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05-Feb-16 16:11. By | Comments (0)

Italy moving away from austerity?

Italy, the country with the second highest debt in the eurozone after Greece, has moved away from austerity with a series of economic reforms designed to boost growth. Matteo Renzi's government approved the 2016 budget, containing measures aimed at encouraging growth by easing the heavy tax burden on Italians. Around €30 billion will be spent on measures aimed at reviving investments after a dangerous fall during the crisis. Taxes on primary residences worth 3.6 billion euros, as well as levies on municipal services and farm buildings, will be cut. Companies that buy new machinery will also benefit of tax credits. Reductions to the high social-security levies, that make Italy’s labour costs one of the highest in Europe, will also be extended for another year.

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05-Feb-16 16:10. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Record boom in food exports from Italy

The new year starts with great satisfaction for the made in Italy food products. In spite of the economical crisis and the embargo to Russia, which eliminates a big market, Christmas 2015 saw a record boom of Italian food exportation. Italian products triumphed on foreign tables during the holidays thanks to exports of wines, sparkling wines, brandy and liqueurs, panettone, cheeses, and pasta.

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24-Dec-15 12:17. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

600 attend Growing Up Italian in the UK Christmas Party

There was a massive attendance for the the Christmas party and the Bazaar organised by the Facebook group “Growing up Italian in the UK” on the 6h December 2015 at Villa Scalabrini. The event was packed as 600 people came from all over the UK as far away as from Manchester. Thanks to people's generosity over 3000 pounds were raised for Villa Scalabrini. It was a great success for the first gathering event of the “Growing up Italian in the UK” Facebook group, and it left everyone looking forward to the next chance to meet again.

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24-Dec-15 12:14. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (4)

Catholic Jubilee security increased

The Catholic Jubilee has begun. Rome is expecting millions of pilgrims in a situation where the lord mayor has not been replaced and there have been many scandals regarding the administration of the capital city.

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24-Dec-15 12:10. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (2)

Lombardy burqa ban

In the aftermaths of the Islamic terrorist attacks, Lombardy, one of the most populous and wealthier regions in Italy, has decided in favour of a ban on wearing the Islamic veil and burqa in hospitals and local government offices. The measure is considered an extension of the Italian law which already prohibits helmets, clothing or any other items that make identification difficult.

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07-Dec-15 11:00. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Is eating Parma ham dangerous?

Is Parma ham good for our health or should we give up sandwiches and antipasto all at once? The meat terror spread as the Health Organization (WHO) report has recently put cured meats, such as ham, sausage and salami on the list of carcinogens. “Ham panic” reached Italy, but Italian food and farming groups promptly responded that Italian meat is the healthiest in the world, and the agricultural association Coldiretti credited the country's diet for one of the highest life expectancies in the world (80 years for men and 85 for women).

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07-Dec-15 10:58. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Has your Olive Oil been doctored?

Olive oil is a key ingredient of the Mediterranean diet. The best quality, extra virgin, which comes from the first press of olives, can cost between 30 – 40 percent more than its lower quality. An Oil to be labelled extra virgin should meet some EU quality criteria, which take into account, for example, its degree of acidity. In June 2015, “Il Test” magazine analysed 20 bottles of extra virgin olive oil and found that 9 oils did not meet the European extra virgin standards, due to various defects. Seven well-known olive oil brands – Carapelli, Bertolli, Santa Sabina, Coricelli, Sasso, Primadonna and Antica Badia – are under exam by the anti-fraud police squad in Turin, because they might have been selling an inferior quality virgin olive oil as "extra virgin" olive oil. The companies involved all denied the allegations, as was reported by the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”.

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10-Nov-15 11:23. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Poste Italiane Privatisation

Italy is going to sell up to 40 per cent stake in Poste Italiane, Italy’s national postal service. The partial sale of Poste italiane is the biggest privatisation from the 90's, when stakes in groups including Eni and Enel were sold to investors, and it will raise a maximum of €3.9bn in proceeds. Poste Italiane reaches millions of Italian households and is a key selling point for the IPO. It represents a very large privatisation by Italian standards and opens up to a different economic policy. Poste Italiane is a 153-year old giant, it generates €28.5bn in annual group revenue, and holds €420bn in postal savings deposits, with 32m customers. The IPO is due to have a price range of €6 to €7.5 a share, giving the company an equity value of up to €9.8bn. As emerging markets led by China compete with slowing economies, low asset prices represent for Italy an opportunity to lure some investors.

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10-Nov-15 11:20. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Bartering to pay your tax bill in Italy

Bartering might make a big come-back at least as far as it concerns settling tax debt with the state. In some Italian cities if you owe taxes to the state it's possible to repay by doing works of social utilities, such as pruning trees, road maintenance and painting walls, in order to settle your debts with the municipal tax authorities. The novelty was introduced a year ago by the government to help families overwhelmed by the crisis, but in the big cities only Milan and Bari have actually decided to offer this opportunity to their residents.

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10-Nov-15 11:14. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Starbucks coming to Italy?

Imagine you are in Milan. You've been walking around all day and now you need a coffee, would you consider Starbucks as a possibility? As a tourist it might be a comfortable familiar place to rest in, feeling as if at home, as you know the prices, the environment, the soft armchairs and sofas, somehow you even know the kind of people you could be sharing your table with, but you are in Italy, shouldn't you try something more Italian than this? This dilemma hasn't been an option so far but it might became real as Starbucks, the world's biggest coffee chain, might open in Italy as soon as Christmas. According to Ruters talks are underway, and the newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that the company was negotiating with the Italian businessman, Antonio Percassi, to bring the Starbucks brand to Italy.

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Lucia Jordan

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