 403 migrants rescued by the Ocean Viking have disembarked in Italy.

The migrants aboard the Ocean Viking disembarked in Taranto, southern Italy. Among them were 216 men, 38 women and 149 children, mostly from Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea, according to the two organizations that run the ship, SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders (MSF). Twelve of the women were pregnant, government officials reported.

The Ocean Viking had picked up the migrants in five different rescue operations in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast since end January. One woman and her three children had already been evacuated to Malta because of medical issues.

Italy 5-Star leader quits

Luigi Di Maio stepped down as leader of Italy’s co-governing 5-Star movement, as it seeks to stem a wave of defections that threatens the government’s parliamentary majority.

Luigi Di Maio stepped down on Wednesday as leader of Italy’s co-governing 5-Star movement, as it seeks to stem a wave of defections that threatens the government’s parliamentary majority.

He said Vito Crimi, the head of the anti-establishment party’s internal rules committee, would take over as caretaker until a new leader is chosen following a party congress to be held in the coming months.

The move by Di Maio, who will remain as foreign minister, comes days before a regional election in Emilia Romagna in which the right-wing League is threatening to end 75 years of uninterrupted PD rule.

That outcome could put the five-month-old government’s survival at risk.

He said Vito Crimi, the head of the anti-establishment party’s internal rules committee, would take over as caretaker until a new leader is chosen following a party congress to be held in the coming months.

Floods in Italy by Sentinel-1

Torrential downpours have battered many parts of Italy this month, with extreme flooding wreaking havoc across northern Italy. The province of Alessandria is said to be one of the worst-affected areas according to Italian media, with around 200 people evacuated and 600 said to be left stranded.

This multi-temporal image uses two separate images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 missiom on 13 November and 25 November. The flooded areas can be seen depicted in red, the Po River in black, and urban areas in white.

Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar ability to ‘see’ through clouds and rain, and in darkness, makes it particularly useful for monitoring floods. It can even easily differentiate water bodies, highlighting the difference between the Po River in black, and the extent of the flooding in red.
Around 500 people were evacuated further north in the Aosta Valley, where many roads were closed in fear of potential avalanches. Part of a viaduct serving the A6 motorway near Savona, in the northern region of Liguria, was washed away by a mudslide – leaving a 30 m gap in the road.

Images acquired before and after flooding offer immediate information on the extent of inundation and support assessments of property and environmental damage.

Earlier this month, the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated
to help respond to the floods in northeast Italy, where Venice saw record-breaking water levels and the worst flooding in 50 years.

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