The controversial plans for a 26-billion-euro high-speed rail link between the two countries face opposition from environmental activists.
In 2001, British weekly magazine The Economist published an investigation into tycoon-turned politician Silvio Berlusconi’s shady business empire under the headline ‘Why Silvio Berlusconi is unfit to lead Italy’. It earned the magazine and its then-editor, Bill Emmott, the full wrath of the Italian leader and several legal suits for defamation, all of which were ultimately thrown out. This year Emmott published an in-depth analysis of modern-day Italy, called Good Italy, Bad Italy, in which he argues why the country, now rid of Berlusconi, has reached a crucial societal and economic crossroads that allows no turning back to its past structure, and where the future path for change it will take is all but certain. Here he tells Mediapart’s Philippe Riès how the eurozone's third-largest economy was suffocated by “the desire of business to seize the state and to use it to serve its own selfish interest”.
French and Italian factories up ouput in August, in contrast with those in Germany and UK, helping eurozone to escape free fall in third quarter.
Earlier this month, a court in Turin pronounced landmark prison sentences against two key shareholders of a multinational building company, accused of causing the deaths by asbestos contamination of some 3,000 people. It came as a stark contrast to the stalled criminal investigations into asbestos contamination in France, where 3,000 people die every year from the effects which are expected to cause 100,000 deaths by 2025. The Italian public prosecutor who led the five-year investigation based in Turin was in Paris last weekend to address a public meeting about this vast and complex case. Among the audience was Jean-Paul Teissonnière, the principle lawyer representing the French victims of asbestos contamination and their families, who fears political ill-will may lead to no trial ever taking place of those responsible for one of the country’s worst sanitary disasters in recent history. Marie Gall reports.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi this week called for a reform of the Schenghen Agreement that allows passport-free, cross-border travel across most of the EU. They want the treaty to allow for a return to tight policing of frontiers, in reaction to the arrival in Europe in recent months of thousands of migrants fleeing strife-torn North Africa (photo). Carine Fouteau reports on why such a move is unnecessary and more of a nod to domestic electoral considerations than a considered response to a growing humanitarian crisis.