Italy Politics – Plastica Italia Mon, 29 Nov 2021 21:16:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Italy Politics – Plastica Italia 32 32 Italian PD party promises active government role on Telecom Italia, unions say Mon, 29 Nov 2021 20:20:00 +0000

The TIM logo can be seen at its headquarters in Rome, Italy on November 22, 2021. REUTERS / Yara Nardi

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  • Unions worry about the future of 42,500 workers in Italy
  • CEO replaced by CEO of TIM Brasil
  • PD leader worries about TIM’s main investor Vivendi

MILAN, Nov.29 (Reuters) – Italy’s Democratic Party (PD) has pledged to actively involve the coalition government in deciding the future of Telecom Italia (TIM) after the country’s largest telephone company lost its fourth general manager in six years, unions said on Monday.

Luigi Gubitosi stepped down as CEO of the former state monopoly on Friday following a shock with its biggest investor, Vivendi (VIV.PA), a week after US fund KKR (KKR.N) submitted a $ 12 billion proposal to privatize TIM (TLIT.MI).

PD chief Enrico Letta said at the weekend that a foreign presence in a strategic asset like TIM was causing concern.

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He pointed to what he said were close ties between Vivendi, which is controlled by French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, and far-right commentator Eric Zemmour, who is a potential candidate for the French presidential election. next year.

Vivendi declined to comment.

PD sources said the party, which is a key member of Italy’s broad ruling coalition, will push the government to take a stand on TIM’s network, the country’s main telecommunications infrastructure.

During his three-year tenure, Gubitosi won union support for a plan to create a unique ultra-fast broadband network in Italy, the best way to protect 42,500 national jobs.

But the project failed under Prime Minister Mario Draghi, with Innovation Minister Vittorio Colao, former Vodafone executive, favoring a competitive approach.

“Although it is considered a strategic infrastructure (…) no government has ever taken a courageous and clear position on the network,” the UILCOM union said in a statement after a meeting between union representatives and PD leaders.

“We need politics to step in and put the network under state control … we are happy that PD leader Enrico Letta told us that the government cannot be a spectator this time around, but an actor. prominent, ”he said.

Paralyzed by a mountain of debt that successive post-privatization buyouts have brought to four times its basic profit, TIM cannot afford the investments necessary to modernize its network and meet the growing demand for connections.

KKR, which owns a stake in TIM’s last mile network, plans to carve out TIM’s network if its bid is successful, sources said, giving public investor CDP a key role in its oversight.

The government praised the interest of the US fund, saying its stance was based on plans to secure necessary investments in TIM’s network and protect jobs.

Shares of TIM closed down 2%, against Milan’s 0.3% rise (.FTITLMS).

TIM appointed Pietro Labriola, Managing Director of TIM Brasil (TIMS3.SA), entrusting the oversight of the group’s strategic assets to President Salvatore Rossi and setting up a special committee to study KKR’s offer.

The committee could meet on Friday when a board meeting could also take place, a person familiar with the matter said.

Gubitosi remains on the board, and two sources familiar with the matter said the new management arrangement was precarious, adding that Labriola’s term only ran until July.

($ 1 = 0.8861 euro)

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Additional reporting and writing by Valentina Za; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Clarke

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Boris Johnson orders return to face masks and isolation to slow omicron variant Sun, 28 Nov 2021 04:48:00 +0000

Professor Whitty warned: “There is a reasonable chance that at least there will be some degree of vaccine escape with this variant.”

Face coverings will become mandatory in stores and on public transport again, after a previous legal requirement was lifted in July, as part of a wider easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Hospitality establishments such as bars, pubs and restaurants will be exempt from the rule.

Separately, Mr Johnson said anyone considered a “contact” of someone who tested positive for the omicron variant will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days, whether or not they have been vaccinated. Since August 16, amid a summer easing of Covid-19 restrictions, fully vaccinated people have not had to self-isolate if a contact is positive for the virus.

All travelers arriving from abroad will be required to self-isolate until they receive a negative result from a PCR test, which they must take on the second day after entering the country.

Sajid Javid to present regulations to Parliament

Mr Javid is expected to present regulations to Parliament to impose the restrictions. The new measures will initially last for three weeks, after which they will be reviewed.

Mr Johnson will likely face resistance from some Tory backbench MPs to any further legal restrictions. Many will fear that even more draconian rules will follow.

However, Sir Patrick said: ‘The thing we have to do is always think about this virus, go sooner than you think, stronger than you think and geographically wider than you think .. “

When asked if a nationwide lockdown could be ruled out, Sir Patrick said: “If it’s highly heritable and obviously causes a big breakout, then it’s clearly a major issue to contend with, but this is not what we know at the moment. “

Mr Johnson urged those already eligible for the third shot to get their recall.

Suggesting that the new round of measures could help ensure Britain avoids the need for further restrictions on Christmas, he said: “As we move towards Christmas we are in a strong position, but the goal what we’re doing tonight is to keep that position strong. “

Currently, only people aged 40 and over are eligible for a booster vaccine and ministers wanted the rollout to be extended to those under 40 as soon as possible.

Mr Johnson said Mr Javid had asked the JCVI “to consider giving boosters to as large a group as possible, as well as closing the gap between your second dose and your booster”.

The Prime Minister stepped up public pressure on the JCVI on Saturday evening, saying: “They are an independent body but, clearly, we hope that we will get answers for everyone as soon as possible.”

Mr Johnson said six million jabs would be given to patients in England alone over the next three weeks.

The Czech Republic has also identified its first suspected case of omicron in a woman who recently traveled to Namibia. The virus has also been found in Belgium, Israel, Hong Kong and Botswana.

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A new treaty between France and Italy disrupts European politics Fri, 26 Nov 2021 12:26:19 +0000

TIT LIST of things that France and Italy have argued over the past decade or so have ranged from serious to ridiculous. Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi scrapped migrants passing from Italy to France. When the yellow vests Emerged in France, Luigi Di Maio, then Deputy Prime Minister, offered his support to the protesting oil tankers. “The winds of change have crossed the Alps,” said Mr. Di Maio. France responded by driving its ambassador back across the Alps to Paris in protest. In Libya, Italy and France found themselves supporting opposing sides in a civil war at the gates of Europe. An Italian minister even complained that the French were trying to pretend Leonardo da Vinci was French and that they were misspelling his name to add insult.

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Such rows disappeared last year. Comfortable dinners have replaced diplomatic slang. In September, President Emmanuel Macron and Mario Draghi, the Italian Prime Minister, chatted after midnight during a four-hour meeting at Petit Nice, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Marseille that offers a set menu at € 590 ($ 665 ), wine included. . The populist agitation of French politics by Italian politicians is a thing of the past, replaced by Mr Macron and Mr Draghi violently in agreement. To cement improved relations, Mr. Macron and Mr. Draghi signed a long-standing Franco-Italian treaty on November 26. The treaty covers everything from mainstreaming defense to migration to incentives for young people to experience the beautiful France and The good life.

The model is the Elysée Treaty, which the French and German governments signed in 1963, and which has since formed the backbone of relations across the Rhine. Such comparisons may seem exaggerated. Burying the hatchet after a continental war is more important than reconciling after non-diplomatic diplomacy. But this is ignoring the speed and cynicism that led to the signing of the Elysee Treaty. Charles de Gaulle saw the document as a way to drive a wedge between Germany and America. This had not been mentioned at a meeting between the German and French leaders the previous month. Indeed, it was mounted in such haste that a German diplomat had to rush to Hermès in Paris to find a suitably large leather folder for his signature.

Because such treaties often deal with something else. If the Franco-German treaty was really about America, then the Franco-Italian treaty was about Germany. Or so say officials from other countries, observing closely. Each party in the new German government gives France something to worry about, whether it is the weak defense policy of the Social Democrats, the frugality of the Free Democrats or the virulent nuclear opposition of the Greens. . France needs options and Italy is good.

A glimpse of the potential for a Franco-Italian rapprochement came in 2020, when a joint push on common debt – a French and Italian dream, but a German nightmare – prompted the German government to abandon its long-standing opposition to the idea. The departure of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats from the government throws the EUpower relations in flux. But no matter how much things improve between France and Italy, Germany will remain France’s main ally. An agreement acceptable to both France and Germany is probably acceptable to most EU countries; an agreement acceptable to Italy and France can fight for support beyond the Mediterranean. Any major policy change requires Franco-Italian perseverance. But he still needs German permission.

Instead, a more equal relationship between the EUThe three largest countries are the most likely outcome of the treaty. Germany is the EUand France is the most dynamic politically, at least under Mr. Macron. But Italy is the most consistent. Whether Italy, the club’s third-largest economy, can return to real growth after decades, will determine the club’s economic health. How Italy is coping with the post-Draghi era, as polls suggest nearly half of Italian voters will support Lega (far right), the Brothers of Italy (further right) and Forza Italia (the vehicle of the ubiquitous Mr. Berlusconi) will shape the club’s politics. An Italy capable of shaping EU debates, such as more flexible spending rules or on migration, is better placed to address both issues.

Treat me well

For Italy, the treaty says more about itself than about its links with France. While working at the Italian Ministry of Finance, Mr. Draghi worked on preparations for euro membership. Justification was one of the he vincolo esterno, the external constraint: tied up in the monetary union, Italy would no longer suffer from self-inflicted problems such as high inflation. Now a technocratic politician rather than a political technocrat, Mr. Draghi has followed a similar strategy in government. Under Mr Draghi, Italy has maximized its € 190 billion share of a € 750 billion stimulus fund, promising sweeping reforms that will take years to implement. If Italy wants the money, it must continue to follow the policy set out by Mr. Draghi, whoever is responsible for the show.

Another constraint is an agreement with France. With a treaty in place, a serene bureaucratic relationship should continue even in the midst of the most stormy politics. Both Mr. Draghi and Mr. Macron know they won’t be here forever. Their successors can pass Mr. Sarkozy for Zen and Mr. Berlusconi for statesman. Mr Macron faces elections in the spring. Meanwhile, Mr Draghi is still coy as to whether he will stay on as prime minister or try to become president of Italy, floating above Italian politics – less of a politician than St Mario, the patron saint of the credibility of the bond market.

Treaties are not infallible. A sufficiently determined future government could let the arrangements wither, or tear them up altogether. After signing the Franco-German treaty in 1963, de Gaulle saw his hopes of driving a wedge between Germany and America dashed by the German parliament inserting a flowery dedication to NATO. The general shrugged his shoulders: ‘Treaties, you see, are like girls and roses: they last as long as they last. Sometimes, however, it is really long.

Editor’s Update (November 26): Text has been changed since publication to include the signing of the Franco-Italian Treaty

Read more from Charlemagne, our columnist on European politics:
Last of the Commies (November 20, 2021)
Minimum wage, maximum rage (November 13, 2021)
Why Britain is such a noisy neighbor (November 6, 2021)

This article appeared in the Europe section of the paper edition under the title “The Franco-Italian trade”

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Italy targets unvaccinated with restrictions as cases rise | Government-and-politics Wed, 24 Nov 2021 20:07:45 +0000

“We started to return to normality. We want to keep this normal, ”Draghi said at a press conference after Cabinet unanimously approved the measures.

Italy, where the epidemic in Europe began in February 2020, is seeing an increase in infections but to a more measured degree than other EU countries, recording around 10,000 new cases and less than 100 deaths per day.

It has fully vaccinated over 84% of its population over the age of 12, but appointments for the first dose have stabilized and 20 small towns in northern Italy where vaccination rates are among the lowest in the country. countries entered semi-lockdown on Wednesday due to infections there. went up quickly.

The aim of the new measures is to prevent such blanket closures – a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. and the closing of bars and restaurants at 6 p.m. – from recurring at all levels. The new decree would allow restaurants and other places to stay open even when cases increase and hospitals fill up, but only to those who have proof of vaccination or who have recovered from COVID-19.

Unlike other countries, Italy has never relaxed many of its restrictions even when cases have been filled with vaccine: mandates for indoor masks remain in place and Italy became last month the first western country to require a health pass to enter the workplace.

The so-called “Green Pass” contained proof of vaccination, of being cured of COVID-19 or a negative test. With the new decree, the government is introducing a “reinforced” Green Pass which excludes the possibility of testing certain activities indoors.

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New covid-19 restrictions spark protests across Europe Sun, 21 Nov 2021 12:28:18 +0000

On Saturday in Austria and Italy, citizens unhappy with renewed constraints marched to demonstrate their opposition. Other demonstrations were planned elsewhere in Europe.

Protests in Rotterdam over the new Dutch Covid-19 restrictions turned violent on Friday evening, and police said they arrested 51 people, fired warning shots and used water cannons to control rioters who bombarded police officers. stones, burned cars and set off powerful fireworks

Violent protests against the restrictions also took place in the Netherlands in January.

Dutch police said on Saturday that order was restored around midnight following extensive damage. They added that more arrests were likely after police from across the country were dispatched to the port city.

Seven people were injured, two of whom were shot and remained hospitalized, police said. The National Criminal Investigation Department is investigating whether the gunshot wounds came from bullets fired by police, as is routine in the Netherlands, Dutch police said on Twitter. Police officers were also injured, they said.

The riot began amid a peaceful rally of around 100 protesters. “The atmosphere quickly turned dark,” police said on a live blog. Rioters threw stones at police and set off powerful fireworks, prompting police to lock down the area and shut down the city’s central station, police said.

Police used water cannons and fired warning shots to control rioters when the violence became dangerous, police said. About half of the 51 people arrested were minors, according to police, and came from all over the country.

On Saturday afternoon, live footage on the Austrian Populist Party for Freedom website showed crowds of protesters gathered at Vienna’s Heldenplatz, near the Federal Chancellery and the residence of President Alexander Van der Bellen, and in the streets of downtown. Most of the demonstrators seemed unmasked. Some carried signs or banners with slogans such as “lies have short legs”.

The protests in Vienna, which police said included around 35,000 participants, were largely peaceful. Police said a dozen people were arrested after incidents involving stones and bottles thrown at police and smoke bombs, such as those used in football stadiums.

Some protesters chanted anti-vaccination and anti-government slogans, and others carried signs with messages such as “Vaccine coercion, no thanks!” And “That’s how it started in 1938”, referring to the Nazi takeover of Austria.

Police said some people wore yellow Stars of David, a Jewish symbol, with “unvaccinated” written on it in reference to the Nazis’ persecution of Jews. In Austria, the use of Nazi insignia and symbolism is prohibited by law.

Authorities also reported high attendance at vaccination centers across Austria. Authorities in Vienna said they recorded a record number of daily vaccinations – more than 30,000 – on Friday when new measures were announced.

The Austrian government announced an anti-Covid lockdown on Friday that will restrict most people to their homes for up to 20 days from Monday. Stores, bars and businesses such as hairdressers have been overwhelmed in anticipation of the lockdown which will see all non-essential businesses shut down.

Conservative Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg also announced that Austria will become the first European country to require all its citizens to receive the Covid vaccine, by February of next year, in order to participate in most aspects of public life. , including work outside the home.

“Despite months of campaigning and discussions, we have failed to convince enough people to get the vaccine,” Schallenberg said at a televised press conference.

The country’s Populist Freedom Party called for protests on Saturday. The vaccine’s mandate means “to throw the basis of our federal constitution overboard and lead the country into dictatorship.” … We cannot and must not accept this, ”FPÖ leader Herbert Kickl said on Friday.

In Italy, where demonstrations have been taking place on weekends for several weeks, demonstrations were expected in Rome and Milan. Since last month, Italy has required all employees to have a so-called Green Pass, demonstrating that they have received a Covid-19 vaccine, tested negative or cured of the virus. Since last weekend, those who protest against this requirement have been banned from city centers.

Most of Europe is seeing a resurgence in coronavirus infections, although countries in southern Europe have also seen cases increase, but from a weaker base. Parts of Germany with high case and hospitalization rates said on Thursday they would be stranded next week.

This story was posted from a feed with no text editing

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Trudeau urged to relaunch Team Canada approach to fight rising US protectionism Fri, 19 Nov 2021 21:28:23 +0000

US President Joe Biden walks with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to a meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington on November 18.Susan Walsh / The Associated Press

The Trudeau government is urged to re-launch a Team Canada approach to tackling the Biden administration’s US protectionist policies, a non-partisan strategy that worked effectively during the 2017 North American free trade negotiations.

Canadian business and labor leaders say pan-Canadian approach urgently needed as US Senate begins negotiations on Build Back Better legislation that includes significant tax breaks for Americans who buy electric vehicles built in the United States.

During the NAFTA negotiations, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland enlisted business and labor leaders, prime ministers and even former Conservative ministers to make the American political system work.

They lobbied Congress, US state governors and lawmakers, and business groups south of the border.

“There is no doubt that this will take a Team Canada approach as we did in the NAFTA negotiations,” said Unifor President Jerry Dias, who represents Canadian workers in the United States. automobile. “We need to meet 33 governors for whom Canada is their major trading partner and say, ‘Look, we’re not going to destroy our number one manufacturing industry without you feeling pain as well. “

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday failed in his direct appeal to President Joe Biden for concessions on incentives to buy American, including tax credits of US $ 12,500 to encourage Americans to buy electric vehicles (EVs) made in the United States.

Mr. Trudeau and senior ministers told the US president and lawmakers the incentive would bring the Canadian auto industry to its knees and violate the North American Free Trade Agreement, now known as the United States-Mexico Agreement -Canada (USMCA).

Mr Biden was unmoved, and his press secretary, Jen Psaki, later told reporters that the electric vehicle tax breaks did not violate the USMCA.

“We have a different view of the USMCA’s commitment to electric vehicles,” Brian Nichols, US Under Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said Friday.

Incentives for electric vehicles are included in Build Back Better legislation that the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed on Friday. The $ 1.75 trillion bill aims to strengthen social programs and tackle climate change.

The bill is sent to the equally divided Senate, and Canada will have to start intense lobbying to get the incentive for electric vehicles removed. Centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has expressed doubts about the tax credit.

“We have a huge job ahead of us with both administration and Congress,” said Canadian Chamber of Commerce President Perrin Beatty. “We really need everyone – the private sector, the government, the provinces and others, to pull the oars in the same direction. “

David MacNaughton, who helped negotiate the USMCA as ambassador to Washington, concurred with this view.

“We’re going to have to be in that kind of Team Canada mode all the time if we’re going to be successful in continuing to have access to the US market,” he said.

Mr. MacNaughton said members of the Biden administration had protectionism in their DNA, and he was not surprised that Mr. Trudeau didn’t get any concessions.

“I didn’t think we would get a dramatic breakthrough on Thursday, but I think we’ll get some sort of accommodation on the electric vehicle issue, but it won’t be easy. It has to be a combination of cajoling and sometimes being tough, ”he said.

Mr MacNaughton said the Canadian government took a hard line when the United States was unwilling to send personal protective equipment during the height of COVID-19. The Americans gave in when Ottawa threatened to block exports of pulp, a key material for the manufacture of masks and protective gowns.

Trudeau reminded the president that Canada has a competitive advantage over critical minerals used in batteries for electric vehicles, computers, smartphones and other essential items.

“They want to develop their electric vehicle industry, but they’re going to need our nickel, our cobalt, our magnesium to do it,” Dias said. “And finally, we can tell them that you are the last country in the world that we will export all of this to unless you take this proposal off the table.”

Flavio Volpe, president of the Association of Auto Parts Manufacturers, said Canada should also partner with Europe, Japan, Korea and Italy, who say the tax credit for electric vehicles would violate international trade rules.

Goldy Hyder, president of the Business Council of Canada, said the country needed a “sustainable and collaborative” strategy from all sectors of the economy to “protect our interests” in the face of US protectionism.

“This is how we won in the USMCA negotiations,” he said.

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Italian doctors and nurses protest over shortage of emergency room staff – Thu, 18 Nov 2021 05:46:36 +0000

Nurses and doctors gathered in Rome on Wednesday to protest the shortage of emergency service personnel as the sector faces a deep crisis due to a shortage of around 4,000 nurses and doctors and poor working conditions.

They said they would not be prepared to face major pressure on emergency rooms if and when the fourth pandemic wave gets heavier.

Participants in the protest, organized by SIMEU, a scientific association of emergency personnel professionals, said that under these conditions, when cases of serious Covid illness are particularly high, they will have to cut services, as is happening. is already being produced during the worst stages of the pandemic.

Although protesters praised the € 90million incentive the government allocated to the category, they said structural reform was needed.

The problem is linked to the lack of people participating in competitions for emergency personnel.

“I knew the difficulties when I chose this area, I do not rule out leaving it as other colleagues do”, said Alessandro Salzmann Il Fatto Quotidiano, a newly qualified rescuer in the southern region of Molise.

Poor working conditions are linked to understaffing: emergency personnel have to work exhausting and stressful shifts, and wages are very low compared to less demanding jobs in other departments.

The organizer said it had been decided that the protest would take place now because with cases increasing dramatically in the country, they wanted to be ready to face very high pressure on hospitals.

(Eleonora Vasques |

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Covid-19 NZ: Vaccine passes launched will be needed for ‘extra freedoms’ over summer Tue, 16 Nov 2021 16:00:00 +0000

The government has launched its long-awaited vaccine pass, those who are fully vaccinated can download a pass later Wednesday morning.

The “My Vaccine Pass” will take the form of a QR code that can be displayed digitally or on printed paper, allowing places to check whether a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19 or not.

As part of the traffic light system, the government wants to move the country soon, passes will be required to attend major festivals and any other venue that chooses to require them. Sites that choose to require them will be able to operate more freely, even if there is Covid-19 in the community.

A vaccine pass is used in Italy.

Andrew Medichini / AP

A vaccine pass is used in Italy.

It is still unclear whether the pass vaccine would be required to leave Auckland during the summer. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to announce more details of the Auckland border plans during the summer at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

* Covid-19 NZ: booster vaccine injections available from the end of this month
* Covid-19: How the New Zealand vaccine will work and how to get one
* Covid-19 NZ: the government returns to the “impractical” idea of ​​slots for Aucklanders to leave the city at Christmas

Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said the passes would allow the 3.4 million people who received the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine to enjoy “extra freedoms” over the summer.

“We are asking fully vaccinated New Zealanders to prepare for the summer by requesting their passes,” said Hipkins.

Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said the passes would allow people “extra freedoms”.

Robert Kitchin / Tips

Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said the passes would allow people “extra freedoms”.

“This is your official proof of vaccination and a ticket to enjoy the additional freedoms that will come with the COVID-19 protection framework. To get one, people will need to be fully vaccinated or be one of the very few Kiwis who have been medically exempted. “

Those who have received both doses will be able to log in and request a pass from Wednesday morning – or call 0800 222 478.

The pass will include a person’s name, date of birth and a QR code. It can be saved in a phone wallet or printed.

However, tt will expire after six months.

The “small number” of people unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons will also be eligible for the pass, and children under 12 will not be required to show proof of vaccination anywhere.

Vaccine passes will not be required at schools, supermarkets or other “essential” businesses.

It is still not clear whether the government will use the vaccine pass to control the Auckland border in less vaccinated areas like Northland.


It is still not clear whether the government will use the vaccine pass to control the Auckland border in less vaccinated areas like Northland.

The government has hinted that a booster might eventually be needed to keep a vaccine up to date, but said it could take some time.

Hipkins said it was likely there could be an overload on the system on Wednesday, but people should be patient.

“People can log in later this morning, but we ask for patience and for people to wait a few days to alleviate any demand on the computer system and call center staff,” Hipkins said.

“The pass will allow people to do the things they love, like going to concerts and music festivals, nightlife at bars and restaurants, and going to the gym and sporting events.”

“We don’t want anyone to miss this, so we strongly encourage those who have delayed getting a vaccine to take this step now, as we prepare to move to the COVID-19 protection framework. “

People will be able to request a separate vaccine certificate for overseas travel if needed. The European Union announced on Tuesday that it would recognize New Zealand’s vaccine certificate.

Anyone vaccinated abroad will also be able to apply for a vaccination pass, but this could take up to two weeks.

National has repeatedly criticized the government for the lack of a vaccine pass system.

Covid-19 party spokesman Chris Bishop noted on Tuesday that the contract for the delivery of the vaccine pass was not signed until October 13.

“It has been obvious to everyone since the start of the year that New Zealand would need proof of vaccination and a vaccination certificate in some form or another, but it is just the latter month that the government has gone to the trouble of working to prepare a program. “

“If we had vaccination certificates right now, Auckland would be a whole different place. The Aucklanders could leave the area and travel to see their loved ones. Hospitality could open. People could go back to work.

National also said that some sort of sunset clause was needed for the use of these passes.

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Letters to the Editor | The Economist Fri, 12 Nov 2021 02:44:09 +0000
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Letters are welcome by e-mail at [email protected]

Data hoarding

You have a rosy view of the use of current, high frequency data in economics, which you describe as a “third wave” in the discipline (“The Real Time Revolution,” 23 October). However, there is a big downside. Not everyone has equal access to these numbers, especially data collected by the private sector. This unequal access will widen the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots”. Democracies cannot function properly if citizens do not have the ability to access the economic information needed to make good economic and electoral decisions. Basing a policy on summary statistics from inaccessible microdata with many possible loopholes will only increase mistrust.

Former Head of Division
Price and index research
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Washington, CC

The connection you have made between the value of real-time information and Salvador Allende’s Cybersyn project is a reminder of a lost opportunity. One of Allende’s main advisers when he was President of Chile was Stafford Beer, a visionary cyberneticist, then at Manchester Business School, who proposed the pioneering viable system model. Some of us weren’t quite sure about Stafford’s connection to reality, but it was our mistake. If Allende had survived, we might now be much further along in this burgeoning field of analysis and administration. Still, better late than never.


Structural differences

Ursula von der Leyen may have been a little optimistic when she welcomed the opening of the Svilaj Bridge between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (“Bigger is better”, 9 October). Bridges in the Balkans have unfortunate connotations. Peljesac Bridge is praised by its supporters for unifying Croatia but denigrated by critics for bypassing Bosnia. The Mitrovica Bridge in northern Kosovo exists either as a tenuous link between Serbs and Albanians or as an impassable barrier, depending on your perspective. The Mostar Bridge exploded during fighting between Croats and Bosnians, who had been allies at the start of the Yugoslav civil war.

Before the European Union can even consider enlargement, it must deal with these and other festering wounds, such as the contested waters between Slovenia, Italy and Croatia. These problems may seem minor, but they mean a lot to those who live there.


Shakespearean phraseology

Echoing Hamlet, you said that vaccine mandates in poor countries are often “honored in the breach”, suggesting that edicts are broken (“Strictly come jabbing”, October 23). Shakespeare’s phrase has a more nuanced meaning. In the passage where Hamlet says that the Danish custom of alcoholic festivities is “more honored in the offense than in the observance”, he means that it is more honorable to ignore the custom of drunken drinking than to follow it. . Shakespeare is therefore referring to a practice that is better to ignore than to follow, not just one that is often ignored.


You claim that Singapore’s Foreign Interference Countermeasures Act (FICA) would allow the government to compel Internet companies to take action against hostile information campaigns “without giving any reason” (“Foreign employment, October 23).

Under Articles 20 and 21 of the FICA, the government can issue instructions only if such a campaign is undertaken by or on behalf of a foreign principal, and when the instruction is necessary or timely in the public interest. The minister explained to Parliament that national security concerns make it impracticable to publish the reasons for the measures taken.

Government instructions against hostile information campaigns can be appealed to an independent tribunal, which is chaired by a Supreme Court judge and has the power to review and overturn the minister’s decisions. The tribunal would indeed provide controls similar to those of the tribunal, but without compromising sensitive information. This approach is similar to the approach taken in some Western countries, where decisions relating to national security are subject to review outside the ordinary judicial process.

However, all offenses under FICA must be prosecuted and proven beyond a reasonable doubt, as with any other offense.

Contrary to the impression you have given, the vast majority of day-to-day activities, including your reporting on Singapore, will not be the responsibility of FCIA.

TK Lim
Singapore High Commissioner

Dig deeper

After eight years in the US Army followed by 20 years in business, I fully agree with Bartleby’s skepticism about applying military mission values ​​to business (October 30). Changing uncertainties and testosterone infused competition are common to both worlds, but not much else. Over time, I have found the metaphors of gardening and cooking to be more useful for business than fighting and sports.


Thinking about corporate mission statements reminded me of Charles Mackay’s account of the South Sea Bubble in “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” published in 1841. know what it is ”.

La Paz, Mexico

Hydrogen financing

Uncertainty over future carbon prices may slow private investment in hydrogen (“A very big balancing act,” October 9). The German government offered carbon contracts for the difference (CCFDs) to alleviate the problem. Under these contracts, the government and a company set a price at which its zero-carbon hydrogen technology would be competitive. Until the agreed carbon price is reached, the government pays the price difference to the company. Once the price is exceeded, the direction of payment is reversed.

CCFDs have three advantages. Carbon prices become predictable for the duration of the contract. Subsidized technology can compete with incumbent carbon emitters. And if carbon prices were to exceed the price set during the term of the contract, government subsidies could be clawed back and the need for the contract would disappear.

Tuttlingen, Germany

Dubai Expo
The Economist praises the apolitical character of the Universal Exhibition of 1851 (“The Exhibition. The Crystal Palace”, January 4, 1851). Surprisingly, today Economist believes that the Dubai Expo is silent on politics, based on a condescending interpretation of the first Expo held in our region (“The Wacky Pavilions”, October 16). Such a saturnine and hypocritical view is no less disappointing to be familiar.

The Olympics are where the world comes together to compete in sport. The United Nations is the place where the world comes together to discuss politics. Exhibitions are where the world comes together to share ideas, a platform for human progress.

For the first time in Expo history, 192 countries are coming together in Dubai, each with their own pavilion, which means they are represented on an equal footing and with dignity. How nations and peoples choose to define their accomplishments and who they are is up to them. Those who have experienced a legacy of conflict, colonialism or adversity deserve respect and encouragement. Your article, based on the caricature of a handful of national pavilions, demonstrates a cultural myopia unworthy of our time. For anyone with an open mind, Expos are an opportunity to learn and be part of a larger human family.

We invite your readers to visit each other and form an opinion.

General Manager of Expo 2020 Dubai

Facebook fury

Your observations on the inconsistency of many Facebook reviews were helpful as far as they went (“Facepalm”, October 9). But the most vexing question is why, after years of frustrated policymakers calling for more regulation, and so many years of urging Facebook to do so, have lawmakers and regulators produced so little other than noise? Perhaps their inaction betrays an implicit recognition that the same human flaws that are distorted and magnified on Facebook are already legislated, and that the social network’s worst transgression is that it is as unflattering but depressingly accurate as it is. any high definition selfie.

General manager
Access partnership

The real Romance language

As an adult, I tried to learn the French language (Johnson, October 16). Our teacher, native French speaker, told us beginners to make too exaggerated facial gestures in order to produce common sounds in French. His reasoning was that we were trying to pronounce French with an English mouth and that we had to re-train our mouths to move correctly to produce the right sound.

If we ever had any doubts about how to pronounce something, she had a rule: “When speaking French you should always position your lips, so that they are always in a position to give a kiss on notice if necessary.” . “


A Polish Brexit?

Discuss Poland’s latest dispute with the EU, Charlemagne used the term “Polexit” to describe a potential solution to the impasse (October 16). Polexit sounds awkward and doesn’t stick out the tongue. Can I suggest “Pout” instead?


This article appeared in the Letters section of the print edition under the title “On economics, Balkan bridges, Shakespeare, mission statement, hydrogen, Facebook, French, Polexit”

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Why Silvio Berlusconi wants Draghi to remain Italian Prime Minister Wed, 10 Nov 2021 10:27:49 +0000

(Bloomberg) – Prime Minister Mario Draghi has won praise for leading Italy through the Covid-19 pandemic while tackling its sluggish economy, bloated bureaucracy and controversial domestic politics – and even former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says he is impressed.

“The prime minister is working well,” Berlusconi said earlier this week, “but we know the unity of the nation is temporary”. Berlusconi, who has led three governments, said he hopes Draghi will stay until the end of his term in 2023, rather than taking over the role of president, which could be opened from early next year. .

The former prime minister is as cunning a politician as Italy has ever seen. What exactly is he doing? It’s no secret that the 85-year-old is coveting the job himself, seeing it as the logical end to his 30-year political career.

Although it is long on symbolic value and short on real power, the job does matter: the president has the final say in the appointment of prime ministers, a responsibility that has proven to be crucial for the country to be. many times.

Incumbent Sergio Mattarella could technically sign for a second term when his tenure expires in January, but he made headlines recently when he was seen looking for a house in Rome, a sign he has intends to leave the opulent presidential palace of the Quirinal in Rome.

Draghi has been the favorite among punters to take his place, as most observers believe the former European Central Bank president is unlikely to go through an election campaign leading a coalition.

Flattery is therefore perhaps the last card Berlusconi has to play as a blocking move, and it is nothing if not persistent. “I feel good,” the ex-prime minister told Il Giornale, a Milan daily owned by his family. “I even went on a diet.

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