(Photo: Aris Messinis/Getty)

Does anybody still believe that the EU is a benign institution?

6 July 2015 14:59

Ever since Margaret Thatcher U-turned in the dying days of her premiership, there has been a kind of agreement between Left and Right on what the European Union is. Most… Continue reading


Greece may soon face a humanitarian crisis of its own

21 June 2015 15:39

Normally, the phrase ‘continent in crisis’ is hyperbole. But it seems appropriate today as we contemplate the situation Europe, and more specifically the EU, finds itself in. In the next… Continue reading

A Syrian refugee with her child (Photo: Yiannis Kourtoglou/AFP/Getty)

The bleak calculation made by the passengers on the Ezadeen

3 January 2015 10:51

Well, thank God they made it. The Ezadeen, formerly a livestock carrier and now adapted for its human cargo of 360 people, has arrived today at Corigliano Calabro near Lecce.… Continue reading

It could become the perfect venue for pop concerts... Getty Images

Should we revive the Colosseum?

10 November 2014 12:04

It occurs to me that Italy isn’t the best place to live if you’re an architect. Take a walk at random through Rome or Florence or Venice, and it is… Continue reading

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A group of Alpine Infantry soldiers camped at the foot of Mount Vilau in the Italian Alps during World War I.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Spectator at war: The consequences of neutrality

9 October 2014 8:30

From The Spectator, 10 October 1914: IT would be a base act to try to bribe or to threaten a neutral Power like Italy into joining the Allies. The notion… Continue reading

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Think Britain’s tabloid journalists are bad? Try Italy’s tabloid judges

19 July 2014 14:06

There is a small light at the end of the tunnel but it comes too late, I fear, to save Italy from the abyss:  Silvio Berlusconi was yesterday acquitted on… Continue reading

England v Italy: Group D - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

World Cup diary: Italy were poor but England were worse

15 June 2014 10:22

Another fairly unpleasant evening spent watching England playing football. Ah well. It used to be that England were renowned for two things: we could score from set pieces, and we… Continue reading

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The minimum wage is broken – here’s how to fix it

2 April 2014 14:34

While welcoming George Osborne’s emphasis this week on raising employment, I have some caveats about his target – to have the highest employment rate in the G7. This isn’t hugely… Continue reading

Luca Zaia, President of the Veneto region, where secessionist have won an unofficial poll for Venice to secede from Italy.  (Image: Getty/ ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Venetian secessionists deserve to be punished!

23 March 2014 14:59

How should the western powers react when part of a friendly nation holds an illegal referendum and votes to secede from the country in which hitherto it was located? Sanctions?… Continue reading

Image: GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

The EU is corrupt because southern Europe is corrupt

6 December 2013 14:47

What with Britain’s dreadful performance in the PISA educational rankings, there has been comparatively little attention given to another international league table– Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. The good news… Continue reading

Some of the boats which were shipwrecked off Lampedusa. Image: Getty

The Lampedusa hypocrisy: Italy prefers its migrants dead on arrival

10 October 2013 12:53

Italy has held a day of national mourning in memory of those who died in the 3 October disaster off Lampedusa. The victims – mostly from Eritrea, Somalia and Syria – were… Continue reading

Is this the face of the next pope? Image: Getty

Papal Conclave: would a result today mean Angelo Scola is Pope?

13 March 2013 14:30

White smoke from the Vatican this afternoon may signal that the new Pope is Cardinal Angelo Scola. But the longer the papal conclave goes on, the more likely it becomes… Continue reading

Beppe Grillo

Why I love Beppe Grillo

28 February 2013 12:54

‘Crazy Italians!’ you might think.  Offered the choice between Bunga Bunga Berlusconi, an ex-Communist and a Brussels stooge, one in four of them went and voted for a stand up… Continue reading

Pier Luigi Bersani secured a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, but not in the Senate. Picture: Getty Images

Italian elections: ‘The worst possible outcome’

26 February 2013 15:16

Forget Moody’s. If you want to see market panic, just look at Italy. As Isabel reported this morning, the unexpectedly strong performance of Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment party, the Five Star… Continue reading

Supporters cheer comedian-turned-political agitator, Beppe Grillo, as he arrives for his final rally in Rome. Picture: Getty

Weary Italian voters can teach UK politicians lessons

26 February 2013 9:32

Italian voters are clearly cheesed off: with the Establishment, and with the country’s austerity programme. The explosion onto the scene of Beppe Grillo – which Freddy examined in his post… Continue reading

Beppe Grillo, the Comedian-turned-politician. Photo: Getty Images.

Italian elections: anti-politics on amphetamines

24 February 2013 19:37

Rome Italians go to the polls today, and Beppe Grillo still seems to be the name on everybody’s lips. Grillo is expected to get up to 22 per cent of… Continue reading

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti leaves in a car the Quirinale Presidential palace after handing in his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano. Picture: Getty

Mario Monti resigns

21 December 2012 19:24

Following the passing of his budget, Mario Monti has quit as Italian Prime Minister. At the moment, it remains unclear whether he’ll continue to lead the government until elections next… Continue reading

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I need your help

1 December 2012 15:48

I am in southern Italy and there has been thunder and lightning pretty much continuously since Tuesday. I am quite scared of lightning. I need to buy some comestibles; especially… Continue reading


Raphael’s paintbrush

12 July 2012 10:00

One of the puns that circulated the cultured elite of Italy during the Renaissance compared the potency of an artist’s paintbrush, his pennello, with his penis, il pene. Raphael, who… Continue reading

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Frankfurt City Feature

Europe’s illusory deal

29 June 2012 19:45

After Merkel’s decision to allow Eurozone funds to be used to bail out Spanish and Italian banks, the press tomorrow may declare – yet again – that some kind of… Continue reading

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Ber

Of technocrats and democrats

27 June 2012 9:15

A former European leader was a guest at a private dinner in London recently. It was a polite and reverential occasion, but conversation grew lighter as Sauternes gave way to… Continue reading


Bondholders are sheep — and they’re flocking out of the euro pen

21 May 2012 18:11

Sweden’s Anders Borg (Fraser’s favourite finance minister) is wrong, says Citigroup. Bondholders and deposit holders are not like wolves, as Borg has made them out to be. They’re more like… Continue reading


May Day, May Day

2 May 2012 14:18

There was a sense of urgency, even emergency, in many countries on May 1 this year. The goings-on in the UK were muted in comparison: France Presidential incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy… Continue reading


Making a call on Qatada

9 February 2012 13:33

The Prime Minister, we are told, has been trying to reach the King of Jordan to see if some kind of arrangement can be made so that Abu Qatada can… Continue reading


How democracy fared in 2011

31 December 2011 10:59

Even before we were a month in, 2011 was an historic year. Principally because in a region of the world where governments shift through military coup or foreign intervention, dictators… Continue reading