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Patron Saints

Every self-respecting village and city in Italy has its own Patron Saint Celebration. With at least one daily celebration taking place somewhere in Italy, it couldn`t possibly take long before I walked into one. Here I am, in Catania, Sicily. The 5th of February is dedicated to the local patron saint, known as Santa Agatha.… » read more

EU Member States should permit EU Delegations to deliver visa for non EU citizens participating in projects financed by the European Union and which requires the necessity to travel to Europe. This post was submitted by Charles Kleinermann. Original post by Charles Kleinermann

Alain Lamasourre, MEP, (in his comment of 4 February) came up with a great idea for the appointment of the President of the European Council, which is expected to be decided during the French Presidency (July to December 2008). In a nutshell: · Candidates are invited to declare themselves publicly. · Each candidate has a… » read more

Daily our calloused senses and consciences are assaulted by the African tragedy: starving babies with bloated bellies, bloody tribal and sectarian genocide, massive government corruption and pillaging, military coups, endemic AIDS, resurgent tuberculosis and malaria, UN employees and blue hats buying child prostitutes and […] Original post by egrover

Eric Grover’s recent contribution to BlogActiv (“Global-warming theology threatens freedom and prosperity”) is a useful example of the denial strategy of the few left-over climate sceptics. Its polemic tone (“global-warming theology”, “romantic environmentalists”, Kyoto as a ploy to undermine the US economy, “Taliban global-warming religionists” who are as dangerous as “resurgent Islamic ideology”) is meant… » read more

A resurgent fundamentalist Islam is engaged in a global war against the West and the rest of the infidel world. In World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism former Commentary editor in chief Norman Podhoretz calls it WW4. Republican presidential frontrunner John McCain believes “the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic… » read more

The European migration policy, so far based only on restrictive measures, should adopt a more sophisticated approach aiming at the social and economic development of the involved countries. The EU needs to clarify its approach to economic refugee status. This post was submitted by Joost Nuijten. Original post by Joost Nuijten

28 January is the European Data Protection Day. For the second time, in 2008, this date marks the anniversary of the Council of Europe’s Convention 108, the first legally binding international instrument related to data protection. This section of the EDRi-gram is dedicated to the European Data Protection Day and marks the main privacy […]… » read more

The EU should show more commitment in the fields of international peacekeeping as well as humanitarian aid during catastrophes. This post was submitted by Alexia V..

Many countries have an intense debate about their opportunities to meet the new obligations in the EU Climate and Energy Package, especially the part that deals with the required quota of renewable fuels. Sweden and Latvia has lobbied heavily claiming that they already have done so much and already have a high share. Poland has… » read more

The Wall Street Journal reported today that three of the biggest US investment banks are getting cold feet about financing new coal power plants as they expect US policy-makers to introduce a carbon capture-and-trade system in the future. The environmental standards which the three banks will lay down could mean that coal plants without carbon… » read more

Over the last few days, I have made some comparisons between the Finns and the Italians and I think there will be more of those over the days to come. Today, I am writing about the Italian way of communicating, which makes a nice contrast with the monotonous and seemingly indifferent way of talking that… » read more

Brussels, February 2008     Rats make leaders and are fair in their dealings with others and expect the same from others in return. The Year of the Rat is a time for hard work, activity and renewal. The Earth Rat adds solidity.   All these characteristics are needed if China is going to maintain… » read more

Political stability is not one of Italy`s strong points. Left-wing governments succeed right-wing governments and vice versa. Since World War II, the average lifetime of Italian governments has barely exceeded one year. Ordinary Italians put very little trust in their political leaders and they are forced to mistrust their national media as well. Politics and… » read more

Thanks to the night ferry from Naples to Palermo, I arrived in Sicily this morning. I will spend four days on this island before making a short excursion to Malta, country number 16. Sicily in general, and Palermo in particular, are historically known as the birthplace of Mafia. This criminal organisation, originally a `family enterprise`… » read more

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