The difference of being a tourist in France vs Italy

Look who is doing better than the wops

Italy is in the doldrums economically. This is what you get when you have rampant unfunded social costs.

Companies are leaving Italy in droves, including Fiat. In one famous case the owner of an electrical components factory moved his business to Poland while his employees were sunning themselves in the summer holidays.

There is a very good reason why people are abandoning Italy as a place to do business. Even Kazakhstan and Tonga are better places to do business.

The saga has become a national cause celebre, sparking a debate about the number of Italian companies that are relocating their business to Eastern Europe and beyond, prominent among them Fiat, which has a plant in Poland.

Italy’s thickets of red tape, high social welfare costs and corruption mean that it fares dismally in terms of economic competitiveness.

In the World Bank’s most recent Ease of Doing Business survey, Italy ranks 73rd out of 185 countries, behind the likes of Tonga, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

While much of Europe appears to be slowly emerging from the worst recession since the Second World War, the Italian economy is going backwards, shrinking 0.2pc in the second quarter of this year.¬† Read more »


And he lives. Go buy a lottery ticket mate

Jihad we can all believe in

This is the kind of jihad I can believe in:

[M]embers of Ukrainian feminist group Femen staged protests across Europe as they called for a “topless jihad.” The demonstrations were in support of a young Tunisian activist named Amina Tyler. Last month, Tyler posted naked images of herself online, with the words “I own my body; it’s not the source of anyone’s honor” written on her bare chest. The head of Tunisia’s “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” reportedly called for Tyler to be stoned to death for her putatively obscene actions, lest they lead to an epidemic. Tyler has since gone quiet, leading some to fear for her safety.

Below are some images from Femen’s protests in Sweden, Italy, Ukraine, Belgium, and France. A warning, nearly every photo depicts nudity, and most contain offensive language. I did warn you so don’t go moaning in the comments about it.¬† Read more »


Turns out, we don’t just have a Green Taliban, we also have a Green Mafia!

If investing in publicly funded energy projects is good enough for the Green Taliban, it’s good enough for the Green Mafia as well:

Italy made its biggest confiscation of mafia assets in history on Wednesday (April 3), including dozens of alternative energy companies worth a total of 1.3 billion euros ($1.67 billion), police said.

A court in Trapani on the island of Sicily ordered the definitive confiscation of assets first seized in 2010 from Vito Nicastri, a 57-year-old businessman, who was deemed a front man for the Sicilian mafia, known as Cosa Nostra.

Police and magistrates say Nicastri, once dubbed the “Lord of the Wind” because of his vast wind farm holdings, invested money made from extortion, drug sales and other illicit activities for Matteo Messina Denaro, believed to be Cosa Nostra’s boss of bosses.

Most of the seized assets were located in Sicily, home of the Cosa Nostra, and in southern Calabria, home of its sister crime organization.

Police said the haul included 43 companies, 98 properties and even cars and boats.

Video over the break. Caution, it starts playing by itself.
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Why mining is good


Ok, now don’t get a shock. ¬†Here’s a bit of culture for you.

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How can the wops afford this?

Don’t say I never do arts posts…but I am wondering how the wops can afford this, they are flat broke and will probably go on the bludge expecting us to pay for their expensive art exhibition.

A Dunedin artist has been invited to show his work at one of the world’s most prestigious art exhibitions.

Dunedin School of Art senior sculpture lecturer Scott Eady will travel to Italy in May to install his work “Personal Structures” at the Venice Biennale 2013.

“It was very unexpected and, of course, very exciting news. I am a little overwhelmed,” Mr Eady said yesterday.¬† Read more »

A bloody good clown, Beppe Grillo is also now the world’s most powerful blogger

English: Beppe Grillo, Italian comedian, activ...

Beppe Grillo, Italian comedian, activist and blogger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beppe Grillo is looking to exit Italy from the euro, and he isn’t taking kindly to some of the horse-trading going on:

He also insisted that his party would not take part in any “horse-trading”, describing the overtures from the Left as “the usual whorish way of doing politics.”

Ian Steadman, at Wired, meanwhile thinks that Grillo has become the world’s most powerful blogger.

A comedian on an anti-corruption crusade, his success (and his political movement) has been built on the back of his¬†blog– the most popular in the country, and one of the most widely-read in the world.Grillo’s blog has long hosted names of politicians convicted for charges of corruption, and in posts the satirical comedian has railed against the corruptions problems in Italian politics. In 2007, he corralled his supporters into a one-off “V-Day Celebratio” where the “V” stood for¬†vaffanculo¬†– “fuck off”. Other campaigns targeted certain bills or vested interests, with the culmination being the launch of the Five Star Movement (M5S) in 2009, a populist bloc whose unifying characteristic isn’t so much what it’s for as what it’s against — the status quo. Its members organise online, it has an extreme direct democracy slant, and, judging from exit polls and seat projections, M5S looks likely to be the third-largest political bloc in the Italian parliament.

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Economic War? How China spreads disease



Yesterday there was a report that scientists at Otago University have figured out the path that the Kiwifruit bacterial disease, PSA, took to get to New Zealand by analysing DNA.

I’ve been waiting for someone to suggest the introduction of PSA into New Zealand wasn’t accidental. ¬†That it could possibly be a deliberate act of economic war.

Here’s the critical part of ODT piece¬†¬† Read more »

A Proper Clown wins a lot of votes

He is apparently a lot funnier than Bob Parker. And he drinks less.

Italy’s parliamentary elections have ended in stalemate and the possibility of a hung parliament.

With all domestic votes counted, Pier Luigi Bersani’s centre-left bloc has narrowly beaten ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi in the lower house but has failed to secure a majority in the Senate.¬† Read more »