06 May 2018

California recently came back to the fifth position in the list of the largest economies in the World, following US, China, Japan and Germany.

California’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew $127 billion between 2016 and 2017 to more than $2.7 trillion. Higher than Uk and France.

London is suffering the Brexit and the depreciation of the Pound, whilst California has two great and consistent assets in cinema industry and Silicon Valley. A small but significant part of this wealth comes from the agriculture and in particular from the wine production.

Of course California is not an independent country, even if some independent movements are pushing for that. But it is interesting to think how impressive is the economy of a state of Usa in comparison with the states of Europe (only Germany is better).

GDP is not the best indicator of the wealth of a country, but it defines well how a country can be powerful. And California is definitely a benchmark for high-tech and entertainment. 

It is also interesting to take a look at the full list from the 15 top economies in the World:

1. United States $19.391 trillion
2. China $12.015 trillion
3. Japan $4.872 trillion
4. Germany $3.685 trillion
5. California $2.747 trillion
6. United Kingdom $2.625 trillion
7. India $2.611 trillion
8. France $2.584 trillion
9. Brazil $2.055 trillion
10. Italy $1.938 trillion
11. Texas $1.696 trillion
12. Canada $1.652 trillion
13. New York $1.547 trillion
14. South Korea $1.538 trillion
15. Russia $1.527 trillion

(From Business Insider)

Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2018 by NotonlyEurope

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18 March 2018

I will be honest. I have never heard about Marielle Franco before the 14th of March, the day in which she was brutally killed in a targeted political assassination.

 Image result for Marielle Franco

But reading her story made me think. How many brave people are there in the World?

I was thinking to the sad story of Giulio Regeni, the Italian researcher killed in Egypt in 2016 or Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese Journalist killed in 2017. All people who weren't scared to stand up for the truth and for to fight against corruption and illegality.

Marielle Franco was, as written in an article on the Independent by Glenn Greenwald a "black LGBT + woman in a country notoriously dominated by racism, sexism and traditional religious dogma". Coming from one on the poorest Rio's slum, "she became a single mother at the age of 19, but she graduated at college, obtained a master in sociology, and then became one of the city’s most effective human rights activists". In 2016, she became the 5th most voted candidate in the elections for the Rio city council.

We think too much to ourselves, to work mostly doing something we don't like, to earn money to buy things we don't need. But we never think about the others, about the system in which we live. 

"Bowling alone" was written by Robert D. Putnam in 2000 to describe the collapse of the sense of community in America. Unfortunately this tendency increased in the last twenty years. 
Fortunately, there are still people like Marielle Franco, to remind us that we are not living alone.

Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2018 by NotonlyEurope

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11 March 2018

Poland recently approved a law that ban Sunday trading. This means that from today (11th March)  every other Sunday the bans will take place (with the exception of some Sundays before religious holidays). 

In Poland the law is the result of the pressure coming mainly by the Church and Solidarnosc, in order to allow employees to spend more time on Sunday with their family and participate in the Religious Ceremonies.

The discussion is really wide, as you can see on Wikipedia.

From one side, it is good to see that people already working the entire week in a shop can have one day break on Sunday and spend it with their families and friends. And for sure, as consumers, we can survive buying what we need in the remain 6 days of the week.

On the other hand, the risk to cut many part-time jobs or push some companies to open during the night or extend their open hours during the week is real, and it wouldn't improve the conditions of the workers at all.

I personally think that Sunday is a good day to rest for everybody. But if a good law is needed to regulate the ban of shopping, it is also needed to regulate the rest of the week, if not the workers will have to work more on the other days. 

Common sense and balance are always the elements the Legislator should consider to regulate a sector.

And you? What do you think?

For more information about Polish Sunday trading ban, you can check Wroclaw Uncut website.

Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2018 by NotonlyEurope

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03 March 2018

So here we are!

Tomorrow is the Election day in Italy. After 5 years, we will have a new Parliament and a new (maybe) Government.

But which is the picture of Italy today? And how will it change since the next week?

Whilst from abroad the Italian political arena is a funny show with hilarious characters (see John Oliver video), the reality is really sad. In the last five years we have seen different governments with no clear strategic view on the future of the country. And it is very probable that on Monday we will have no real winner (thanks to the new electoral law) and a government supported by heterogeneous political forces will be probably formed.

During the electoral campaign, the candidates have promised everything as I wrote few weeks ago in this blog. I talked to many friends who really didn't know for which party to vote. And we are even worried about the comeback of Silvio Berlusconi, at the lovely age of 81 years.

In the last years the economy went a little bit better but many structural problems still stay in Italy: corruption, bureaucracy, taxis, fiscal evasion, immigration policies and many others.

But in an article published recently, it was highlighted how the education is the most important and urgent problem for Italy. The government cut the budget for education in the last decade more than the other European countries, there are less people with an University Degree, but even less job offers for specialized role.

Yes, that's the point. In a global economy, education is the key for success, without it there is no future. And where is the ruling class who will bring us to the future?

Let's be optimistic, and GOOD LUCK to us!


Posted on Saturday, March 03, 2018 by NotonlyEurope

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24 February 2018

At the beginning of February, during a visit in Italy, Erdogan claimed again the will for Turkey to enter in the European Union.

The relation between Europe and Turkey are becoming every year worse, especially since the mid-2016 failed coup attempt against Erdogan. And it is the news of few hours ago that the European Union threatened to cancel a summit with Turkey next month because of Turkish tensions with Cyprus over energy exploration (here more info).

Officially the position Brussels is very clear. The negotiation for the enlargement to Turkey is frozen till there will be a visible progress in the fields of human rights and independence of the justice.

But the situation within the Eu governments is much more complex.

From one side, Erdogan is necessary to contain the immigration from Syria. Moreover, Ankara is fundamental for the stabilization of the area.

On the other side, the Turkish government is far away from the principles of a democracy (rights, justice, freedom of expression,...). 

But even if Turkey was a democratic country - and this is my question - would Eu really allow Ankara to enter in the European? What about the building of a European Federation: would this be still possible after the enlargement to a huge and powerful country like Turkey? And which kind of integration could be possible?

Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2018 by NotonlyEurope

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18 February 2018

Have you ever heard about Tiziano Terzani?

For many of us Terzani represents the determination to follow your dreams and the freedom of discovering and traveling around the World.

He graduated in one of the most prestigious university in Italy (the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies) and he got an excellent job in Olivetti. But he decided that this was not his destiny and after having left his job, he studied Chinese and moved to China with his family in the 70s.

Terzani and his family in Turtle House

He lived in many countries later on. Among them, he lived for some years in Thailand, in a house in an international neighborhood in Bankok: Turtle House (so called for the turtle which lived in the lake over there).

I had the pleasure to visit Bangkok and Turtle House in November. As the house was mentioned in a very famous book (Un indovino mi disse, 1995), I was curious to visit it and the guardian allowed me to see all the rooms of the house.

Turtle House is a real oasis in an area of Bangkok very gray and surrounded by Skyscrapers. 

Unfortunately few days ago it has been announced that the house will be demolished and another skyscraper will be build up.

The Societa' Dante Alighieri (a cultural organization to promote Italian language abroad) tried to convert the House in a cultural center but without success.

For all of us who read Terzani's books and who dreamed about the places he visited, this is a very sad news. 
When I was in Thailand I had also the possibility to visit the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok (that is now a museum) and it is really a pity not to see something similar also for Terzani's house.

Anyway, I think that Turtle House will stay always in our memories, as Tiziano life.

Posted on Sunday, February 18, 2018 by NotonlyEurope

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11 February 2018

The 38th parallel that devides in two separate states Korea since the end of the World War II in 1945, is one of the most militarized and most sensitive area in the World. 

It has represented for decades one of the expression of the Cold War and it is now the line that divides the rich and capitalistic South by the "communist", dictatorship North.

The current Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, started few days ago, have seen the temporary reconciliation of the two Korea with a unified team under a new white flag. 

Moreover, we have seen the historical handshake between Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korean and Yo-jong, sister of Kim Jong-un.

handshake between the Moon Jae-in, President of South Korean and Yo-jong, sister of Kim Jong-un

I am not going to write that sport unifies people, or that the spirit of the Olympic Games wins over the divisions. This is a huge (probably the most important) sport event in the World and it attracts a lot of sponsors and investments. Business is business.

But still, North Korea is one of the most cryptic country in the World. And looking at people from that country, especially the sister of their dictator, participating in the most capitalistic event on the Planet, it is something that must be highlighted.

Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2018 by NotonlyEurope

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