When it was closed on the order of a judge for causing environmental damage, the ILVA steel plant in Taranto was the biggest in Europe. The parent ILVA group, which owns several other plants in Italy, was the largest in Europe, employing a total of 14,000 workers. Current figures suggest it is no longer the number one steel producer, and production has halved since the court order.
By government decree, the plants have to be sold by the end of June. Any offers must be received by February 20 but nothing concrete has emerged so far, even though the government has allocated €800 million for the environmental rehabilitation of the Taranto plant. Meanwhile, the group’s competitors in Europe have pushed the European Commission to open an inquiry into ILVA and the state subsidies it receives. The most persistent in asking for the Commission’s intervention has been one of ILVA’s major rivals, the German steel group ThyssenKrupp.
This shocking figure comes from Italian Institute of Statistics (Istat) data reported by Gian Carlo Blangiardo, demographer and director of the Statistics Department of Bicocca University in Milan. The mortality data cover the first seven months of 2015 and if the trend has continued, there will be 69,000 deaths more in 2015 than in 2014.
Yes, the Italian population is getting older – Italy is towards the top of world tables for life expectancy, or at least it was in 2014! This fact alone though, according to Blangiardo, only explains 19,000 of the deaths. What about the other 50,000? We need to go back to WWI and WWII to find a such big increase, he says, or to Eastern Europe following the fall of the Soviet Union.
Press conference at Baobab center, Rome, 03.12.15 (Ph:Renato Ferrantini).
The November attacks in Paris had an unknown, but quite foreseeable, effect on Italy.
Even though the traditional targets (the Vatican, synagogues, metros and stations) are under surveillance, Italian newspapers keep reminding us all that traditional types of terrorism are over and that now everybody is a potential target. And so, therefore, everybody is a potential terrorist.
This month, terrorists have been spotted in strange places and situations all over Italy, and the alarm has always been proved wrong.
The police may also be looking for terrorists in the wrong places. Continue reading
“Trident Juncture shows that NATO’s capabilities are real and ready,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday 4 November 2015. Trident Juncture, NATO’s largest exercise in over a decade, involved more than 36,000 personnel, more than 230 units, more than 140 aircraft and more than 60 ships. It took place in a number of locations, including Italy. Continue reading
Posted in Activism, Anti-militarism, Commons, Grassroots movements, Health, Politics, Uncategorized, [en]
Tagged demonstration, military, NATO, Sardinia, trident juncture
Bologna has always been a laboratory, both for social movements and for their counterparts. Bologna “the Red”, the industrialized city with one of the strongest worker movements in Italy, is now facing great changes, that started years ago and are now accelerating at an unprecedented rate.
A shifting economy
Between 2001 and 2011 the Emilia-Romagna region lost 22.6% of workers in the secondary (industrial) sector, with this percentage being even higher in the province of Bologna. Meanwhile, the tertiary sector has become more and more important, following a trend that is well-known throughout the industrialized western countries, but is felt particularly severely here. Once a city based largely on manufacturing activities, Bologna has since transformed into a city of commerce and services. But while the number of workers in the tertiary sector grew by 15.4%, the number of businesses decreased by about 7%, and this data only takes us up to 2011, when the economic crisis really began to hit small businesses. Contrary to the New York Times’ portrayal of the city, Bologna is less and less a city of small independent shops and restaurants. On the contrary, a growing part of its economic activity is in the hands of large companies.
Touil’s freedom marks a shift in our democracy – although he is unaware of it. Touil is free, the judges say ‘No’ to the Identification and Expulsion Centre and to expulsion.
“He arrived on a boat”
On 20 May 2015, Abdel Majid Touil, a 22 year old Moroccan, was arrested by Italian police in Milan and accused of taking part in the attacks on the Bardo National Museum. He was released a few days ago, on 30 October. His story is worth telling.
Struggles in Italy’s blog is a dictionary of Italian struggles, a place that hosts news and deeper reflections. We cover political activism, education, culture, the environment, workers’ and community struggles, the mafia, the media and mainstream politics. Struggles is also a collective of volunteer writers, a transnational community of workers, students and researchers living in different parts of the world. We all share the aim to show Italian reality, made of struggling people. We’ve made local struggles much more visible so they can be studied and sense can be made of them. Our perspective is indipendent from mainstream media. We have the blog, a Twitter account and a Pinterest board. Our main language is English, but we wrote also in French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. We’re keen to expand our output beyond English. We’re looking for new people to work on writing or editing articles, translating them into other languages, reporting from the field and much more. Enthusiasm and expertise are both appreciated – in any language. Join us, share our message and spread the voice about the project. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org