Tag Archives: Italy

Italy is considering extending the COVID-19 state of emergency until January 31, media say | Instant News

FILE PHOTOS: People walking beside a test site at Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, September 23, 2020. REUTERS / Remo Casilli / File Photo

ROME (Reuters) – Italy is considering extending to January 31 next year its state of emergency over the COVID-19 crisis, two national newspapers said on Thursday.

The state of emergency, which expires in mid-October, gives the government greater powers, allowing officials to more easily bypass the bureaucracy that hinders many decision-making in Italy.

Dailies Il Messagero and Corriere della Sera said a cabinet meeting discussed the issue on Wednesday night.

“It’s not official yet … while at first (the government) talked about pushing it back to December 31, as long as the (government) meeting was considered to be beyond the end of the year, given that cohabitation with the virus was destined to last a long time,” said Il Messaggero.

Reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia; Written by Giulia Segreti; Edited by Clarence Fernandez


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Italy pushes back the deadline in concession lines with Atlantia – a government source | Instant News

ROME (Reuters) – The Italian government has postponed a deadline for making a decision on whether to withdraw Atlantia. ATL.MI highway unit concessions, two government sources said on Wednesday, as a dispute between the infrastructure group and the city of Rome.

The source said the government would meet in the next 10 days to remove Autostrade per l’Italia from a lucrative toll road concession if Atlantia did not submit a new proposal.

Rome initially set Wednesday as a deadline and the Cabinet met earlier to discuss developments in the long-running road dispute sparked by the collapse of a bridge in Genoa more than two years ago that claimed 43 lives.

Company sources said earlier on Wednesday that Atlantia was relying on mediation by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to avoid lifting its concessions.

Such a move would trigger a default on a European scale, with 7,000 jobs and about 16.5 billion euros ($ 19.3 billion) in risky debt, the sources said.

Roma said it was ready to revoke Autostrade’s concessions if the Benetton-backed infrastructure group failed to agree a deal to sell the unit to state lender CDP.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Stefano Bernabei; Written by Giulio Piovaccari; Edited by Gavin Jones and Peter Cooney


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Italy premiered the 3rd episode of “8 1/2 Theater Clips” in Tehran | Instant News

TEHRAN – The third episode of the video-theater series “8 1/2 Theater Clips: How a Pandemic Changes Our Lives” premiered at the residence of Italian Ambassador Giuseppe Perrone in northern Tehran on Wednesday evening.

Starring Nicola Pianzola and Danial Kheirikhah, this episode of “The Notes of Absence” was directed by Anna Dora Dorno in collaboration with Iranian director Ali Shams.

This part immerses viewers in the loneliness and isolation caused by the long months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The restlessness and loss that arises from it are swept away by the music, whose thrifty power creates an inseparable bond not only between the artist and the public, but also between ordinary people, so strong that it deceives the space-time coordinates and reaches beyond completely arbitrary boundaries. wenang, symbolized by an open window on the world.

Original compositions inspired by Riccardo Nanni allow the music to become the undisputed protagonists of the episode.

In the evening, the second episode “Night Shift”. This is a tribute to health workers who in Italy and Iran have fought and continue to be at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.

“Absentee Notes” along with “Night Shift” are available on the social media channels of the Italian Embassy in Tehran.

The fourth series of eight episodes will air on October 21.

Photo: Scenes from “Absentee Notes”, the third episode of the video-theater series “8 1/2 Theater Clips: How Pandemics Change Our Lives”.



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Reopening of schools in Italy has been ‘safe’ so far due to the surge in transmission | Instant News

In Italy, schools reopened from 14 September: two weeks later, the situation seemed under control. Unlike in other countries, the start of the current school year does not appear to have contributed to the large jump in numbers.

Italy currently has 51,263 positive cases and 280 people are being treated in intensive care. The total number in the country since the start of the pandemic was 314,861 cases and 35,894 deaths, far less than other European countries such as Spain and France, where the numbers have risen sharply with 758,000 and 551,000 cases, respectively.

The reopening of schools in Italy is considered a worry by most, also due to the fact that schools have not reopened at all since the start of the lockdown in early March. Decades of underfunding – the school system only receives 3.9% of Italy’s GDP – nor does it contribute to leaving the education system in good shape, let alone ready for a crisis of such magnitude.

During the summer, a number of sanitation protocols were developed and structural interventions carried out to allow students to have more space between them and reduce the risk of transmission, also with regard to teachers, who in Italy are statistically the oldest in Europe and therefore more at risk. Protocol has foreseen the possibility for classes to be held outdoors and in unconventional places such as theaters and cinemas, while distance learning has been maintained in secondary schools when there is not enough space for students to maintain a safe distance. In addition, schools have been provided with sanitary materials and face masks for teachers and other staff, while the recipes for shorter lessons and the use of masks outside of class are also intended to actively contain the spread of the virus.

While many criticize the time the government has taken to direct schools to reorganize (the far-right Lega party has also pursued a vote of no-confidence for Education Minister Lucia Azzolina, who is part of the Five Star Movement), for now. school activities as a whole restart smoothly.

On the other hand, several problems have arisen related to the suspected Covid-19 case. The sanitation protocol predicts that whenever a student begins to show symptoms associated with the coronavirus, a PCR test will need to be carried out. If the person turns out positive, the entire class is isolated at home and any teachers who have contacted them during the previous 48 hours are also quarantined.

Nowadays, more and more students are isolated. It also includes the possibility that entire schools could be closed if the number of cases becomes too high. Currently, around 700 schools (out of 57,000) in the country have registered at least one coronavirus case, and 116 of them are currently closed.

The main problem in this context is given by the timing of the test: in some cases it may take several days before the test is carried out and the results can show the way forward. For this reason, the Ministry of Health agreed today to adopt rapid coronavirus tests – which are already used at Italian airports – as well as in schools. The government has ordered the production of 5 million tests of this kind. The goal is that by supporting a faster diagnosis, the circulation of the virus in the school environment can be better controlled.

“This is still the first wave of the virus”, commented Health Minister adviser Walter Ricciardi. “And while the rapid test may not be 100% safe, the rapid test will allow us to identify the super spreader, and that’s very important.”


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Tunisian citizens fleeing the economy, not COVID, are causing tension in Italy | Instant News

RAS JEBEL, Tunisia (AP) – It used to be that only young unemployed men who departed from Tunisia’s rugged north coast for Sicily, usually opposed their parents in hopes of a better future.

Now Tunisian families, even those with jobs or seemingly good prospects, are following the trail across 130 kilometers (80 miles) of open water – nearly 10,000 since the start of the year and far more than they have left in recent memory. The expanse of the Mediterranean can be dangerous, the chances of securing asylum in Europe are nearly zero, and lengthy quarantines on ferries anchored offshore will be followed by expulsion if they are caught.

But many departing from the Bizerte coastline think that the potential rewards far outweigh the risks. Those with relatives in Europe are those with new cars and improved kitchens.

“My son is one and a half months old, and if I get the chance to move soon, I will live a better life,” said Tarek Aloui, 27, who has tried 10 times to reach Italy since then. 2014. He only succeeded once, last March at the height of the coronavirus lockdown, and was promptly driven back home, where he was jailed for six months. He was not affected.

“All Tunisian men, women and even children want to go this way,” he added.

Their arrival has put pressure on Italy’s southern region’s ability to host them amid the coronavirus pandemic, given Italy’s quarantine requirements for anyone arriving from outside the EU.

When a large fishing boat of 450 Tunisian people was towed into port on the island of Lampedusa in Sicily on August 30, several residents took to the dock to protest, shouting at them to return. Italy’s former interior minister, anti-migrant League leader Matteo Salvini, criticized the government for allowing them in and noted sadly that most would never be granted asylum as they fled the non-existent “notorious Tunisian war”.

To safely isolate new migrants, the Italian government has assigned five ferries for new arrivals to complete 14 days of quarantine, with 2,238 currently on board. But there are also centers on the ground for others, and the interior ministry laments that Tunisians, more than others, tend to try to escape from reception centers and avoid quarantine requirements. Their flight has sparked protests by locals fearing new infections in the wake of Italy’s brutal coronavirus outbreak, especially since the arriving migrants have been linked to several dozen groups recently.

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese has traveled to Tunis twice since July to negotiate with the new government on the need to stem the tide, including an offer of assistance from Italy for better coastal patrols. He blamed Tunisia’s increase in arrivals on the country’s socioeconomic problems that have been exacerbated by COVID-19, and has offered Italy assistance to address them.

He told a parliamentary committee last week that since August 1, Italy has again repatriated Tunisians who do not qualify for asylum, after reaching an agreement with the Tunisian government to accept two flights a week with 40 Tunisian citizens each. He said the number of weekly flights will increase from October. Tunisian migrants fleeing a deteriorating economic situation are generally not considered eligible for asylum.

While Tunisia was by far the largest group of migrants in 2020, 23,517 migrants in Italy this year are a fraction of the nearly 120,000 people rescued at sea and brought to Italy in 2017, or more than 181,000 who arrived in the peak year. 2016. However, arrivals this year are more than the numbers seen in the previous two years.

More striking is the proportion of migrants who are Tunisian – 9,284 or 42% this year, compared to 23% last year and 22% in 2018. The previous year, Tunisia accounted for only 5% of arrivals, with Nigeria at the top.

Romdhane Ben Amor, spokesman for the Tunisian Economic and Social Rights Forum, said this level of emigration had not been seen since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising began in Tunisia.

“It is no longer limited to those who drop out of school, are unemployed and have no education,” he said.

He said between 150 and 200 families had left Tunisia by boat, evading the north African country’s coast guard despite increased surveillance paid for by Italy and other European Union countries.

“We can see it on surveillance cameras at the port,” said Mohammed Taweb, a fisherman in Bizerte. He said small groups had come to steal the ship’s engines in preparation for their departure, but only from the cruise ships – not from the fishing boats he and others needed to make a living. He said he understood why they left, and believed it was up to the Tunisian government to sort things out.

Ghofrane Hlel’s parents fear it is too late for their son, who left last September at the age of 20 and went missing at sea. Her mother, Kalthoum Fraj, has resigned herself to her destiny, but not to uncertainty.

“I accept everything that happened to him, and I do not hold anyone accountable,” he said. I want him to live or die, and I’ll accept one of them.


Nicole Winfield in Rome and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.


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