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Yearbook 1999

1999 ItalyItaly. According to Countryaah official website, Italy got a new president in May when the electoral college with just over two-thirds majority already cast their votes on 78-year-old Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. He succeeded Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, whose seven-year term as head of state then expired. The constituency of the Election College's 1,010 members was, according to the Constitution, picked up among the members of Parliament and were representatives of the 20 regions of Italy Ciampi was previously Minister of Finance and Budget and is considered to have played a key role in Italy Last year, he succeeded in meeting the convergence requirements for joining Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). In his introductory speech, the President emphasized that he considered one of his most important tasks during his term of office to bring about a reform of the Constitution and a new electoral law.

A referendum on an amendment to the electoral law was held in April, but only 49.6% of the voters went to the polls, and 50% is required for the vote to be valid. Of those who voted, 99% said yes to the proposal. The highest turnout was in the rich north and lowest in the poor south. The amendment to the electoral laws was intended to abolish the proportional electoral system, which in practice means that a large number of small parties enter the parliament and thus have the opportunity to support governments. They have done so diligently, too, and D'Alema's ministry is I's 56th since World War II. Former Communist D'Alema became prime minister in the fall of 1998, when the then head of government Romano Prodi had failed to get through his proposal for a austerity budget for 1999 and was forced to resign.

Despite the typical political intrigues and fox games typical of Italy, D'Alema managed to keep his ministry together until the end of the year, when the government fell to a vote of no confidence in Parliament. D'Alema, however, quickly formed a new government, which became I's 57th since World War II. During the year, the Prime Minister initiated a series of reforms, among other things. in school and medical care, but at the turn of the year he still had a long way to go to get the Italian economy in the condition that the EU expects. In recent years there has been a desire in the country for a more prominent international position, preferably within the UN, where one could imagine a permanent seat in the Security Council - or at least something similar.

D'Alema's center-left government strengthened I's international profile when it decided to send 5,500 peacekeepers to Kosovo and 600 paratroopers to East Timor. D'Alema had a good balance when NATO in the spring and summer bombed Yugoslavia. He managed to calm the population - many harbored dislike for the operation - i.a. by giving the impression that Italy was doing his best in NATO to bring a swift end to the military alliance's war against Yugoslavia. However, there is much left for D'Alema to do in domestic politics, especially in the judiciary, where many feel that the courts are sometimes disputed. This applies, for example. the lawsuits against former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who was released by a Perugia court late last summer for the incitement to murder a "burgeoning" journalist. Similarly, in Palermo, a court of 80 freed 80-year-old Andreotti, who has been head of government seven times, for conspiring with the mafia. The Italians 'suspicion of the authorities' lies was given new fuel when charges were brought in the autumn against four generals for high treason and violations of the Constitution. The generals are suspected of providing incorrect information to authorities about the reason why a DC-9 plane from the then Itavia airline with 81 people aboard in 1980 crashed into the sea north of Sicily. Five military intelligence men were indicted for manslaughter. From the investigation to judge, the DC-9 ended up in crossfire during an air battle between Libya and NATO combat planes. This has been proven by the fact that divers have found parts of a robot in the wreckage of DC-9. Generally, the generals wanted to avoid revealing NATO's role in the crash.

1999 Italy

In February 2007, Parliament passed a law recognizing de-facto marriages between both heterosexuals and homosexuals. That led to sharp criticism from the opposition and furious comments from the Vatican, particularly unhappy with the recognition of gay couples.

Romano Prodi lost a vote of confidence in January 2008 and resigned as prime minister. At that time, a corruption investigation had been initiated against Justice Minister Clemente Mastella from the small party of Udeur that was part of the Prodi government coalition. After initially declaring his party would continue to support the coalition, this position changed in January. The reason for this was that the government wanted to implement an electoral reform that would lead to a reduction in the large number of small parties in parliament - but the Prodi coalition rested on many of these small parties. He therefore lost the vote of confidence. President Napolitano looked into the possibilities of implementing the planned legislation before an election, but this also failed. In February, elections were held, which were conducted in April.

In August 2008, Gaddafi and Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a historic cooperation agreement in Benghazi. Under the agreement, Italy will pay Libya 5 billion. US $ for its former illegal military occupation. On the other hand, Libya must take steps to combat the flow of refugees from Libya towards Europe, while increasing its investment in Italian companies. The agreement was ratified in Italy in February 2009 and in Libya the following month. In June, Gaddafi made his first visit to Rome, where he met with Berlusconi, President Giorgio Napolitano, Senate President Renato Schifani, and the Chamber of Deputies, fascist Gianfranco Fini. Several Italian parties and human rights organizations demonstrated against the visit. Gaddafi subsequently attended the G8 Summit in L '

In March 2009, Silvio Berlusconi's party Forza Italia was merged with the fascist National Alliance. The new party was named "Freedom People" and Berlusconi was elected chairman.

In April 2009, Italy was hit by an earthquake with a strength of 5.8 on the Richter scale. It hit L'Aquila, the capital of Abruzzo and cost 308 lives. About 3-10,000 buildings were damaged. The earthquake suffered such disastrous consequences despite its poor strength, due to the exceptionally poor quality of the buildings. Berlusconi commented on the quake and the catastrophic situation of the 40,000 homeless people saying “they just have to play when they are on a camping holiday. Take to the beach, enjoy life, we pay it all ». The Prime Minister's misplaced humor kept the tradition faithfully furore.

In May, Italy began bringing refugee boats on the high seas and sending them to Libya without screening. The move sparked international condemnation as the country broke the UN Refugee Convention requiring authorities to identify refugees and other vulnerable people in need of protection. The security forces used excessive force during attacks on the refugee ships, and all refugees were arrested on arrival in Libya.

Journalists without Borders Secretary General Jean-François Julliard stated in October that: "Berlusconi is immediately facing being added to our global lists of people who have shattered press freedom." Italy ranks lowest within the EU in terms of press freedom and lower than most Eastern European countries. Berlusconi controls most Italian TV channels, and in the country, only 24% of the population relies on TV news broadcasts. Berlusconi's media thus scores dump character within the OECD.

23 CIA agents were convicted in November 2009 in a Milan court for the abduction of Egyptian imam Abu Omar in 2003. The agents abducted him and brought him to Egypt, where he was tortured and charged with terrorism for several years.. He was never charged, but remains monitored by the Egyptian authorities. The CIA's Milan boss was sentenced to 8 years in prison, while 22 other agents were given every 5 years in prison. They were also sentenced to pay $ 1 million. € in compensation to Omar and ½ million. € in compensation to his wife. The abduction was part of the United States' so-called rendition program, where the superpower, in particular 2001-07, systematically violated the Torture Convention by abducting suspects and subjecting them to torture in client states. The United States refused to extradite the 23 to prosecution in Italy, and they were therefore sentenced in absentia.

 

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