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Introduction to Italian History and Culture The Italian Society: Past and Present.

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1 Introduction to Italian History and Culture The Italian Society: Past and Present

2 The Paradoxes of the Italian Society “In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo daVinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The Cuckoo clock.” Orson Welles in The Third Man

3 The Paradoxes of the Italian Society "First of all, let's get one thing straight. Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset, olive groves, lemon trees, white wine, and raven-haired girls. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze. It's alluring, but com- plicated. It's the kind of place that can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters, or in the course of ten minutes. Italy is the only workshop in the world that can turn out both Botticellis and Berlusconis." Beppe Severgnini, Journalist and Writer

4 The Paradoxes of the Italian Society For us to go to Italy and to penetrate into Italy is a most fascinating act of self-discovery - back, back down the old ways of time. Strange and wonderful chords awake in us, and vibrate again after many hundreds of years of complete forget- fullness. D.H. Lawrence

5 “The Creator made Italy from the designs by Michelangelo.” Mark Twain

6 The Paradoxes of the Italian Society “But Italy is not an intellectual country. On the subway in Tokyo everybody reads. In Italy, they don’t. Don’t evaluate Italy from the fact that it produced Raphael and Michelangelo.” - - Umberto Eco

7 The Paradoxes of the Italian Society “Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini used to send people on vacation in internal exile.” “The racial laws were the worst fault of Mussolini as a leader, who in so many other ways did well.” Silvio Berlusconi, January, 2013

8 The Italian Economy Late in industrialization Business caught up with and overtook Western European countries, particularly in the north. Metallurgical and engineering industry Weakness: lack of raw materials and cumbersome bureaucracy and regulations

9 The Italian Economy Problems: North – South divide Industrial North and agricultural South Two largest sectors: chemical and garment industries The fourth largest GDP in Europe following Germany, France, and GB, surpassing Russia

10 The Italian Economy 14 May Fabio Strada European Luxury Brands in the Asian Market

11 The Italian Economy 4 June Tiziana Alamprese Promoting the Italian Automotive Culture in Japan. Fiat 500

12 The Italian Economy Italian agriculture and Italian food industry Italian cuisine: simplicity; healthiness; good ingredients than elaborate preparation Regional variety International popularity 11 June Maria Gioia Vienna, Italian Food

13 The Italian Economy Italian economic problems Inefficient levying of direct taxes Since the creation of the republic after WWII, economy relied on public loans to finance public works Many did not pay direct income tax till the 1970s Tax evasions Thriving underground economy

14 The Italian Economy By 1991 public debt exceeded GDP and still does in 2012 After the economic recession since 2007 the Italian economy stagnated, GDP continues to fall, and unemployment topped 10 % One of the acronym ‘PIIGS’

15 Government and Society In referendum, Italy replaced monarchy with a republic A new constitution Built-in guarantees against easy amendment Sovereignty belongs to the people Rights of men Equality before the law Freedom of speech and faith Abolishing the patriarchal legal system and legalization of divorce and abortion

16 Government and Society Bicameral parliament – Chamber of Deputies and Senate Members of the Chamber of Deputies popularly elected via a proportional representation Members of the Senate too via PR, but several members appointed by the president(s) Difference – the minimum age to be an electorate and candidate 18 and 25 / 25 and 40 Terms 5 years

17 Government and Society

18 The Presidential Office President as the head of state Elected by the two-thirds majority of a college of the two chambers and three representatives from each region Calls special sessions; delays and authorizes legislation Dissolve parliament at his own initiative or at the request of the government

19 Governement and Society Electoral System Full proportional representation after WWII The 2005 reform allocates a number of bonus seats to the winning coalition to guarantee a majority for victors. (Deputies) No such privilege for the Senate The same legislative power

20 Governement and Society 18 June Eduardo Crisafulli Author of biography of Bettino Craxi, prime minister and leader of the Socialist Party during the 1980s Post-War Italian Political History

21 Government and Society Political parties from the end of WWII to the 1990s Two major parties – Christian Democratic and Italian Communist parties with small parties The fall of communism in 1991, prosecutions of corrupt officials and politicians (mani pulite), electoral reforms Demise of the First Republic and disappearance of major political parties

22 Government and Society Tangentopoli (tangente = kickback, poli = cities) cities of kickbacks and bribes Investigations called mani pullite (clean hands) revealed massive kickbacks given for public work contracts More than the half of the members of parliament under indictment, but mainly CD and PS More than 400 city and town councils dissolved for corruption charges

23 Government and Society A Milan judge, Antonio Di Pietro, had a Mario Chiesa arrested for corruption. In the end Bettino Craxi was indicted also corruption. 7 May, Martijn Boot, Machiavelli and Clean Hands Politics 25 June Andrea Ortolani The Administration of Justice in Italy

24 Government and Society The Second Republic Three major parties rose to dominate the political right – Forza Italia, the Northern League and the National Alliance PCI reborn as Democratic Party of the Left (later DS) In 2007 DS merged with a centrist Daisy (Margherita) Party and became the Democratic Party (centre-left FI joined with AN to create the centre-right People of Freedom (Popolo della libertá) Party

25 Government and Society 15 Regions 5 autonomous areas 21 May, Hiroko Kudo Regionalism and federalism in Italy: political, administrative and fiscal reforms

26 Education Compulsory education for those between 6 and 16 years Now about two-thirds of people of university age attend university, and almost nine-tenths of people of high school age attend high school. Most schools and universities are run by the state, with uniform pragrammes across the country Less than one tenth attend private schools

27 Italy from Various Sides 16 April, John Oliphant, An Italian Education 2 July, Fabio Spaziani Environmental concerns in Italy: problems, approaches and unsolved issues 9 July, Silvio Vita Environmental concerns in Italy: problems, approaches and unsolved issues 16 July, Italy and EU

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