Keyword: Italy

Nutella spat: France's Ségolène Royal told to leave Italian products alone

Italy’s environment minister plans to eat Nutella for dinner after French counterpart urged people to avoid product over deforestation fears.

Italian police haul away migrants at France border

Around 300 migrants had been camping out for days in Ventimigila on the frontier, sparking tension between the two countries.

Migrant standoff at French border post sparks row with Italy

While about 100 migrants continued their sit-in at the Riviera border at Ventimiglia, Italy's PM slammed French refusals to allow them passage.

Aboard a Mediterranean migrant patrol ship, and the ghost freighter that got away

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More than 300 migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea in a clandestine convoy from Libya to Italy were reported drowned this week when their boats overturned off Lampedusa, just days after 29 other seaborne migrants were discovered dead from hypothermia close to the Italian coast. The tragedies follow the narrow rescues in December and January of more than 1,200 Syrian migrants from two rusting ‘ghost’ freighters left abandoned by people smugglers to their fate. Earlier this month, Mediapart’s Carine Fouteau joined the Týr, an Icelandic coastguard ship patrolling the central Mediterranean as part of an operation mounted by the EU border-policing agency Frontex. She heard the harrowing experiences of the Týr’s proud crew who have already rescued 2,000 migrants in difficulty, and questioned Frontex officials about what is an increasingly confused mission. But she begins this report with the dramatic events she witnessed aboard the Týr, when a drifting, apparently crewless rusting freighter suspected of carrying hundreds of migrants in its hold was left to its fate overnight in strong seas - because no-one had sent out an SOS. 

The money-making machine behind Mediterranean people smuggling

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The discovery last week of two abandoned cargo ships crammed with clandestine migrants in the Mediterranean Sea has underlined a cynical change of tactics by people traffickers. Though buying the massive vessels costs money, the traffickers still stand to make millions from preying on the desire of refugees to flee war-torn Syria or the Horn of Africa for a better life in Europe. Mediapart has been reporting regularly on the plight of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean and has highlighted the new tactics being used by traffickers. Here Carine Fouteau looks at the background to people smuggling and describes just how traffickers exploit the needy – including wealthier middle class Syrians desperate to escape the ongoing war in their country.

Merkel brands French and Italian economic reforms 'insufficient'

German chancellor says she agrees with European Commission analysis that Paris has begun reforms but has not yet gone far enough.

France joins call for fresh assault on tax havens

Paris, Berlin and Rome want new EU law to ban 'aggressive tax planning' in move seen as an attack on current practices in Luxembourg.

The haunting first novel of an 'Afropolitan' writer

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Novelist Taiye Selasi comes from a diverse background. Born in London to a Nigerian mother and Ghanaian father and brought up in the United States, she writes in English but now lives in Italy. Her first novel, Ghana Must Go, which has recently been translated into French, is every bit as hard to classify as its author – other than the certainty that it is evidence of a new and distinctive voice on the literary landscape. Mediapart has conducted a lengthy and fascinating interview in English with Taiye Selasi, a video of which can be seen below. But first Christine Marcandier explains some of the main themes of this remarkable début novel.

EU budget clearance for France and Italy comes with an asterisk

The European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs accepted revised French and Italian budget plans but warned of close scrutiny.

Far-right 'at gates of power' warns French PM Manuel Valls

Prime minister said socialists had to 'act differently... speak differently' to counter threat from far right or face the 'terrible price of failure'.

French trader Jerome Kerviel refuses to go to jail

After Rome walk, convicted trader is refusing to set foot in France until President Hollande responds to plea for immunity for key witnesses.

Former trader Kerviel faces jail as lone walk to France ends

Convicted SocGen trader, returning after a long trek to Rome, has been ordered to attend a French police station where he is set to be jailed.

The hidden traffic along 'The Golden Road' to Switzerland

By Federico Franchini (La Cité)
 © Reuters © Reuters

The A9 motorway linking northern Italy with Switzerland is at the heart of a major gold smuggling racket worth hundreds of millions of euros. Last year, an estimated five tonnes of the precious metal was illegally transported into Switzerland where clandestine cargos are melted down by official refiners and transformed into perfectly legal bars of gold. The business is largely managed by criminal networks surrounding 'cash-for-gold' shops that have mushroomed in Italy since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008. But while the Italian police have launched a series of investigations into the traffic, the Swiss authorities have displayed a surprising disinterest into what one official dismissed as "a few minor cases of contraband". Federico Franchini reports.

French wine 'has Italian origins'

Shaped vessels known to have been imported from the Etruscan people of Italy around 500 BC have shown chemical evidence of wine.

French, Italian economies send mixed messages

The two large eurozone economies both post conflicting signs, with flickers of improvement tempered by steadily rising unemployment.