In Italy EU membership has always been seen as the natural thing, the thing that nobody questions. But as the economic crisis threatens Italy, the opinion is changing. A recent (April 18th 2011) survey by Swg for www.Affariitaliani.it shows that 63 per cent of the respondents want to leave the EU.
Among center-right adherents the figure is 83 per cent, while 36 per cent of center-left voters agree.
The background is the economic crisis as well as the problems created for the Italian society by the influx of migrants from North Africa. When asked who is to blame, 41 per cent point to the EU and 29 per cent to the Italian government.
Henrik Brors: Sweden among losers as new EP emerges
Henrik Bors, writing in Swedish newspaper DN, says that Sweden, along with Denmark and Finland emerged as the greatest losers as the new European Parliament power structures became clear. Swedish MEPs were unable to land any of the more important chairmanships in the new parliament as they all went to larger countries.
Surprise, surprise… the big ‘uns - Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain and Poland took all the spoils.
addition (on July 28th)
The French Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has hailed France’s presence on European Parliament committees, saying “With 4 committee and sub-committee chairs, France has only one chair less than Italy, is equal to Germany and is ahead of the UK and Spain.” He added that France “is one of the leading European countries in terms of the number of vice presidents.”
As we linked to Sarkozy’s speech we warned of his wish of protecting “Europeans” more and more. His hand gestures were revealing:
Now his experiment started in Italy:
Thousands of troops will be deployed in Italian cities from next Monday to help police fight crime, the Italian government has announced. About 2,000 troops will guard “sensitive” sites such as train stations and embassies. Another 1,000 will go on street patrols with police.
Right-wing leader Silvio Berlusconi swept to power in April’s election on a tough law-and-order platform, promising new measures to curb illegal immigration and combat crime. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said troops would patrol in uniform, carrying only small arms. But those guarding sensitive sites would have body armour and machine guns, he said. The soldiers will come from the army, air force, navy and Carabinieri paramilitary police.
The last such deployment was in Sicily in 1992-1998, during an anti-Mafia crackdown. It followed the assassinations of magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
Reacting to the government’s announcement on Tuesday, shadow interior minister Marco Minniti said “it’s an image-building operation that risks backfiring. Soldiers patrolling the centres of cities that are our greatest tourist attractions is not a very nice calling card for Italy at the height of the tourist season,” he said.