Archive for July, 2010

No one is allowed to take pictures in front of the 15th century mural “The Last Supper,” by Leonardo Da Vinci… except for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who recently took Russian President Dimitri Medvedev on a sightseeing tour of Milan.
Berlusconi and Medvedev smile in front of Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Last Supper"

Most of Italy’s press is on strike today to protest a government-proposed law that would restrict the publication of investigative data such as recordings made by non-professional journalists or court documents containing wiretapped conversations.

L'espresso magazine had this banner on its website all of Friday, July 9.

History, architecture and fashion might not be enough anymore to keep Milan among the top Italian cities. What the city really needs, according to Mayor Letizia Moratti, is to get its name in the new Italian version of Monopoly coming out later this year.

“All I dealt with in these past two days was Monopoly,” the mayor of Italy’s most industrious city said at a press conference today.

Moratti has been hard at work to get the city of Milan into the revised version of Hasbro’s popular board game, which celebrates its 75th anniversary. The gaming company has asked fans to vote online for the most representative cities that will appear in the new version, replacing the old street names. The voting deadline is July 28.

“Milan is currently out of the 22 cities that would make it on the game,” said Moratti. “So I appeal to all the citizens of Milan to go to http://www.monopolyitalia.it to vote and make sure Milan will be part of the beautiful game.”

Only 0.54 percent of fans have voted Milan so far.

Milan's ranking for the future Italian version of Monopoly

Although a very poor result, the city is certainly doing better than Rome, (0.2%) Florence or Venice. (Both at 0.12%) Despite its name, even the little Pugliese town of Monopoli isn’t faring too well, stuck at a depressing 0.08%.

By shifting the focus on Monopoly, Moratti avoided answering thorny questions about slow construction and planning for Milan’s Expo 2015. Emma Marcegaglia, president of Italy’s most important group of industrials, Confindustria, said today she was “worried but still confident” the Expo would eventually come through.

Given Milan’s indecisiveness on the Expo 2015, combined with its recent housing crisis, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if Monopoly fans don’t feel confident enough to raise green houses and red hotels over Italy’s industrial capital.

Top 22 rankings for future version of Italian Monopoly

Top 22 rankings for future version of Italian Monopoly

After 17 days as Minister for the Application of the Federalist Reform, Aldo Brancher has stepped down from his government duties to take on a court trial against him and his wife.

Brancher was nominated by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on June 19, after which he tried in vain to appeal to a recently approved law that gave government officials the right to delay court hearings in case of “legitimate impediment.”

“I thought I had to privilege my obligations towards the nation for a brief period of time,” Brancher told Judge Annamaria Gatto in a Milan court on Monday. “But since this decision has been widely exploited, I decided to make other choices, as a sign of respect towards my family first of all and also to put an end to the speculation.”

On June 25, just six days after his nomination, Brancher had seen his legitimate impediment request denied by President Giorgio Napolitano, who did not find any valid reason why Brancher would not be able to show up for his court hearing.
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