Interview with Loretta Napoleoni Part 1 (December 2011)

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Good morning to everybody! Here you can read the transcription of an interview which I have realized with the economist Loretta Napoleoni on December the 9th. Enjoy the interview and stay tuned!

 
We are here with Loretta Napoleoni, economist, economics professor at the Judge Business School of Cambridge, consultant of many governments about terrorism issues and of the think-tank Fundacion Idèas both
 
What is your opinion about the birth of a Europe with two levels, during the EU summit and what does it means especially for the P.I.I.G.S group?
 
First of all, we can’t speak of a Europe with two levels because such reality would occur in the presence of a Euro of A and B division, and so the newspapers which insert titles like “EU with two levels” are wrong. The situation currently is the same of yesterday, the countries outside the Euro zone remain in that position, and there are no other countries which have left the Euro zone. What has been decided is that the countries, outside the Euro zone, have stated that they won’t adhere, in disagreement with the Treaty, stating that they don’t want to stand to the new rules which will be decided during this summit, so I think that we should say that we have a structural problem inside the Treaties rather than an Europe with two levels. There is a Treaty subscribed by all the 27 countries and this Treaty stands, then 17 countries in the Euro zone will impose to themselves different rules, so it would have been better if they have decided to create a Europe with two levels. What’s happening it’s almost complex and also negative; if for example, the 17 countries decide to impose a taxation on the financial transitions, the countries which have not adhered to the Euro zone, can state that they don’t wait and consequently there’s no way to force them to introduce this taxation. The issue is serious, we’ll see what they we’ll decide today (9th December) during the reunion about the Euro, but as first step, it can be considered in a negative way.
 
What are your opinions about the behavior of Monti and Papademos’ governments? Which interests are moving these governments and which can be the possible evolutions for Italy and Greece?
 
I believe that these are Euro bureaucrats’ governments, in fact I also wrote this thing, and they will obviously do everything that will be asked to do from Bruxelles. Unfortunately, these governments have no private initiative or identity different from the European ones and currently we would need governments able to impose themselves. England, for example, it’s a country, which is facing an economic crisis almost deep as the Italian one, but no one attacks England. There is no problem of solvency and bankruptcy, because England has maintained the monetary sovereignty, can do quantitative easing and it keeps an attitude almost rebellious towards Bruxelles, but pursuing the interests of British people. The elements listed should be used by Italy and Greece both in order to present their own agenda to Bruxelles, not based on an austerity which will strangle the economy, rather on an expansive agenda which will sustain it. The English are following the austerity, by making almost the same maneuvers that the Greeks and the Italians want to do, but they have monetary sovereignty, they can do quantitative easing and they keep on sustaining economy, by printing money currency; we can’t do such things. These issues should be analyzed by these governments, but these are precisely Euro bureaucrats’ governments, and above everything else, these are neoliberal executives, unable to see the negative consequences of this policy, because they are ideologically neoliberal.
 
You have spoken recently, concerning Italy, of a chance or a perspective of a return to the Italian Lira. Which consequences could have a similar return on the short and long period?
 
We must see which kind of return to the Italian Lira is operated; if this return is operated, voluntarily, with a driven default it’s a matter, but if it’s operated because suddenly, we must face the default, it’s completely another thing. The costs are high for sure, there has been a study realized by Ubs, which calculated the costs around 4.000 euros for each family for the first years to be added, clearly, to the costs of the following years around the same values. The cost is high, but it’s also true that it could be the only way to restart our economy, because the alternative is to experience the Greek condition, with a relevant contraction of the economy, because even if money are provided to Italy (as to Greece) and the country reaches salvation,  the contraction of the economy will be related to the irony austerity policy which will be imposed, that, as we have seen in Greece, has impoverished a large amount of the population , decreased the pensions and the wages and also increased unemployment. These maneuvers are totally damaging in the short and long period both, and that’s the reason why, even in front of the money provision, we’ll see the negative effects of these operations on the next year.
 
 
 
 

 

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Interview with Hossam el-Hamalawy and Michael Anti

Interviews realized with NADiRinforma during Internazionale a Ferrara 2011.

The guests interviewed in the video are Hossam el-Hamalawy, an Egyptian journalist, blogger and activist, winner of the Anna Politkovskaja Award (2011 edition), and Michael Anti, a Chinese blogger and journalist.

Interviews realized with NADiRinforma.

Finance regulation: here comes Finance Watch!

Finance has never been considered as much important as during the last years following the Lehman Brothers’ fall . The term ethical finance started to be purposed and spread. An example of ethic finance may be represented by Islamic finance, based on Sha’aria’s principles and focused on avoiding the use of capitals for mere gain, but rather for direct economic investments. In the Eurozone, many protest movements consider the financial industry as a reality that is heavily profiting of the widespread crisis. In any case, every industry requires a certain degree of regulation and here comes the role of Finance Watch.

Finance Watch is an independent and non profit organization, originated by an initial group of 22 European MEPS and their call for action. The Secretary General of the organization is Thierry Philipponnat, with a background in economy, finance and Amnesty International. The organization is based in Brussels, near to the European Parliament; the location is not casual at all, as long as like it’s underlined in the documentary The Brussels Business, Brussels is the world’ second major seat of lobbies, after Washington D.C.

The quest of the organization is summarized in its motto “make finance serve society” and consider as fundamental for its vision realization’s passages such as a banking system not based on moral hazard and the reduction of the costs of the intermediation by the financial industry.

One of the key challenges in the European future is the one of analyzing finance and its role in the future of the Eurozone. It would be important to follow the evolutions of Finance Watch’s projects and their results in the future.

If you want to have a deeper understanding of Finance Watch’s results you can have a look at the Finance Watch Annual Report 2011-2012.

#It has been an Occupy Summer…what about the Fall?

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Good evening ,ladies and gentlemen! This summer has seen a global spread of the Occupy movement or at least of experiences that shared some elements and features with Occupy. The protests in Turkey and Brazil can be considered in many ways similar to the Occupy matrix; we have already discussed about the protests in Turkey with Musa Copur and Sukran Moral. Last May, I was in Frankfurt during Blockupy 2013, the European protest aimed at criticizing  the European Central Bank  policies and more in general the economic choices promoted by the Troika. The protests were actually halted and ultimately struck down on Saturday the 31th of May by the police forces in the city. Apparently it seemed to be a signal that there was not space for a strong opposition movement to European policies. Afterwards, many protests then started to spread all over the world, inspiring also a cover of The Economist and this actually inspires a question…..given the fact that it’s been an Occupy Summer…what can we expect from the Fall?

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Occupy is a very different movement from the ones experienced in the past and actually Noam Chomsky’s history and description of the experience in the States is a fundamental reading.   In any case, one of the most surprsing elements about Occupy is that it managed to change the language and the focus of the debate, as Laurie Penny told me in Ferrara last Autumn during Internazionale a Ferrara. To be fair, in some countries, such as Italy there are no relevant experiences of the movement even if the Belpaese is among the countries  most exposed to the Eurozone crisis and has seen a certain application of Austerity/Asperity measures. There will be many new protest such as new Blockupy at the end of November, the Alter Summit in Brussels  and Agora 99 in Rome. The Turkish and Brazilian experiences need to be considered on a different level, but may also offer perspectives of evolution. It is early to say if we are going to experience an ‘Hot Fall’ under the perspective of social movements protests in the Eurozone and worldwide, but for sure we are in front of one of the most long lasting social movements seen until now. One of the secrets of its success can be found in two elements; an higher pragmatism, the idea of following different ideas of finance and banking for example and also a certain horizontal ground that does not allow particularly the rise of charismatic leaders. Again, is this mass, mostly middle class and educated grassroots movement going to influence more and more the political, economic and social debate….and maybe in the future also some agendas? We cannot know, but for sure we’ll observe its evolutions from Free Park Corner.

 

 

 

Interview with Andrea Marinelli Part 2

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Your blog Trading Post recently moved on the Corriere website. Do you believe that Italian journalism is progressively adapting itself to the web, by enlarging and expanding its language and proficiency?

We are in the middle of a revolution and we need to learn how to manage it. Italian journalism is still looking for its solution, but the web is clearly attracting more and more attention by the traditional media. We are still far away from a sustainable use of the Web, there will be the need of finding new rules and rewriting new ones. Anyway, currently, we need the courage to dare and reorganize. I believe that this is the path to follow.

You have utilized the crowdfunding in order to finance your journey. Do you believe that this instrument may be the key for financing investigative journalism and foreign correspondences, in an age where the media are facing a massive crisis? What is the effective crowdfunding’s potentiality?

I believe that foreign correspondences are fundamental for journalism, and that our daily newspapers should open themselves in that direction rather than choosing an even more isolationist instance. For sure, the expenditure issue must be solved, maybe by cutting the benefits. I believe that money must be spent, in order to reach a good product, but in a clever way. I don’t believe that crowdfunding represents absolutely the solution for what concerns correspondents and reporters , but it can represent a support in some conditions. There’s the need of finding a sustainable way. In my case, without a newspaper backing me, i have asked my readers for help in order to cover the journey expenditures. After that, anyway, newspapers and magazines have paid me for my job.

You can follow Andrea on the Corriere, and on Twitter in addition!

Photo by Marco Miraglia 

Interview with Andrea Marinelli Part 1

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Good evening, folks! Free Park Corner is back after a long ( too long!) pause. I moved ro London in the meantime , planning to find some place in the media industry but i will keep on providing news, reportages and interviews from my new headquarter!

So, let’s start this Free Park Corner new season with Andrea Marinelli, an Italian freelance journalist based in New York and contributor of media such as Il Giornale Corriere.itIL e Rivista Studio. Andrea has described the 2012 US elections, while he was crossing the country by bus, hitch-hiking and Couchsurfing in a journey that has originated his book L’ ospite. Andrea’s second odissey in the U.S, has been focused instead on the public opinion’s view  towards the Supreme Court’s historical sentence on gay marriage. In order to realize this journey, the journalist has used the crowdfunding instrument,  with the support of the readers of his blog, Trading Post,  recently transfered  on the Corriere.it. Enjoy the interview and ,if you will be in Mantova for the Festivaletteratura next Thursday September 5th don’t miss the panel KAPUŚCIŃSKI LOW COST, with Andrea Marinelli, Francesco Costa and Jordi Pérez Colomé!

Your coast to coast journey’s aim was the one of analyzing the public opinion’s view about the historical Supreme Court sentence on gay marriage. Which idea have you developed about the ‘American county’ and how has this journey been different from the one described in your book “L’ ospite”?

While the first journey was a pursuit of the primary U.S elections’ candidates and it  consequently had a certain rhytim and milestones, the second has been a more wandering one, during which I got  carried by the stories I encountered, the instinct and the events . I have started to notice in the last months,  from New York, a change in the homosexuality’s perception in this country. I started to have the impression that, also thanks to  gay celebrities’ media presence, the American county was starting to accept homosexuality . I have started my journey for this reason, in order to understand what was happening , to meet America and write about this historical turning. I had many suprises during the journey, but my sensation is that this social change has  begun. The Supreme Court’s sentence has just interpreted the people’s feeling and has increased the debate on same sex marriage.

 As an Italian living in the States, what’s your view on the Italian rights’ debate?

I believe that in Italy we often miss the point , and that the debate  stands still at a different level.

 The Supreme Court’s sentence has been an historical page ,but it has also originated some radical positions such as Indiana’s one. After your journey, what is your view concerning this path’s future evolutions?

According to me, the Supreme Court’s sentence has been able to interpretate the popular will. Not everyone in the U.S is in favour of gay marriage, but this has been the upteenth step of a social process begun in the last years. For sure, there will keep on appearing contrasting and dividing positions, but at a federal level, a fundamental phase has been reached. The dualism between State and Federal Government is actually the matter. The decision on the californian Proposition 8 has been the example: in order not to interfere in the single states’ affairs, the Supreme Court has refered the decision to a local tribunal, actually opening the road for gay marriage. The federal government will therefore  try not to affect the single states’ legislation , but i believe that the affair will be solved with  an encirclement strategy.  Some States, the more conservative ones, will keep on withstanding as long as possible, but in the long run they will have to adapt to the new context. Many people that I have met during my journey were confident that within years, same sex marriage will be legal in the whole country.

Photo by Marco Miraglia 

Interview with Andrea Marinelli (Italian version part 2)

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Recentemente sei sbarcato con il Trading Post sul Corriere. Il giornalismo italiano si sta progressivamente adattando alla sfera del web allargando competenze ed espandendo il suo linguaggio, a tuo avviso?

Siamo nel pieno di una rivoluzione e dobbiamo imparare a cavalcarla. Il giornalismo italiano sta ancora cercando di trovare la propria soluzione, ma il web sta sicuramente attirando un interesse sempre maggiore da parte dei media tradizionali. Siamo ancora lontani da un utilizzo sostenibile, bisognerà trovare nuove regole e riscriverne altre. In questo momento bisogna però avere il coraggio di osare e ristrutturare. Questa, a mio parere, è la strada da percorrere.

Hai fatto ricorso anche per questo tuo secondo viaggio al crowdfunding. Si può dire a tuo avviso che in una era dove ormai i tempi delle grandi corrispondenze all ’estero sono in crisi, questo strumento rappresenta in un certo senso il futuro del giornalismo, soprattutto per quanto può riguardare inchieste ed esteri? Quali sono le potenzialità del crowdfunding?

Io credo che le corrispondenze dall’ estero siano fondamentali per il giornalismo, e che i nostri quotidiani debbano aprirsi in questo senso piuttosto che scegliere una posizione ancora più isolazionista. Sicuramente il problema dei costi va risolto, magari tagliando i benefit. Per avere un buon prodotto i soldi secondo me vanno spesi, ma va fatto in modo intelligente. Non credo che il crowdfunding sia in assoluto la soluzione per quanto riguarda inviati e corrispondenti, ma può essere un aiuto in alcuni casi. Bisogna però trovare una via sostenibile. Nel mio caso, non avendo un giornale alle spalle, ho chiesto aiuto ai lettori per coprire le spese di viaggio. Poi però i vari giornali hanno contribuito pagando il mio lavoro.

 

Potete seguire Andrea, oltre che sul Corriere, anche su Twitter!

 

Foto di Marco Miraglia 

 

 

Interview with Andrea Marinelli (Italian version Part 1)

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Buon giorno a tutti! Free Park Corner torna oggi dopo una lunga (troppo lunga, lo riconosco!) pausa. Nel contempo mi sono trasferito a Londra, auspicando di farmi strada nel settore del giornalismo, ma continuerò a fornirvi novità, reportage e interviste dalla mia nuova base!

Apriamo la nuova stagione dei post pubblicati da Londra con una intervista ad Andrea Marinelligiornalista freelance a New York e collaboratore de Il Giornale , Corriere.it, IL e Rivista Studio. Andrea, dopo aver raccontato le elezioni statunitensi del 2012 attraversando il Paese tra bus, autostop e Couchsurfing in un viaggio che ha originato il suo libro L’ ospiteha scelto di partire per una nuova odissea statunitense , questa volta per tastare il polso della opinione pubblica nel Paese di fronte alla storica sentenza della Corte Suprema sui matrimoni omosessuali. Al fine di raccontare questo viaggio, il giornalista si è appoggiato allo strumento del crowdfunding, col finanziamento dei lettori del suo blog, Trading Post, da poco trasferitosi sul Corriere.it. Vi auguro buona lettura e vi consiglio, se sarete a Mantova per il Festivaletteratura  il prossimo giovedì 5 settembre di non perdervi il panel KAPUŚCIŃSKI LOW COST, con Andrea Marinelli, Francesco Costa e Jordi Pérez Colomé.

Il tuo viaggio coast to coast ha tastato il polso degli statunitensi di fronte alla storica sentenza della Corte Suprema riguardo ai matrimoni gay;  che idea ti sei fatto della ‘America profonda’ e in che modo questo viaggio è stato diverso da quello narrato nel tuo libro “L’ ospite”?

Mentre il primo viaggio era un inseguimento dei candidati alle elezioni presidenziali americane, e quindi aveva un ritmo e delle tappe stabilite, il secondo è stato un viaggio più randagio, durante il quale mi sono lasciato trasportare dalle storie che incontravo, dall’ istinto e dagli eventi. Negli ultimi mesi avevo notato da New York una svolta nella percezione dell’omosessualità in questo paese. Avevo l’impressione che anche grazie alla presenza mediatica di personaggi gay, la provincia americana stesse cominciando ad accettare l’omosessualità. Per questo mi sono messo in cammino, per capire cosa stesse succedendo, per incontrare l’America e per raccontare questa svolta storica. Ho avuto molte sorprese durante il viaggio, ma la mia sensazione è che questa transizione sociale sia iniziata davvero. La sentenza della Corte Suprema ha solamente interpretato la volontà del Paese, incentivando il dibattito sui matrimoni fra persone dello stesso sesso.

 Da italiano trapiantato negli States come vedi il dibattito sui diritti civili in Italia?

Credo che spesso in Italia manchiamo il punto, e che il dibattito sia ancora a un livello diverso.

 Il voto della Corte Suprema è stata una pagina storica , ma ha visto emergere posizioni drastiche poco dopo come quelle dello Stato dell’ Indiana. Dopo il tuo viaggio, come credi che si evolverà questo iter complesso?

La sentenza della Corte Suprema ha avuto la capacità di interpretare la volontà popolare, dal mio punto di vista. Non tutti in America sono favorevoli ai matrimoni fra persone dello stesso sesso, ma questo è stato l’ennesimo passo di un processo sociale cominciato negli ultimi anni. Sicuramente continueranno a emergere posizioni discordanti e contrastanti, ma a livello federale è stato compiuto un passo decisivo. Il problema è proprio questo: il dualismo fra Stato e governo federale. La decisione sulla Proposition 8 californiana ne è stata l’esempio: per non intromettersi nelle questioni di competenza degli Stati, la Corte Suprema ha rimandato la decisione a un tribunale locale, dando però di fatto il via ai matrimoni gay. Il governo federale cercherà quindi di non influire sulle legislazioni dei singoli stati, ma credo che la questione sarà risolta con una strategia dell’accerchiamento. Alcuni stati, quelli più conservatori, continueranno a resistere finché possibile, ma alla lunga si adegueranno. Molte persone incontrate durante il mio viaggio si sono dette sicure che entro cinque anni i matrimoni fra persone dello stesso sesso saranno legali in tutto il Paese.

Foto di Marco Miraglia 

Interview with Sukran Moral Part 2

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“The Lynching of an Artist” , Sukran Moral (http://rapidpulse.org/the-lynching-of-an-artist-sukran-moral)

Art can be a powerful instrument for the dissent’s expression; which role is played by the artists ?

I did not believe it before, but they managed to realize a peaceful revolution, also trough the mean of Art. Irony, performance as Art used to protest, to be understood. This is incredible! I have never seen so much Creativity. I am working since many years, using performances in order to break taboos. All of this means that they worked.

Yes, Art can make a change.

The AKP’s economic policy and the discriminations of the marginalized members of Society; how much criticism to these two elements is present in the current protest’s movement?

The people, the funding center of every democracy, is sick of this condition. Citizens and journalists sympathizing for the Occupy Gezi movement have lost their jobs. At first the government attacked the artists, the intellectuals, in general the free thinkers. The government made a great effort in this repression, creating a condition of lynching . They basically have the presumption of imposing to us the way to live. People has been and keeps on being humiliated by ignorance.

According to what you are seeing, what are the perspectives of this large protest movement, in front of the Erdogan’s government fistful of steel?

I think that the road will be very long. But the people will keep on defending the Republic, until the end. Democracy, Laity. No one wants to be ruled as in the Middle Age.

Someone wants to carry Turkey in the Middle Age, like oxen, but they would not manage to do that. We are different.

You can follow Sukran Moral on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sukran.moral?fref=ts) and on Twitter (https://twitter.com/sukranmoral).

 

 

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