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The future of Car Industry

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Mr. Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat stated, a few months ago, that in Europe there is place only for one automobile manufacturer, while, on the rest of the world there will be only two or three more. This means that the battle will be very hard. We cannot understend the immininent agreement between Chrisler and Fiat without the idea of a car market dominated by a small number of great actors.

Fiat 500 in USA?

The demand of small and eco-compatible cars, in USA, seems to be very strong, on this side of the Atlantic and this seems to be a good deal for the European car industry. One of the main issue is that a lot of manufacturers do not have a distribution network on the US. The eldorado for small cars constructors need to be conquered quickly, but the most of European brands has not dealers in North America and, now that car factories are sold, in USA, such as we were on a sale off, FIAT got his chance. Perhaps, it’s since 2005 that Marchionne’s guys are trying to come back to North America. One of the first ideas circulating in some environment was that FIAT could use the Ferrari dealers network, but it was not so developed as the Chrisler’s one. So, considering all this variable, you might soon find a small and sexy FIAT 500 on Main Street.

Is it Only a Commercial Agreement?

I, actually, do not know. One of the very immediate ideas coming into my mind is that FIAT has desperate need of fresh money. An agreement with a US manufacturer can give the Turin factory the chance to put their hands on the money Team Obama is spending to save the stars&stripes car industry. Otherwise it is very difficult to understand what sense does this decision make. Under the industrial point of view, it makes not sense: it is a common place, for example, that US plants are not tecnologically very developed. So, why should FIAT buy Chrysler?

Fiat Rulez, Maybe

I do not know if FIAT will survive the crisis. The problem is how well the Chrylser operation will work. I do not know. Witch model will Chrysler build? Renamed FIAT ones? who knows. What is important is that the operation will work for everyone.


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Written by Francesco Piccinelli Casagrande

04/18/2009 at 12:56 pm

Posted in Politics

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Pulizer for the journalists from L’Aquila, Italy

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The journalists of Il Centro, the newspaper of L’Aquila, Italy, never sopped telling us about the earthquake that moved the world, even thought the distruction of their families, home and newsroom. That’s why they deserve the 2010 Pulizer Prize for their professionality.
Their job shown the world the importance of a free press in emergency situations and the love they demonstrated for the profession is a model for every journalist all around the world.

Here is the petition

Written by Francesco Piccinelli Casagrande

04/14/2009 at 11:58 am

Tragic earthquake in Italy

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Dozens of corpses are being recovered in L’Aquila, Italy, after the tremendous quake of  the last night. The prime minister Silvio Berlusconideclared the State of National Emergency and decide the intervention of the Army and of the Italian Emergency Management Agency.

The Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, stated that this is “the worst tragedy in thi beginning of 21st century” even if he quake of L’Aquila had been weaker than the Irpinia’s one in 1980. But it was as well devastating: it’s very hard, i Italy, to find buildings made with to survive geological events.

Anyway, what is most tragic is that tha quake had been forseen by Giampaolo Giuliani,  last Tuesday: Abruzzo had been crossed by a lot of micrequakes for a month.  The scholar reported to Mr. Bertolaso that a devastatig quake could happend but his appeal was considered less than a joke.

 Of course, he did non forsee the exact date of the event (his predictions told about one week ago, for the big one) but if a scientist tell me that something is going wrong I’m not sure I will not consider his worries. Mr. Giuliani, now, has to face a trial for false allarm because nobody in Italy gave him 20 seconds of genuine attention. Now, one week later, Italy is mourning his deads.

Written by Francesco Piccinelli Casagrande

04/06/2009 at 8:27 am

Posted in News

Italian opposition has a new leader, maybe.

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What happened in Italy last week deserves one or two words: the Democratic Party, the main opposition Party in my country has died and rose again with a new leader, Dario Franceschini.

The former leader, Walter Veltroni resigned after the Waterloo of Sardinia’s regional elections: in the island, the former Governor Renato Soru lost to Mr. Cappellacci after a campaign where he had been left alone by the Democrats, while his opponennt was campaigning with Mr. Berlusconi. This led the former candidate Prime Minister to resign after 16 months of leadership. That’s why the National Assembly (a sort of National Committee) elected Franceschini as the new leader of the party.

Why is that so interesting?

First of all because Italy, now, in facing a great deficit of democracy: in my country, the Prime Minister is a sort of Rupert Murdoch in 1:43 scale. Can you imagine the Aussie media tycoon as the Australian Prime Minister? And, what’s more scary, is that, step by step, spaces of democracy are disappearing without a credible and reliable opposition.

Did you know that soldiers are patrolling Italy’s main cities? We are not talking about a kind of National Guard. We are talking about a professional military staff: it’s like if a regiment of US Marines were patrolling Chicago’s streets. And did you know that the Italian government is about to promote rounds run by civilians against street crimes? This particular could be not so important to a non Italian reader. But, in my opinion, the sinister particular is that the last time we had such a phenomenon was under the fascism and organized by a special sector of the Fascist Party: the MVSN. This organization not only went patrolling the streets, but it was useful to keep opposition silent and obedient. The problem is that in 1922 there had been an opposition, today I’m not sure we have it.

Going toward Putin’s Russia?

I’m not sure, but, without any opposition this is more than an option. Mr. Franceschini told about a new shape of authoritarianism which Berlusconi is building up. But Mr. Berlusconi’s responsabilty has to be shared also by the opposition leaders who made no opposition during this one year and half of center right government. The Democratic party is estimated to be at 24% of the electorate, falling from the 34% of tha last general elections. Franceschini is the new leader and the only hope to save the main center left party in Europe. The hope to keep alive the ever since fragile Italian depends on the capcity of the opposition leaders to stay united, not to dig each other the grave.

Written by Francesco Piccinelli Casagrande

02/22/2009 at 9:44 am

Barack Obama, the Powerless

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The United States stimulus package depend on China’s economy: where will the money promised by Barack Obama come from? From the other side of the Pacific Ocean and, this is the funny thing, from a Communist power.

This is a crisis, isn’t it? And someone is saying that it’s similar to the Great depression of 1929.  I’m not sure whether we are in depression, but I’m very scared by the particular of the US debt bought by Chines money-savers: what happen if the US cannot pay back the bonds they’ve issued?  

The answer is World War III. Barack Obama is a great and wise man, but the game he’s running is very dangerous: China’s economy will keep growing for a while. But what will happen if it stops? The answer is the same. This means that the real center of world power is not in Washington DC but in Beijing, China.

This passage is similar to those happened between the two World Wars across the Atlantic Ocean: at those time, it was up to Europe to pass the hand. Now, believe it or not, nobody can save the world better than Mr. Jiabao, the President of PRC with a huge number of political consequences for our democracies: how can we manage the problem – as an example – of Tibet with a China holding us by our bollocks?

Today’s meeting of G-7 is useless such as the Society of the Nation was useless  between the two World wars. The same is for the next April 2nd G-20: our only hope is Chinese economy. If the guys in Beijing will be smart enough to save their own economy, President Obama’s Stimulus Plan will be somehow useful. Otherwise, start preying your God.

Written by Francesco Piccinelli Casagrande

02/15/2009 at 8:24 pm

The big crisis: why Italy cannot get it.

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The crisis that is hitting the US and worldwide economy will be even harder to be faced in Italy where the Economy is not growing since Sept. 11.

It’s not easy to understand why, anyway, we can try to point out one or two ideas:

1st idea:

Both the major parties are strong in the North and in the south, according to the Italian Interior Minister. Italy is ever since devided in two and the difference between the Mezzogiorno and the rest of Italy is very sensible. I’ve never been there. But it’s enough to cross the border between Tuscany and Lazio to see what I am talking about. This makes impossible for the parties struggling for Palazzo Chigi to write down credible programs and, as a consequence, it makes impossible to take any kind of strategic decision: how might a southern Italy elector take a packager of stumulus to the northern enterprise that can steal money from his unemployment check?

2nd idea:

The second thing coming into my mind is that the status quo is a comfortable way to keep the weak strong powers of Italy (Masonry, Church, Mafia, Bank System,  Italian Industrial Associacion, Unions etc.) at their place of leadership in ruling Italian affairs. The problem is that while in the country money is missing more and more, this is making the Italian informal lobbies even weaker. Italy is like an aquarium with a hole: water is  flowing out and the big dogfishs are swimming in less and less water while they’re eating their very last prey. Waite for a while and you’ll see them die, probably with the last lunch still in their stomach.

What do the two ideas have in common?

They point out the athavic problem of the Italian ruling classes over the last 160 years: LUNGIMIRANCE. Our political class never thought beyond the next election. Lungimirance means braveness to face both the challenge to rule a country made by two different ones and to fight against the thiny strong powers  that want non change to be made.

Written by Francesco Piccinelli Casagrande

02/13/2009 at 6:26 pm

Rest Eluana in Peace

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She’s gone. The news was broad-casted around the world by mainstream media. This means I’m not writing anything new. The Prosecutor of Udine, the town where Eluana had been hosted for her last days, is deciding about making an autopsy on the corpse of the girl. This could make us understand what really was her state in the very last moments.

The Government tried any possible way to stop what by a lot of people, in Italy,  is considered as a murder. They failed. And Italian majorityalso failed in giving Italy what should be a clear, sincere and non ideological debate: in the yesterday session of the Senate, lawmakers went close to the rumble using inappropriate tones for a discussion that can wound Italy for a long time to go.

It’s impossible for an Italian blogger to have access to the political polls during the electoral campaign (we have elections in Sardinia, we are approaching European elections and a lot of local administrations have to be renewed), but the feeling is that the country is divided. And, thanks to the non conciliatory statementmade by one Mr. Berlusconi’s party Senator, Italy will remain divided for a while.

I’ve been a supporter of Mr. Englaroever since. I repspect his strong will to put the question of the end of life in the middle of the Italian debate about bioethicsand instead switching off the machines on his own (such as a lot of people do in Italy). Let’s mourn Eluana waiting for tha authopsy on her body.

This is the last post about Eluana Englaro, but this story was, is and will be a very severe test for the conscience of Italians and, of course, for mine.

Written by Francesco Piccinelli Casagrande

02/10/2009 at 9:15 am