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3/2018

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In this issue

In this issue - ATLANTIS

Serenella Antoniazzi

She is coauthor of “reD - I do not want to fail”, theater play in one act.

 

Alberto Gasparetto

Reasercher.

 

Francesco Ippoliti

General.

 

Domenico Letizia

Writer and human rights activist.

 

Riccardo Palmerini

Coordinator of the Master in Tourism in Religious and Cultural Heritage at the ISSR “Santa Maria di Monte Berico” in Vicenza. Visiting professor in Design and Innovation at the IAE Toulouse 1 Capitole. Founder and president of the Cultural Association “La stanza delle idee” (“The room of ideas”) - Art and Culture for the Peoples; Professional member of the Italian Association of Marketing and the American Marketing Association. Member of the scientific committee for the development of programs between culture and technology for the Metropolitan Strategic Plan of Bologna.

 

Gaetano Pecora

Professor.

 

Giulia Prosperetti

Journalst. Deputy Editor Report Difesa.

 

Vincenzo Santo

Italian Army Corpus General.

 

Stefania Schipani 

Istat Researcher. Graduated in International Political Sciences. Specialized in Environmental Economics, she collaborates with the University of Tor Vergata. She is President of the “Rifareleuropa” Research Center and Vice President of “Filitalia International.”

 

Luca Tatarelli

Journalist.  Editor in Chief  www.reportdifesa.it review.

 

Annalisa Triggiano

Reasearcher.

 

 

 

 

Actuality: Meetings in the Embassy

Actuality: Meetings in the Embassy - ATLANTIS

Europe: networks in the network. 

 StefaniaSchipani

The association Europa: Networks Networked founded by Stefania Schipani starts with the new program called “Incontri in embassy” the series of meetings and workshops that take place at the offices of foreign embassies in Rome with the aim of talking about Europe to high level.

The program starting next autumn renews and continues the setting of the first meeting, which took place in June at the Ukrainian Embassy entitled “Europe: Ukraine and enlargement to new countries as an opportunity for development”, with the organization of new in-depth seminars for young people and students interested in geopolitical, European and international issues. But there will also be opportunities for meetings for personalities from the business and association world interested in internationalization processes.

The presence of ambassadors guarantees the high level of debate thanks to their experience and knowledge of Italy’s relations with the rest of the world, but the interest in the vivacity of the workshop will be maintained thanks to a careful selection of participants who have a serious preparation and willingness to know and discuss European issues.

Among the founding objectives of the activities of the association Europa: Networks on the Net surely falls to speak of Europe in a truthful and scientific way, contrasting the banalities and demagogy that unfortunately in recent times are infesting the debate on the true nature of the European Union , on the opportunities of peace, development and above all of freedom that Europe has assured in over fifty years.

To recover the meaning of belonging to Europe as citizens it is necessary to relaunch a widespread knowledge process and trigger a serious proactive debate on the possible reforms to be implemented in a vision oriented towards a constructive process of improving the European institutions and relations between states.

Human rights, energy policy, commercial development, freedom of movement and enterprise, sustainable development, culture, education, training, work, Europe offers and must continue to offer all this by recovering its geopolitical role.

The “Embassy Meetings”, which the program will soon be made public, represent a contribution to the revival of the European Union and to the process of knowledge in which citizens must be protagonists.

For all the meetings, registration on web TV and the issuing of participation certificates will be available. 

 

Dossier: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

Dossier: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 - ATLANTIS

 

1948: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

 

Human rights are the rights that belong to the person as a human being, not dependent on a state concession. These rights can be restored to the protection of human life in all forms (against killing, torture, slavery, the deprivation of freedom of conscience, religion, opinions); to the equality of all (against discrimination of race, sex, language, religion, political opinions, social conditions); to the protection of political rights (effective participation of individuals in the government of their country, periodic and free elections); to security against the need (trade union freedom, work, salary, housing, care).

THE HISTORICAL ORIGINS

I d. U. they are recognized in the fundamental texts of the modern systems which the States have set themselves and which of these texts constitute the most qualifying parts. Initially, the legislative acts (eg the Bill of rights, ie the American declaration of rights adopted by the US government in 1781 and the Declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen approved in France by the National Assembly in 1789) affirmed the rights of freedom and equality in specific preambles. This technique was partially abandoned to insert the enunciation of these principles within the directly preceptive part, as happened for example. in the Italian Constitution of 1948. The American and French statements proclaimed the d. U. invoking the authority of nature, as it is directly from nature that individuals receive certain fundamental rights, which they hold since birth. Since they are part of human nature, no man can decide to sacrifice these rights and, even more so, these rights can not be removed by the sovereign: natural rights thus constitute an impassable circle that the State is called to respect and protect.

 

INTERNATIONAL LAW

After the First World War, but especially after the second conflict, the protection of the d. U. has been entrusted to acts of international law. In the framework of the functions of the United Nations, 10 Dec. 1948 came the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and later the approval of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the one on economic, social and cultural rights, approved unanimously on December 16th. 1966 by the United Nations General Assembly. Important in the field of protection of d. U. and the fundamental freedoms is the European Convention on Human Rights (stipulated in Rome in 1950, entered into force on 3 September 1953 and ratified by Italy under Law 4 of August 1995 No. 848), on whose application it judges European Court of Human Rights. With the 1994 amendment, the European Court can address not only the Member States complaining about the non-fulfillment of contractual obligations by another Member State, but the same citizens who have suffered the outrage of their rights. In this case, the Court can order the guilty state to re-establish the violated right or to compensate the victim.

 

Human rights at the beginning of the 21st century

The issue of human rights has acquired an ever-growing consideration, both in international jurisprudence and in public debate, especially in relation to the pressing process of internationalization of these same rights, which is closely linked to the dynamics of the era of globalization. Even the public security needs that emerged with the terrorist season that had opened with the attacks of New York and Washington in September 2001 and the considerations on the massacre of the civilian population during the war waged in Iraq by the Anglo-Americans (2003) fueled the debate on the right to life, on the condemnation of torture and more generally on violations of human rights. Rights, however, very little tangible in a large part of the Planet. Surely in the first decade of the 21st century there has been a multiplication and explosion of new rights, both subjective and collective, claimed by national and transnational organizations and movements, by linguistic and cultural minorities, by particular social and political groups. The right to a non-polluted environment, to water, to free access to the Internet, to the genetic integrity of the person are issues now widely present in the political and cultural debate even if they are certainly more an expectation, or even a hope, that an acquired right. A first recognition of the debate on new human rights, even if limited to those less controversial and which already enjoy legal recognition in many countries, comes from the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union signed in Nice in December 2000. In the preamble The Charter stresses the urgent need to „strengthen the protection of fundamental rights in the light of the evolution of society, of social progress and of scientific and technological developments“. In the field of genetic integrity, for example, we support art. 3 the right of every individual to his physical and psychological integrity, banning eugenic practices and the reproductive cloning of human beings. And among the rights to be protected, we also remember the environment and personal and family privacy. The path of recognizing those rights appears to be much more difficult, first of all the rights to water, which constitute an obstacle to the commercial exploitation of wells by large international companies. The effectiveness of all the rights to protect consumers or the right of free access to the telematic network also appears very limited. In this regard, just think of China where the censorship applied by the Beijing government to the Internet has made use of the collaboration of the largest computer companies in the world: the US Microsoft, Google, Yahoo. At the center of fierce battles in our country the recognition of homosexual families: if in Italy there is no legal recognition for gay couples living together, in Europe there are five countries where marriage is open to same-sex couples (The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden), while different forms of civil unions for homosexual couples are in force in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Finland, Switzerland and Austria. In Italy there is also no legislative legislation on the living will, that is the written document with which an individual asserts his will in matters of medical treatment (drug administration, resuscitation, etc.), valid even when you are not able to communicate. New battles have also been fought in the name of the right to health and health care. A total lack of equity in the distribution of health resources has in fact manifested itself in the case of HIV / AIDS treatment: if in the rich countries the individuals affected by the virus had free access, or at reasonable prices, to drugs to treat illness, this possibility was denied to the sick in poor countries because of the very high prices charged by pharmaceutical companies. At the turn of the 21st century, South Africa, thanks to the battle led by Nelson Mandela, claimed the right of poor countries to have low-cost drugs effective in treating the disease and was dragged to court by some dozens of pharmaceutical companies with the accusation of having produced antiviral drugs without having paid the related patents.

 

The right to water

The Millennium Development Goals launched in 2000 by the United Nations are the eight objectives that member states have committed to achieve by 2015. Ensuring environmental sustainability is one of these objectives and, as stated in the declaration one of the project‘s success indicators is to reduce by half the percentage of the population without sustainable access to potable water and basic sanitation (Target 7.c) by 2015. The centrality of the ecological question in the reflection on the destiny of our planet has however been accompanied in recent years to the awareness of the extreme difficulty in seeing the rights of the victims of environmental devastation recognized for the strong opposition shown by the great centers of economic power and by the same national governments powerless, alone, to bring about real change in the world economic system. In this context the battle for the right to water, understood as a universal common good, a natural gift and not the result of human ingenuity, has seen a great mobilization to protect the communities of the poorest countries where the few drinking wells are likely to be exploited. for the exclusive benefit of large multinational companies. It should not be forgotten that there are more than two million children every year who are victims of lack of drinking water in the poorest regions of the planet. The problem of managing water resources is very timely, on the other hand, even in Western countries. In Italy the two referendum questions of 12 and 13 June 2011 which aimed at stopping privatization and water commodification have registered over 95% of the votes, compared to a participation in the vote of more than 54%.

 

The right to life

The right to life of every individual was proclaimed for the first time internationally in article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. However, more than any other, this right is frequently violated. In fact, despite all the international jurisprudence to protect human rights, the death penalty as punishment of crimes is still in force in many countries, including the United States. In 2010, twenty-three countries carried out a death sentence: over 1000 victims in China, more than 250 in Iran, 60 in North Korea, 46 in the United States, 27 in Saudi Arabia. Another very delicate and back topic of dramatic actuality is that of the killing of civilians in war, a theme that raises profound ethical dilemmas and in the face of which international human rights law appears to be completely impotent. Mass killings and mass killings of the late 20th century, in the Great Lakes region of Africa and in Bosnia where hundreds of thousands of innocent people were murdered, reopened the reflection on the genocide: in January 2004, at the initiative of the UN and the The Swedish government met representatives of some fifty governments in Stockholm to discuss genocide prevention. It was the first time, after the signing in 1948 of the UN convention against genocide, that the issue was so explicitly urgent in the international debate. The protection of the rights of prisoners in prisons and the condemnation of torture and humiliation inflicted on the person have also received increasing attention from the media and the international community. In February 2006 the United Nations denounced the United States for serious human rights violations after the inspection of the US Guantanamo prison (Cuba); in the conclusive report of the UN there was explicit talk of torture and the same organization asked the United States to close the detention center, a closure announced by President Barack Obama in 2009 but later postponed. The United Nations itself wanted to give more attention and consideration to human rights and in March 2006 the General Assembly set up a new Human Rights Council to replace a pre-existing body, the Human Rights Commission, which saw within it the participation of countries such as Sudan or Zimbabwe, repeatedly denounced for obvious violations of human rights. In relation to this matter, the Middle Eastern scenario is also controversial, with particular reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; in this regard, in July 2006 a UN General Assembly resolution expressed grave concern about the repercussions on the Palestinian population of Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip. The words of the final declaration presented in September 2009 by the Commission set up by the Human Rights Council to investigate the effects of the war waged by Israel in Gaza at the end of December 2008 were much harder: it was read in the declaration, subsequently disavowed by the president, but not by the other commissioners, that Israel had repeatedly violated the human rights of the Palestinian population and perhaps also committed crimes against humanity. A vigilant control over human rights violations throughout the planet is carried out by Amnesty International, an organization that in its annual reports denounces the situations most at risk and actually works to save many lives. The 2011 report, recalling the courage and determination of those from North Africa to the Middle East protesting against tyranny and oppression, underlines the changes that the digital era has introduced all over the world and hopes that the new technology can always be used in the service of justice and humanity.

 

Dossier: HUMAN RIGHTS - DEEPENING

Dossier: HUMAN RIGHTS - DEEPENING - ATLANTIS

 

 

Gaetano Pecora

 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) begins: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. These words echo the most solemn documents of the American Revolution (1776) and French (1789) and overturn the traditional relationship between rulers and governed, where they wanted the former to be holders of rights and the second recipients of duties. Here, however, it is established that the governed belong rights that the rulers have a duty to recognize. Recognize, do not create. These are rights, in fact, which are engraved in human nature and which men therefore possess since birth. And since no power has been created, no power can destroy them, but must recognize them, just as our Constitution recites: “The Republic recognizes [...] the inviolable rights of man” (Article 2).

Once proclaimed in the constitutional papers, human rights change nature: from simple aspirations of philosophers, as they were at the beginning, they ascend to the rank of real positive laws, with sanctions that ensure their observance. This is the phenomenon of the positivization of natural liberties.

 

The long march of human rights

In addition to being positivized, human rights have also multiplied and enriched. And so it is that the original civil rights of the liberal tradition (the freedom of movement, the inviolability of domicile, religious freedom, etc.) have been joined first by the political rights of democratic thought (universal suffrage, first of all) and then the social rights of the labor movement (the right to work, education and health). In this way a second phenomenon has been produced, known as the progression of human rights.

When 10 December 1948 the UN General Assembly gathered all these rights under the banner of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the very long and tiresome march of rights has conquered a new stage: the universalization of human rights. Where universalization means the extension of legal protection from the internal system of the State to the external system of the international community.

With the consequence that, at least theoretically, individuals could ask for the protection of their rights not only within the State, but also against the State of belonging; not only by trusting on state organs, but also by resorting to them when they trample or disregard human rights. In this case, individuals would have the right to appeal to supra-state bodies, which should force the guilty state to withdraw from its illegality. All this, however, only theoretically.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In fact, following the Declaration of 1948, no power was organized capable of overwhelming the liberticidal policies of the state communities. Nor could it be otherwise, because the articles of the Declaration - which no one had the obligation to sign and ratify - present themselves as “ideals to be reached” (as stated in the preamble): ideal, therefore, and not legal norms that they produce here and now duties for States and therefore rights for individuals.

Inspired by the principles of the Declaration, two pacts were concluded, the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which - approved by the UN General Assembly in 1966 - prepared true rights and true legal obligations: first of all the obligation for the signatory states to send to special committees a periodic report where, from time to time, they certify what they have achieved to honor the clauses of the agreements; secondly, the right to appeal with a written communication to the Human Rights Committee, before which every citizen can denounce the offense of his prerogatives. In this case, the Committee assesses its admissibility and then, after a rather laborious process, concludes the procedure with its own view; these views, however, from a legal point of view have the value of simple recommendations.

 

The European Court of Human Rights

Not recommendations, however, but true judicial decisions are the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, which was provided for by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The Convention was signed in 1950 among the member states of the Council of Europe and entered into force in 1955. Since then it has been repeatedly integrated and corrected.

It is only with the 1994 amendment, however, that the European Court has reached the most advanced frontier in the protection of human rights. From that date, in fact, not only the Member States complaining about the non-fulfillment of contractual obligations by another Member State can address it, but also - and this is the most significant change - the same citizens who have suffered contempt of their rights. In this case, the Court can order the guilty state to re-establish the violated right or to compensate the victim with a “fair satisfaction” in money. In this way, starting from the 1948 Declaration, despite the uncertainties, repudiation and errors, the effective protection of human rights was strengthened. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Focus Country: Malta

Focus Country: Malta - ATLANTIS

 

The small but great wealth of Malta

 

Domenico Letizia

 

 

 

 

The island of Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and has adopted the euro in 2008. From 1 January to 30 June 2017 Malta held for the first time the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Maltese Government’s foreign policy is not limited to relations with other EU Member States and with the Mediterranean neighbors. Over the decades, the authorities have increasingly looked to the emerging markets of Asia, in particular to China, and to the Gulf countries, with the aim of establishing strategic partnerships and attracting investments. Among the main current international policy dossiers, the migration issue and the situation in Libya take on particular importance, the instability of which continues to generate concern for the possible security implications in the Mediterranean. Italy is undoubtedly the country with which Malta maintains the most intense relations, both in the political, economic, commercial and cultural sectors. The intense bilateral cooperation also extends to the field of Defense: for over forty years an Italian Mission of Collaboration in the Field of Defense has been present in Malta which provides a careful training and training activity for the Maltese Armed Forces, especially in the search and rescue at sea. Malta, despite its small size, is confirmed as one of the most dynamic economies in the European Union, continuing to record a positive trend in the main macroeconomic indicators. Maltese GDP grew by 9% compared to 2016. The Maltese economy is highly tertiarized. Over a quarter of GDP is linked to tourism, followed by financial services (around 15%) and online gaming (12%). Other main sectors of activity are maritime and navigation services, the air transport sector, the medical-sanitary and pharmaceutical sectors. The expansion of the technological (ICT) and digital sector is also to be highlighted. In 2016, the deficit / GDP ratio improved, registering a surplus and settling at + 1.1%, compared to -1.1% in 2015. In 2017 an average annual inflation rate of 1.3% was recorded, an increase compared to 2016 (0.9%) but still below the European average of 1.5%. The latest EU forecasts indicate an inflation rate of 1.5% in 2018. In 2017 Malta ranked third in Europe with a lower unemployment rate of 4%, compared to a Eurozone average of 9, 1%. The figure on youth unemployment was also positive, recorded at 10.3% among young people under the age of 25 against a European average of 18.9%. Italy continues to maintain the role of first commercial partner considering the value of imports equal to 1.4 billion euros. The main items of our exports are: refined petroleum products, ships and boats, telecommunications equipment, chemicals and electricity. Textiles and medicines are the first items of our imports. They are among the countries that most import: the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. As for imports from Malta, Italy ranks third with 377 million euros, preceded by Germany and France, followed by Libya, the United States and the United Kingdom. The FDI going to Malta in terms of stocks are 97% to be referred to financial and insurance activities. According to data provided by the National Statistical Office, Foreign Direct Investments in Malta in terms of stock are about 165.5 billion euros in June 2017, with an increase of about 9 billion compared to the same period of 2016. It should be noted that of Italian FDI in Malta in terms of stocks amounted to 472 million euros in June 2017. In the first half of 2017, the flow of foreign direct investment to Malta decreased slightly by 0.5 billion compared to 2016, reaching 1 , 2 billion euros. Also the Maltese FDI, both in terms of stocks and in terms of flows, are to be referred for 99% to financial and insurance activities. In the first 6 months of 2017, Maltese FDI abroad in terms of stocks increased by 0.5 billion compared to 2016, to E 62.2 billion. Investment flows abroad also increased, from E 2.4 billion in the first half of 2016 to E 3.1 billion in 2017, of which E 63 million in Italy.

 

Where to invest in Malta?

Thanks to the incentives offered by the Government and the interpretation of the “Bolar provisions” adopted in the EU, Malta has welcomed a group of companies that operate worldwide in the production of generic medicines, medical devices, as well as health products and services. Another interesting sector is linked to the merchant strategy of the island. Malta’s long maritime tradition, its strategic position in the Mediterranean and its natural harbors have mainly favored the development of the maritime sector thanks to the enlargement of the Maltese naval register, the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. The ship repair industry also offers a wide range of services. The last sector in terms of time is that of DTL and Blockchain technologies which, with the approval of the new regulatory framework, project Malta among the top 5 countries in the world in which it will be possible to have investment protection and certainty.

 

The Malta Freeport Terminals

Founded in 1988, Malta Freeport Terminals has seen significant growth over the last 25 years and is currently one of the largest transhipment and logistics centers in the Central Mediterranean region. The success generated triggered a series of investments that significantly increased the transshipment capacity of the port. Malta Freeport Terminals is renowned for its corporate culture, the relative lack of red tape and its ability to adapt quickly to business changes. The logistic management of the port, in order to keep pace with the changes in commercial globalization, has launched a massive investment campaign that not only represents a concrete improvement for its expansion potential, but also allows customers to broaden their business horizons and realize their own potential within the global commercial arena. The institutions of Malta have initiated an investment program that provides for an increase in the functionality of the port. Since the privatization of October 2004, Freeport has managed 3.06 million TEUs in 2015. Some of the shipping lines of the main shipping companies have chosen the Malta Freeport Terminals as transshipment hub for the central Mediterranean, including the impressive 2M companies : Maersk Line, MSC, CMA CGM, UASC and China Shipping. These giants were attracted by the enviable geographic position of Malta Freeport, in the field of transhipment operations, in the avant-garde plants dedicated to trans-shipment and for low-cost operations. Since Malta is strategically located on the main trade routes of the Mediterranean, ships can stop at Malta Freeport with a minimum deviation of just six nautical miles between Gibraltar and the Suez Canal. This translates into drastic reductions in the duration of goods delivery, cost savings in the distribution system and better customer satisfaction. In addition, the sea lines that call in Malta are able to serve both the Eastern and Western Mediterranean markets with a single main stop. Freeport customers also benefit from the company’s high technology in the use of IT systems and the ability to maintain high quality standards. The current logistics of the Port could become an important opportunity for Italian companies. Those who have deepened the opportunities of the Freeport of Malta is Sergio Passariello, CEO and founder of the Euromed Consortium and the Malta Business European brand and president of the Mediterranean Academy of Culture, Tourism and Trade of Malta, which confirmed the presence of Italian companies that they are participating in the work to enlarge the Port. The Malta Freeport Terminal has two container terminals, namely Terminal One and Terminal Two. Terminal One has a main length of one thousand meters with a water depth of 17 meters, a total area of ​​539,643 square meters, 10,499 container land slots and 689 landmarks. Malta Freeport Terminals has also developed Terminal One West Quay which has a length of 290 meters and a water depth of 9.5 meters. The North Quay of Terminal One is equipped with 10 Quayside cranes, 3 able to reach 25 containers, 4 able to reach 24 containers and 3 able to reach 18 containers. Terminal Two has a total operating length of the quay, for major operations, of 1,173 meters, 4,791 earth plots, 400 ensign points and a total area of ​​231,357 square meters. It is served by eleven Panamax Super Quayside cranes. One of these cranes is capable of reaching 25 containers and handling 2 x 20 double-elevated containers, four able to reach 23 containers and manage 4 x 20 containers or 2 40 tandem containers. Regarding the port connections with other vital centers of the island, at 6.4 km we have the nearest airport: Malta International Airport. Airport Services are available for more than 40 destinations to Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the USA. A port that deserves due attention. Not only logistical and technological benefits but also tax, are the basis of the success of Malta Freeport. The Malta Freeports Act and the Business Freeport Act are the laws that govern all activities within the Freeport where Malta Freeport Corporation Ltd is the sole authority and acts as a one-stop agency.

 

Energy in Malta

Malta depends totally on the importation of petroleum products for the production of electricity. The production of energy from renewable sources and energy saving play a key role both in economic terms and for the fulfillment of the commitments made by Malta at Community level on renewable energy by 2020. In April 2015, the interconnection was inaugurated. electric Malta-Sicily to connect the Maltese archipelago to the European electricity grid. Malta has also obtained the approval by the “Connecting Europe Facility - CEF” committee of the European Union of a funding of 3.7 million euro for the feasibility studies of the implementation, the marine surveys and the preparation of the tenders related to the Italy-Malta gas pipeline.

 

Consulting services

Among the projects that generated the creation of a great link between Malta and Italy is the “Malta Business” project, which has created an information and consulting program for its customers, aimed at providing specific services. The entire structure aims to provide customers with the skills to follow an entrepreneurial project, expressing the best experiences and skills. Among the services, much attention is dedicated to the financial opportunities of the island. Thanks to the numerous economic analysts of “Malta Business” we can affirm the potential of the island in the financial field. The financial services sector has achieved rapid growth since 2004, after joining the European Union, and the island has structured a sophisticated and flexible financial system. This vision has enabled many companies to choose Malta as their headquarters, including hedge funds, insurance captives, fund managers, investment service providers, lenders, insurance brokers and forex traders of various types. Malta as an EU member ensures high regulatory standards granting reputation added to Malta as a European financial services hub. At the same time, Malta boasts set-up procedures, operating costs and low tax rates, while still complying with European standards. Malta is an important European financial center that combines high standards of regulation and the strict application of standards with a commercial vocation. The next projects include the distribution of electronic money products and services under the “Malta Business Cards” brand, in collaboration with one of the electronic money institutions authorized by MFSA. 

 

The particular relationship between Malta and the European Union

There is no doubt that, within the European Community, only two States can boast a deep-rooted historical-political relationship with the United Kingdom and these are Cyprus and Malta, which underwent English domination for several years, and then obtain the independence respectively in 1960 and 1964. Malta, in particular, although today independent, has always maintained excellent relations with the United Kingdom, both for legislative and legal affinities (Common Law) and for the language, as well as for the commercial approach and financial institution of the country. Malta and the United Kingdom continue to exchange and also have excellent relations in the fields of health, social security, financial cooperation and mutual support for human rights. This relationship is amplified and produces positive effects in the commercial sphere if we consider that both states are part of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent states and sovereigns, which collaborate in the common interest of their peoples to promote tolerance and peace in the world and which have maintained an economic and cultural relationship with the United Kingdom. The expression “The Commonwealth of Nations” was officially used at the 1926 conference, referring to the “self-governing group of communities, composed of Britain and the Dominions”. The Statute of Westminster established full equality between the United Kingdom and the dominions with the foundation of the Commonwealth. The current Commonwealth is different from the small group of former British colonies that originally constituted it. Today, it is based on the promotion and advancement of democracy, human rights and sustainable economic and social development within the member states and elsewhere. It is endowed with a common official language (English) and similar social and legislative schemes. There is significant untapped commercial potential in the Commonwealth developing markets, particularly those in Africa and Asia. The Commonwealth countries are young and dynamic. The population is expected to increase by 29.4 percent in the 2015-2050 period, while the euro area population is expected to fall 1.4 percent. As underlined and deepened by Sergio Passariello, CEO and founder of the Euromed Consortium and the European brand Malta Business, thanks to the pages of the “Corriere di Malta”, a recent study by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund shows that emerging markets in Africa are enjoying unprecedented growth rates. Enthusiasm is no longer limited to South Africa. A steady stream of both public and private investment across the continent is increasing, in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon and Botswana. How does this increase the relationship with Malta? Malta has also been a member of the European Union since 2004, with a negotiation process that started in 1999. Its legislative reforms in the economic field and the attraction of investments, also in relation with African countries, immediately proved to be winning, making it quickly a financial hub highly appreciated in the international field. Just the dynamism and its propensity to concreteness, lead it to be among the European Community countries with the highest growth rate and with a ratat AAA (Moody). European funds are well spent on technological infrastructures, public works and education so much to imagine the emergence in the coming years of a smart island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Its relations with the North African countries, and in particular with Libya, which are annually invigorated by numerous political and commercial missions are also historic. As stated by Passariello we can consider Malta as an “innovation laboratory, financial center, educational hud, which thanks to its history, its commercial relations, its small and bureaucratic structure could become the natural linking hinge, between the the “Empire” project of the UK post Brexit, the North African communities and the dream of the United States of Europe”. 

 

The strengths of the Maltese tax system and the treaties with Italy

The tax system has been conceived in such a way as to favor investments coming from foreign countries, thanks also to a vast local network of financial services, conceived to guarantee consistent economic development, its efficiency and simplicity are the strong point that every year attracts many new investors and entrepreneurs from all over Europe.

Progressive tax rate for natural persons, up to a maximum of 35%

Tax rate for companies of 35% with refund of 6/7 of taxes paid to foreign investors.

Simple and practical administrative procedures

No withholding tax, property tax or property tax

Value added tax (VAT, corresponding to our VAT) equal to 18%

5/7 tax refund on royalties proceeds

A fair social security system

Taxation of natural persons

Among the strong points with Italy we highlight that between Malta and our peninsula a Convention is applied to avoid double taxation on income and wealth taxes, signed in Valletta on July 16th 1981, ratified with law n. 304 of May 2, 1983, and entered into force from May 8, 1985. The Maltese tax system remains strongly influenced by the British system, especially in relation to the definition of tax residence, an element of fundamental importance in identifying the tax authority of taxation.

In the Maltese tax system, natural persons divide themselves fiscally into two types:

Employees

Self-employed

Both categories are subject to the payment of the respective tax rate and are required to pay the Social Security Contribution, or Social Security. For the employee, the Social Security will be paid regularly by the employer who will pay the contributions (10% of the salary), plus a further 10% to be paid individually. For the self-employed person, the taxes are provisionally paid (according to the rate corresponding to income) during the course of the year, and the total will be divided into 3 installments (one in April, one in August and the last one in December). the final balance is paid by June 30th of the following year, paying 15% for Social Security. The amount of taxes depends on the rate band associated with the total income accrued, and also depends on the residence of the taxable person. According to the principles of “World-wide income taxation”, all income, regardless of origin, will be taxed to all those residing and domiciled in Malta. Non-residents will instead be taxed only the income accrued on the Maltese territory, or those earned abroad, but regulated by the Maltese jurisdiction, while the income produced by investments and royalties is not subject to taxation. All those who reside temporarily in Malta are taxed exclusively for income accrued in the Maltese territory during the period of stay.

 

 

Tourism in Malta

The history of Malta is very long, and the oldest archaeological remains still visible on the spot date back over 4 thousand years ago: it is the case of the remains of the Neolithic settlements of the cave of Għar Dalam and authentic jewels of the past as the megalithic temple of Menaidra. Spreading among the Phoenician, Arab and even British testimonies still present, which make the island a particular destination from the historical - artistic point of view due to the narrow proximity of the ruins of many different eras, we can dwell in particular on some places that are significant also in relation to Italy. The first, but only in chronological order, is that of the Domus Romana in the small town of Mdina, dating back to the first century BC. The remaining mosaics are wonderful, in which the technical skill of using small-sized tiles blends with a pictorial wisdom capable of a remarkable color style. Notable for the beauty of its beaches and the clarity of the sea water, which in the scenic spots like that of the Grotta Azzura near Hagar Qim are even more enchanting, but Malta is a destination to be discovered also from the gastronomic point of view. Among its typical dishes there are traces of a past woven with a thousand influences, from the sweet and sour of the nearby Sicily to the sesame paste for desserts from the Maghreb, the delicate taste of fish soup parallel to that of French bouillabaisse until the resort to the mustard sauce borrowed from the English. On the island the trend “from farm to table” has arrived, that is the predilection for the food produced on the spot, preferably bought without intermediaries. Diar Il Bniet is one of the locals offering it: on the table, you serve your own vegetables and sell them under glass, even in the shop next to the restaurant. Another pleasant discovery is that of local wines, such as: Mark Cassar, about ten kilometers from Valletta, vinified with the Georgian method “qvevri”, in which the fermentation takes place in amphorae, of clay or glass, placed under the ground. The result is not only very pleasant but also enhances the genuineness of the raw material. In January 2018, the director of the Malta Tourist Board, Gozo and Comino in Italy, Claude Zammit-Trevisan, declared that the Valletta Foundation 2018, a Maltese government body responsible for showing the best of local development and celebrating the island city as a European Capital of Culture 2018, has developed a calendar of over 400 events throughout 2018, summer season and winter season.

 

 

Malta, blockchain island

Three separate drawings on the blockchain were approved by the Maltese Parliament at the end of a three-week consultation period, with the aim of turning Malta into a “world leader in economic innovation”. This first step will allow Malta to become a world leader in economic innovation. The technology, which is still in its early stages of development, currently operates in an unregulated market. Systems based on this technology could be used for cross-border payments, for example in the oil and gas sector, in which operators seek and wish to have “immediate and transparent transactions”. The field of application is very wide: from the music industry, linked to the recognition of royalties and copyrights, as well as to smart contracts, which would allow people in one country to buy property in another, without the need for intermediaries. The purpose of these laws will be to provide legal certainty in a context that is not currently regulated, or to provide a protected environment to this technology that will make Malta the natural and optimal destination for companies working in this sector.

In detail, the proposed laws will be the following:

The first law provides for the creation of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, which will be delegated central governor powers to promote government policy in order to promote the development of Malta as a center for new technologies and innovative. The authority will have the task of promoting a proper ecosystem that will transform Malta into a technological center, promoting the implementation of new technologies and encouraging operators to choose Malta as the basis for operating in the sector. Currently, if a company wants to use a DLT platform to make cross-border payments in order to avoid central authorities and make the process cheaper and more efficient, it should use a non-certified platform, with all the consequences of the case. The government agency would certify a particular platform, such as blockchain, and the certified inspection activity within the authority will verify that the information is actually recorded on the platform. Companies will be able to operate in peace of mind by ensuring that the DLT platform, in which they are involved, is authentic, having the legal certainty of the transaction and at the same time making its operations more efficient, as well as avoiding intermediaries such as banks.

The second bill, called TAS, will determine the rules for the registration of technological service providers as well as establishing the “technology arrangements” certification. This legal framework will allow the registration of auditors and administrators of DLT platforms and their certification. Finally, the draft law called VC will establish a clear legal framework for offers of electronic currencies or initial cryptocurrencies (ICO) as well as the regulatory regime on the provision of services relating to virtual currencies. The intermediaries that will be subject to regulation in the VC bill will include brokers, stockbrokers, portfolio managers, asset managers, investment advisors and market makers operating in the sector.

Under the new legislation, three different DLT platforms will be regulated:

Private platforms designed for private consumption, such as financial institutions interested in creating DLT platforms to pay their employees;

Private platforms, which will be extended to third parties, including companies wishing to create platforms for their customers;

Totally public platforms with a “shared consent mechanism”, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin.

As reiterated by Sergio Passariello of “Malta Business”: “We are convinced that the new legislative opportunities put in place by the small Mediterranean island will also benefit our Italian companies and that’s why we decided to create a real partnership with local professionals, with the birth of a working group on the Blockchain between Italy and Malta, in which to involve public and private institutions, as well as professionals and entrepreneurs of the sector". 

 

 

 

Deseases in the World: Pertussis

Deseases in the World: Pertussis - ATLANTIS

Pertussis, or convulsive cough, is an infectious disease that is transmitted by air through the droplets of saliva or mucus expelled with cough. It is caused by a bacterium (Bordetella pertussis) that adheres to the respiratory tract and causes a series of symptoms, the most characteristic of which is cough.

Coughing is generally violent, it occurs at accesses that often leave you breathless, frequently associating with vomiting. The symptoms may last for a few months and recur periodically. The incubation period is from 5 to 21 days, lasts a few weeks and takes on different aspects during its evolution: at first it looks like a bad cold and manifests itself with sneezing, nosebleed, mild fever, cough with phlegm. Afterwards the cough is accentuated by intensity and frequency becoming more and more dry and irritating and manifests itself, especially at night, with “bursts” of coughing (followed by the characteristic “scream”, to capture as much air as possible), from the emission of thick phlegm and vomit. The illness ends with the convalescence phase, which lasts for about 2 weeks, during which the cough attacks are attenuated. The disease is very contagious and the person who is not vaccinated, or who has not had the natural disease, who is exposed to a case of illness has a probability of about 90 percent of being infected.

 

Complications

The disease is often associated with complications such as otitis, bronchitis and pneumonia; in the young child are more frequent (though rare) brain complications that can cause permanent damage and in the most serious cases even death. Coughing can also cause nosebleeds, while vomiting can cause dehydration and feeding difficulties. Although the disease is rarely the cause of death, at least in Italy, it represents a discrete risk for the infant, because it is frequently complicated by suffocation and breathing difficulties that also force the hospitalization.

 

Care

Being a bacterial disease, pertussis can be treated with antibiotics. The class of macrolides (a type of antibiotics) is the most suitable for pediatric use, since the other classes of potentially effective drugs turn out to be less active or accompanied by more negative side effects. It should however be noted that therapy, although it is useful to avoid the transmission of infection from a sick child to a healthy one, has relatively little effectiveness in changing the course of the disease, so antibiotic therapy only slightly reduces the risk of complications greater, especially those encephalitics. This explains why for many years the experts have tried to intervene on pertussis with preventive methods, with a vaccine that is able to prevent the development of the disease, eliminating all forms of risk.

 

Prevention

A large number of pertussis cases and about 350,000 deaths occur worldwide each year, and the disease is far from being effectively controlled. In Italy, where vaccination has been poorly practiced in past years, the disease occurs with epidemic cycles every 3-4 years. In the epidemic years tens of thousands of cases of illness are recorded. Only recently the number of vaccinated children has increased considerably, but it is still too early to appreciate the effect of vaccination on the number of patients.

Pertussis vaccines have been at the center of the most important scientific activity in recent decades regarding vaccines. For a long time, so-called «whole cell» pertussis vaccines, that is prepared with whole germs, were used in Italy. These vaccines, however effective, were frequently associated with events such as fever or local reactions after administration. Some scientific studies, later proved to be unfounded, had suggested that this type of vaccine could be associated in rare cases with serious diseases of the nervous system. This doubt was enough to demolish the trust of the population and doctors in this vaccine. Some countries, such as Britain, Sweden and Japan, which until then had effectively controlled the disease, have drastically reduced the number of people vaccinated. As a consequence, large epidemics with numerous deaths have occurred in these countries, before returning to an appropriate strategy for the administration of these vaccines.

Scientific research, meanwhile, has developed new pertussis vaccines that, instead of understanding the whole germ, are made up only of some fragments of it, sufficient to protect from the disease. These vaccines, called acellular, have been tested in the last 10 years with excellent results and have replaced whole-cell vaccines in many countries. The main advantage of these preparations is the drastic reduction of side effects such as fever and local reactions, frequent with whole-cell vaccines, compared to an efficacy similar to that observed with the latter. The acellular pertussis vaccine can be carried out individually or in the combined form (for example with diphtheria and tetanus).

Vaccination against pertussis is recommended; even if the number of children vaccinated against pertussis was poor until a few years ago, it has recently grown to discreet levels: about 90 percent of children are in fact vaccinated against this disease within 2 years of life (estimate on births in 1996). 

 

Economy

Economy - ATLANTIS

Crisis of the Turkish Lira: new geopolitical equations in the Middle East?

 

Alberto Gasparetto

 

The crisis that has hit the Turkish lira in recent weeks, peaking against the dollar, has an exquisitely geopolitical nature. In recent days, the currency of Ankara has plummeted in the exchange rate compared to the greenback up to record a ratio of one to seven. The devaluation of the national currency is accompanied by elements of structural economic crisis that Turkey has been victim of at least since last year. This crisis takes place despite an economic growth rate of 7.4% in 2017 confirming, apart from some rare exceptions, similar performances for over three decades, that is when the AK Parts of Recep Tayyip Erdogan won for the first time the general elections, November 3, 2002. However, to create the economic and financial conditions for the crisis, there is an inflation rate of 16%, making the GDP growth performance vain.

On the one hand, the economic model followed by Turkey has enriched the Anatolian business middle class, allowing AK Parti to have a referential electoral pool that has allowed it to win the mass political elections, pushing the Turkish case in the direction of a predominant party system; on the other hand, this model was based on the inflow of huge investments from abroad, which were used to finance large projects and development projects especially in the construction sector [1], creating an addiction that soon became a sword of Damocles on the head of the Country.

Technically, therefore, the huge foreign indebtedness of banks and Turkish companies creates a problem of exposure to speculations on the financial markets and a consequent need to have a strong national currency. For years, Turkish companies have borrowed dollars to benefit from lower interest rates, but the sudden liquidation has increased the cost of refinancing the contracted debt [2]. Investors are also alarmed by the current account deficit, at 6% of GDP; a situation that would require a huge inflow of foreign capital [3]. Excluding his proverbial rhetoric, Erdogan - who breathes on the reborn Turkish nationalism with a religious background, symbolically opposing the power of the dollar that of Allah and the pride of the Turkish people - is really convinced that the most effective response to the lira crisis consists in decision to keep interest rates low, a policy opposed by the same Turkish central bank as well as by international institutions such as the IMF. This choice should serve, in its intentions, not only to stabilize the national currency, but also to help Turkish families and businesses to access credit more favorably [4]. For this reason, the decisions in domestic politics by the President have foreshadowed the implementation of a closer executive control over the economy, confirmed by the appointment as Minister of Economy and Finance of Berat Albayrak, his son-in-law. A choice which, in fact, corresponds to the compression of the power of an independent body such as the Turkish central bank and which represents one of the corollaries of the growing personalism that is increasingly characterizing the figure of Erdogan. In short, exactly the circumstances that the international markets were waiting for to speculate on the collapse of the national currency have been profiled [5].

The last straw is coming from overseas. A tweet from US President Donald Trump, in which he announced the rise in tariffs on aluminum and steel [6] - products that Turkey imports - has precipitated the Turkish lira in just a few hours. The sanctions follow the previous decision to freeze the assets of the two Turkish justice and interior ministers, to which Erdogan responded by establishing a specular measure to the detriment of American counterparts. The casus belli is represented by the detention of the evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, judged illegitimate by Washington. The Turkish government believes that Brunson is linked to the network of Fetullah Gulen, the powerful preacher once allied with Erdogan, who emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1999 and was considered the architect of the failed coup in the night between 15 and 16 July 2016. to the crux of the matter: if the affair Brunson is exploited by Erdogan as (unlikely) currency to get back Gulen, Trump and the “hawks” of his administration, in turn, exploit it to put pressure on Turkey, in connection to the new course of foreign policy undertaken in recent years.

In short, there are reasons of an exquisitely geopolitical nature at the origins of the current Turkish economic and financial crisis. The increased freedom of maneuver that Turkey has acquired since the AK Party won the elections for the first time, on November 3, 2002, is increasingly close to the United States. To be honest, such an increase in freedom of maneuver is also the effect of the restructuring of relations at the international level following the end of the Cold War, before, and the progressive disengagement of the United States from the destinies of the Middle Eastern region, then. After the substantial failure of the so-called “Davutoglu doctrine”, announced by the crisis in relations with Israel in 2010 and confirmed the following year by the distortion of the regional power balance following the outbreak of the Arab revolts, Turkey has managed to start from 2016 to recovering an essential function for the Middle Eastern balance, thanks to the diplomatic skills and the geopolitical somersaults of his strong man. The United States particularly suffer from the agreement on Syria between Turkey and the new axis constituted by Russia and Iran, respectively its global geopolitical arcirivale and the regional power that is perceived as the main threat to its two major allies in the Middle East, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Here, the look to the East, already predicted by the former Foreign Minister (and Prime Minister) Davutoglu, founded on the assumption of a more central role for Turkey in the geopolitical scenarios of the future, taking advantage of the privileged geographical position straddling geographical regions contiguous, today it is brought to the extreme consequences by Erdogan. The Turkish President is no longer willing to tolerate that his country still remains passively affected by international dynamics, but intends to rise to a global player. However, Washington does not digest that Ankara is now looking towards other theaters, as confirmed by its Erdogan on several occasions [7]. Turkey plans to purchase the S-400 missile defense system, a different technology from the one supplied by Nato that annoys its (former?) Main strategic partner, which is in difficulty in connection with the sale of the F -35, which the US Senate has nevertheless frozen until things change [8]. But a change of trend appears, at the moment, something to come.

Turkey has not yet operated that clear and sharp change in strategic alliances that many impute [9] but it is certainly looking for new partners to face the main military and economic and energy challenges. Abandoning an organization such as NATO, with all the resulting consequences in terms of loss of dividends and interest acquired over the course of two thirds of a century, is, to paraphrase an iconic formula coined by Raymond Aron during the Cold War, a possible but very unlikely option. If the regime in Ankara is under pressure, its moves are in turn a signal with which it tries to communicate to Washington that it is time to change the register regarding the conduct of the war in Syria and stop foraging the Kurdish-Syrian forces of the YPG. , the main military target of the Turks starting from the Euphrates Shield operation. On the other hand, the evolution from the “strategic depth” of Davutoglu to a shrewd and tactical “erdoganismo” in foreign politics has as a clearer symptom the acquired awareness on the Turkish side of no longer wanting to uncritically acerb in the preservation of historical alliances, but opening up to the possibility of finding new partners and “friends” (as Erdogan has rhetorically sketched them) that can better meet and satisfy Ankara’s strategic military, economic and energy interests.

When Erdogan clearly states that the strategic partnership with the United States is at risk, that the euro and the dollars are comparable to bullets, cannon balls and missiles of the “economic war” that the Americans would be conducting against his country [10] , there is little more than a heated rhetoric; which, emotionally, frightens the allies but, realistically, does not deny the great economic interdependence that, for example, links Ankara to European countries and to which the EU itself is cautiously aware that it does not want to give up [11]. Much more prosaically, we need to move away from the objective and look at the whole of global relations through a more systemic framework that takes into account the now fluid character of international relations of power. It is in this context that not only the recent Franco-Turkish aims of increasing trade links [12], but also the management by the European side of one of the most thorny issues that mark a deep divergence between Turkey and the EU on one hand and the United States on the other: sanctions on Iran. The Turkish President intends to turn this situation to his advantage and has already prepared all the tools to successfully satisfy national interests: deepen, as seen, trade links with Europe; looking for reliable new business partners such as Russia, China, with whom to establish the exchange in national currency and not in dollars [13]; to tighten even closer ties with a country that is increasingly strategic in the delicate equation of Middle Eastern equilibriums such as Qatar, with whom emir, Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani, Erdogan has signed an agreement based on direct investment aid amounting to 15 billion dollars [14].

At this stage of international politics, the United States appears to be increasingly isolated, certainly not Turkey. The strategic axis built by Washington in the Middle East, underpinned by the allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, suffers heavily the tightened multi-dimensional bond between Russia and Iran, which tactically engages an increasingly free Turkey to pursue, if necessary, its strategic interests of long period. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report Difesa: Afghanistan

Report Difesa: Afghanistan - ATLANTIS

A hidden strategy for Afghanistan: instability

Vincenzo Santo

Kabul. Next October, day several days less, the Western adventure in Afghanistan will have completed 17 years. An ominous number, a superstitious man would say. But it is not a matter of being so, it is enough to recognize objectively, without being dragged by either the pessimism or the optimism of the language notes of the various ministries, the failure of the whole. The costs are high, especially for the United States.

We must recognize it. The others are just more or less prominent extras. A non-secondary cause, of which I have already written in the past on ReportDifesa, is the lack of an international strategy for economic development.

But today let’s explore other aspects.

A new fact exists. The recent Trump Administration’s initiative to seek direct talks with the Taliban - apparently seriously for the first time since 2001 - could indicate their willingness to close the matter.

But why?

We’re going to make fun of us. Simply because the war in Afghanistan we Westerners, with friends with stars and stripes, we have long lost it and, with this defeat in the field, even the presumption to export freedom and democracy. And the former US President, Barack Obama gave the coup de grace, when he wanted to set a deadline for withdrawal, demonstrating to the Taliban that we were in awe of time. Serious strategic error.

And this is a first hypothesis. Moreover, when the means are not commensurate with the aspirations or, worse, they confuse each other, the mess is made. If the end-state is the one that would like to see Afghanistan no longer land for terrorists as a condition to consider the success of the operation, it would have had at least 700,000 operational, referring to the “numerical suggestions” of a great American General, Eric Shinseki, only to begin stabilization following the immediate defeat of the Taliban. In fact, they returned, and more or less since 2007 have subjected the coalition forces to a tremendous war of friction, from a material and psychological point of view.

Despite Obama’s surges and the hopes placed in the Afghan security forces. These, in fact, put on just to be able to charge them the defeat. As I think it is happening.

“With great powers comes great responsibility but also the danger of doing dumb things ...”. What was the subsequent deplorable intervention in Iraq.

The Grand Strategy consists in aligning the potentially unlimited aspirations with the necessarily limited capabilities. Any asymmetry in this formula leads to stifled, even obscure strategies. In Afghanistan, the United States, angry for the serious blow suffered, have only intended to intimidate the opponent, without considering that a retreat can represent the first step towards a longer resistance. And the Taliban, evidently, did not appear fearful. Moreover, with a powerful ally on their side, time. And our end-state philosophers do not care.

The political objective represents the ultimate goal and war is the means to achieve it, but the means can never be separated from the purpose for which they are employed. Thanks to this confusion, we have ensured that the Taliban can manage not only time (time) but also the extent of conflict (scales) and space (space). Their interdependence reflects choices and needs. All in their hands.

However, if not to win a war satisfies the strategic need to feed a kind of endemic instability, in order to impose the maintenance of one’s own presence, then we are faced with another hypothesis.

Maybe before a hidden but winning strategy instead. Most suggestive hypothesis.

In reality, what interests would the Americans have to close that conflict which, as already said, is about to approach the full 17 years? Why and for what should they do us the pleasure of ending that game? To do a favor to China and its pharaonic enterprise of the new silk ways?

The truth is probably in the middle. In short, since you can not win it, at least if you exploit its failure, waiting for better times. Here, a new thing that would stiffen the most military maneuver, “the exploitation of failure”. Stuff to rewrite the strategy books.

In its 2017 report, the HIIK (Heidelberger Institut für Internationale Konfliktforschung) lists 402 conflicts (figure 1) taking place in various parts of the globe, of varying intensity. If you want, but it would be necessary, make a comparison with the hypothetical tracks of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It will be realized that, almost by chance, where China intends to invest there is almost always an obstacle to be overcome, ie an instability of various tenor. Look at Central Asia, Africa, former Soviet Europe, Russia. A case? No, a work of high strategic engineering.

But be careful! The maps that circulate on the new “Silk Road” illustrate the past, not the future, which is what Beijing really has in mind. Maps like the one in figure 2 are misleading. Why, for example, to go to Europe, will you ever have to go from Moscow to Moscow? Illogical.

In parallel with the BRI, another important project for the Chinese, the “Made in China 2025”, is now traveling. In a nutshell, the plan aims to raise the quality of Chinese industry, make it more efficient and integrated into world production, raising the level of national components to 40% for 2020 and 70% for 2025. A global challenge that poses the necessary acquisition of foreign know-how. As? Investing abroad.

Add to this the greater flexibility and investment capacity of the Dragon, thanks to the almost 3 trillion dollars of reserves in the hands of its SAFE (State Administration of Foreign Exchange), compared to Washington, you can understand the frantic and aggressive American commercial approach aimed at supporting this strategy. Chinese sharp power is scary.

The truth is probably in the middle. In short, since you can not win it, at least if you exploit its failure, waiting for better times. Here, a new thing that would stiffen the most military maneuver, “the exploitation of failure”. Stuff to rewrite the strategy books.

In its 2017 report, the HIIK (Heidelberger Institut für Internationale Konfliktforschung) lists 402 conflicts in various parts of the globe of varying intensity. If you want, but it would be necessary, make a comparison with the hypothetical tracks of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It will be realized that, almost by chance, where China intends to invest there is almost always an obstacle to be overcome, ie an instability of various tenor. Look at Central Asia, Africa, former Soviet Europe, Russia. A case? No, a work of high strategic engineering.

But be careful! The maps that circulate on the new “Silk Road” illustrate the past, not the future, which is what Beijing really has in mind. Maps like the one in figure 2 are misleading. Why, for example, to go to Europe, will you ever have to go from Moscow to Moscow? Illogical.

In parallel with the BRI, another important project for the Chinese, the “Made in China 2025”, is now traveling. In a nutshell, the plan aims to raise the quality of Chinese industry, make it more efficient and integrated into world production, raising the level of national components to 40% for 2020 and 70% for 2025. A global challenge that poses the necessary acquisition of foreign know-how. As? Investing abroad.

Add to this the greater flexibility and investment capacity of the Dragon, thanks to the almost 3 trillion dollars of reserves in the hands of its SAFE (State Administration of Foreign Exchange), compared to Washington, you can understand the frantic and aggressive American commercial approach aimed at supporting this strategy. Chinese sharp power is scary.

Consequently, where China goes in the world, American power is projected there. Afghanistan is part of this game, a small part, of course, but important.

Staying in Afghanistan means blowing on the neck of China and countering the Russian influence on Central Asia. The instability of Kabul, in fact, translates not only into a problem for Chinese projects to the outside but also, as we will mention, in a threat looming over its north-western part, the Xinjang, a region rich in oil.

Afghanistan has the misfortune / fortune of representing the heart of the Asian continent. Who controls it has the geostrategic privilege to control the major nuclear powers of the area internally: Pakistan, India, Russia, China and, who knows, maybe even Iran that, in case of conflict with the United States (and with Israel , most likely at the same time) would also find Americans in Iraq, as well as in Syria. At least for now.

But excluding Pakistan and India, potential major opponents, and it’s no surprise, are the other three. The possession of the main airport bases of the country guarantees Washington the possibility to risk air forces, and not only that, with the operational speed that must be recognized to the Americans.

Of course, in Kabul, Baghram or Kandahar one must get there, and this can only be done by flying over air spaces, and air spaces not necessarily friends.

Afghanistan has no landlocked. Here is the underlying reason for the American diplomatic offensives against the countries of Central Asia and India, so that they sit with greater conviction in the QUAD. Of course, it should be stressed, the tensions with Pakistan and Turkey actually seem to be playing in favor of Russia and China. Hence a bit of nervousness with stars and stripes.

An apparent flaw in American strategy, it is said, is its inability to achieve a single front with which to deal with the Afghan crisis. But is not so.

Afghanistan is called the heart of Asia and regional players have always played their own interests with the help of powers that are outside the need. More recently, the Soviet Union collapsed only after the materialization of close collaboration between the US, Pakistan and Iran. These, working by external lines. As a deductive first approximation, then, it is possible that the Americans may fear today that they are like the Soviets of yesterday and that mainly China and Russia, with the support of Pakistan, succeed in the probable objective of putting them out of the game. Always for external lines.

Therefore, just to mix the cards, the need to approach a common enemy may have emerged now. The Taliban, in fact. For internal lines. On the other hand, it is one thing to say what one wants to do, but something else is to do what one does not say but which is considered instrumental to one’s own goals. In short, what appears is not. Not surprisingly, as mentioned, for various other reasons, today relations with Russia, China and Pakistan are not idyllic on many other dossiers, from Syria, to Ukraine, to Iranian nuclear power, trade balances, the Baltic fears and the countries of Eastern Europe, to the support given to the Taliban.

And India appears reluctant to make itself available to Washington.

One point that has become hot lately is the Afghan border with Tajikistan. Indeed, the province of Takhar has seen a recent rise in violence. We are in Afghanistan and this should not surprise us.

The Americans worry about the simple fact that the Russians themselves worry that the inflamed one, including the recent attack by ISIS against a couple of European cyclists, may overflow and take root in the neighboring Central Asian countries and, therefore, from them. With the connected drug trade.

Why does the USA turn up its nose? For the simple fact that they know that the Russians would like to not only increase the military presence in the area, especially in Tajikistan, where already settle about 7 thousand soldiers in two bases but also re-present their presence on the border of Dushanbe with Kabul.

Of concern in concern we return to the Chinese, only to remember their neuroses because of Uyghur militants. In fact, Beijing has already begun the construction of a training camp for the Afghan forces within the Wakhan corridor in the north of the country. And you know, talking about a training camp is to use a generic definition and is likely to become something else. It does not make the White House sleep soundly. And it is not the new Chinese commitment to support Pakistan and Tajikistan itself in counter-terrorism activities.

And the undeclared work of coordination between Russia and Iran? With Russia materially supporting military training (even with weapons apparently) that Iran supplies to the Taliban and Iran itself interested in the development of its Indian port of Chabahar that would favor trade between India and Afghanistan itself, bypassing Pakistan.

On the other side, Pakistan has also become a difficult customer to recover, at least for the moment, given the Chinese interest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). A project on which it is investing well over 60 billion dollars, with the prospect of using the Pakistani port of Gwadar, in competition with the already mentioned Indian of Chabahar, to face more easily on the Arabian peninsula and on Africa.

It is good to clarify that Beijing will not take prisoners for the success of the BIS project.

In short, a quagmire that could undermine the current American geostrategic advantage. But Trump, in my opinion, will now be thinking: why leave to China (and Russia, probably) the important treasures that the earth holds? Afghanistan is a mine.

Those mineral wealth could be a functional resource to cover all the billions of dollars spent (perhaps more than a thousand) under the heading “Afghanistan”, with more than 2,300 deaths among American soldiers.

Which they confirmed a few years ago. After conducting extensive field research to analyze the mineral deposits of the country on the basis of documents left by the Russians and neglected for a long time. Large quantities of iron, copper, cobalt, gold, lithium, rare earths and more.

I repeat, lithium and cobalt. Those who know how the “electric” industry is moving will have understood its strategic importance. What can also raise the economy of Afghanistan, making it one of the most important mining centers on a global scale is another matter. Obviously it will take years to open the first mines, but investor interest could soon lead to new job opportunities for Afghans and a revitalization / transformation of the economic system. Something very different from the economy of pomegranate or lapis lazuli.

In October 2017, US President Donald Trump and Afghanistan’s Ashraf Ghani met in New York, where they discussed possible interventions by US companies to develop plans for rapid extraction of Afghan mineral resources .

The White House affirmed that the two Presidents “agree that these initiatives will help US companies to produce materials that are essential for national security, increase the economy of Kabul, create new jobs in both countries, and in the end they will contribute to self-financing the costs sustained by the USA for the assistance provided during the years of conflict and post-conflict “.

Therefore, do we really think that Washington wants to let go of the bone so easily, entering into negotiations with a counterpart who among other things calls for the release of all foreign troops from Afghanistan as a precondition?

No, in fact. It is important to stay there. At all costs. Maybe even with a little bit of contractors. And if Trump yields to the pitfalls of businessmen like Mr. Prince, founder of Blackwater (now Academy) and, apparently, Brother of Education Secretary Betsy Devos, one can not reasonably think that the United States really wants as soon as possible leave Afghanistan. The more you stay, for a company of mercenaries, the more you earn. Simple.

It seems that everyone has rediscovered a great willingness to talk with the Taliban. And the media exalt this narrative, making the public believe that everything can end in the same way that a reconciliation has already occurred in 2016 between the Government and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, head of the Hezb-i-Islami party. Maybe relying on the romantic idea of ​​the moderate Taliban. Nothing could be further from reality.

For Trump, talking to “the” Taliban is a false purpose. And, in this, Americans have an advantage.

In fact, which Taliban are we talking about? The Taliban present themselves with at least 4 main ramifications, whose approaches vary from pragmatic cooperation to more open hostility.

From that of Quetta (which belongs to the Haqqani network) to that of the North in Badakhshan (essentially not Pashtun, near the border with China, Tajikistan and Pakistan) to Mashhad Shura (named after the Iranian city in the north of the country) and Rasool Shura (active in the West), reality is a fragmentation that alone should make us understand how any attempt at negotiation can be complicated.

Therefore, when you hear that the United States, but also China or Russia, are negotiating or are about to hold a negotiating table with the Taliban, the first question that should be asked is: yes, but with which?

But there is probably another element to take into account. A study published last June by the Overseas Development Institute highlights how the Taliban, in areas where they effectively control the territory, would have put aside the coercive techniques towards the population, instead applying a more aggressive social policy and profitable, through the provision of services in health, justice and even education. A real alternative to the central government, increasingly felt as corrupt and ineffective.

Is this enough or will these Taliban want to have more? I think they will want to take more, before sitting down seriously at a table. In this pit of interests and perceptions, achieving peace is not easy. Really wanting it.

This can only be achieved when one of the great powers will have the upper hand and the others will be content with more limited objectives. The key is the Taliban, this is true. Once identified among them those that count more. And on this level you can not doubt that everything is still in the hands of Quetta. The only one, in my opinion, that can seriously deal with other networks of insurgents present in the area. But with great fears, be it clear, among non-Pashtun communities.

So, the US is apparently benefiting from this “internal” division but they know it’s a very weak advantage, for the simple fact that, probably through Pakistan, China can boast equally.

Consequently, the strategy of instability is that which at the moment can guarantee a minimum of superiority. Waiting for the adversaries not only to begin to suffer the US trade policies but, because of these, they can loosen the grip on Pakistan, always looking for funding, and stop to attract India, as regards Russia , or to get closer to this, in reference to China.

I believe that we will have to prepare ourselves for other changes of operational lines on the American side, sometimes these ones should increase or not their presence on the ground, depending on what happens to you. How to control a nuclear reaction. Moreover, the conceptual contents of Resolute Support allow them to count on easy wagging by NATO allies and not.

Indeed, the White House is aware that the conflict, given the current situation on the ground and the uncertainties of the Afghan security apparatus, could evolve in such a way as to see the government forces holing up in the provinces and in the most populated and populated centers, losing made control of the remaining part of the territory. In doing so, nothing would prevent the Taliban from demanding political advantages that, at that point, it will be difficult not to recognize them, especially by a large part of the population now exhausted after decades of war. But all this can not happen without American control, whatever the cost.

The American belief that supports this strategy is to bring the Taliban to accept the fact that victory also has limits. Therefore, the restoration of a new Islamic emirate, but with the patronage of stars and stripes, will go well. And with a Pakistan returned to the fold.

All in all, it is a remarkable strength to pretend not to have a strategy and to move forward by approximations on which little has been reflected. And to convince others of untrue things is an instrument of power. 

 

 

 

Report Difesa: Iran

Report Difesa: Iran - ATLANTIS

Iran, Checkpoint Hormuz

 Francesco Ippoliti

Tehran. The Strait of Hormuz is often used as a weapon of confrontation by some nations for political, economic and hegemonic purposes for the control of the area.

In particular, some nations have different considerations and purposes on Hormuz.

Iran has often called for the right to close navigation, even by force, with consequent international repercussions in the energy field. The US needs free transit both for the Gulf countries and for its fleet permanently present at the naval base in Bahrain.

The Gulf countries that have not yet managed to create adequate pipelines to bypass the Strait and, therefore, diversify the flow routes of energy products to their customers.

Furthermore, according to statements by Iranian politicians and military officials, many media "speculate" on the real possibilities of blocking the Strait, inflaming energy considerations.

Located between Oman and Iran, the Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf with that of Oman and therefore the Indian Ocean.

It takes its name from the homonymous island of Iran and is only 21 miles wide at the narrowest point.

The Persian Gulf is one of the global energy resources of both gas and oil and its derivatives, thus it is clear that maritime traffic across the Strait of Hormuz is quite sustained.

In order to regulate the traffic of ships in the Strait and to avoid catastrophic accidents with ecological implications, the provisions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) are strictly applied, using the rigid rules and rules to be followed through the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS).

The TSS consists of two 2-mile wide navigable canals with a buffer zone of another 2 miles interposed, ie a buffer area that serves to avoid collisions. Once inserted in the TSS channel the ship must cover it all to the end and can not get out of the path.

Entering the Persian Gulf there are two TSS, one near the Strait of Hormuz and one inside the Gulf.

The TSS in the Strait of Hormuz is in Omani territorial waters and with an important coordination center located in the Musandaran peninsula, under Omani government control.

Furthermore, there is a second TSS in the Iranian waters that crosses the islands of the Small and Big Tonb and the island of Farur. This second TSS was created because the Persian Gulf has variable depths and this navigation corridor allows the traffic of large ships and therefore greater capacity for energy products. This TSS is under Iranian control of the Bandar Abbas command.

Once these two TSSs have been removed, the navigations in the remaining territorial waters are regulated by the international provisions contained in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), ratified not by all countries.

The importance of the Strait is therefore given by the passage of vital energy products for the global economic equilibrium.

According to the US data of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) it has been estimated that through its waters sail carriers carrying LNG, liquid gas for a value of about 300 million cubic meters per day and tankers carrying oil and its derivatives for a total of 22 million barrels per day, more than 35% of the world's energy needs.

According to data provided by Lloyd's List Intelligence, 80% of these are destined for Asian markets and only 15% have the North American coasts as their final destination.

The ships that run through the waters of the Persian Gulf are divided into different types depending on the tonnage and draft classes.

The classification was drawn up by the Royal Duch Shell and the London Tanker Broker's Panel establishing the system called Average Freight Rate Assessment (AFRA). So the various types of ships have a common name to be immediately identified on the basis of their capacity in particular the length, load and draft (see table).

If on the one hand the smaller ships, the GPs, can sail in the territorial waters of the Persian Gulf without particular problems, the bigger ships, the VLCC and the ULCC, must follow the routes imposed by the draft of the ship and obligatorily cross the channels of transit of the TSS.

In this situation the threats of closing the Strait of Hormuz are inserted.

Iran, often accused of political interference and supporting terrorism, has been subjected to sanctions with inevitable repercussions on the Strait of Hormuz. Various political and military figures have often stated that sanctions are an act of war against the Persian people and Iran, by retaliation, is ready to close the passage through the Strait and implement a naval blockade.

In reality, the Government of Tehran can implement the naval blockade for security issues only on its territorial waters, temporarily excluding international navigation. In this way the Iranian military authorities could forbid the passage to the TSS under their control, located in the Persian Gulf and, therefore, to divert energy ships at routes that go further south, in the territorial waters of the Emirates.

In case of interdiction of the Iranian territorial waters, from an examination of the depths of the seabed, it is clear that not all ships, especially the ULCC, would have the necessary draft to sail the new routes and therefore it would be necessary to resort to energy transport with ships of less capacity, with considerable impact on world economies

As for the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran does not have the legal capacity to block the transit, being the TSS in Omani waters and under the control of the Government of Muscat.

Blocking the TSS of the Strait would be an act of force against a sovereign country with international consequences that could lead to actions even war against the Iranian force.

Even as a military threat Iran is credible because it has a considerable missile force. He recently exhibited new missile systems and frowned upon them as a security umbrella in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, missiles that would have anti-ship capabilities.

In particular, he presented a variant of the Fateh 110 missile, accredited as a terminal guide able to hit ships sailing into the Gulf. Moreover, in the recent exercises along the Strait, it used anti-ship missile systems of the Noor type with satisfactory results.

The presence of these missile systems is confirmed and numerous, so as to consider a possible saturation intervention against any type of military naval unit.

So Tehran would have the ability to gain control of the naval space of the Gulf and the Strait by threatening any type of carrier that transits you. Moreover, its capacity is increased by the presence of fast and heavily armed units supplied to the Revolutionary Guards, a constant presence also in the disputed islands of Sirri and Piccolo and Grande Tomb.

On the other hand, the US presence in the Persian Gulf is reassuring for the nations that overlook it. The US is present with the Naval Support Activity Bahrain naval base in Manama, home of the V fleet, and with the large Al-Udeid air base near Doha, as well as with other scattered bases including Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait.

In summary, the various threats of closure of the Strait of Hormuz are often the result of media policy and blackmail of certain and alleged sanctions against the countries bordering the Persian Gulf.

The reality lies in the only possibility of being able to close its territorial waters for reasons linked to security, a decision that would be in full international law more or less ratified.

In this way, however, there would be no blockage of merchant shipping, but only a significant reduction in transport times and capacities.

Every action on free ship traffic dedicated to energy products has a strong impact on international markets with repercussions on households. For this reason it is remote the possibility of naval blockade, intervention or contrast in the free traffic of the Strait of Hormuz relegating the threatening declarations to mere political propaganda often made with dual purposes for personal interests.

Every other war action at the moment is remote, without any indicator on the matter, but left to mere media fantasy. Every government concerned knows that a possible force action on free navigation to and from the Persian Gulf would lead to unquantifiable consequences with significant international economic repercussions, prey to operators of dubious personality.

Report Difesa: Africa

Report Difesa: Africa - ATLANTIS

Africa, the Sahel strategic relevance and the fight to Jihadism

 The Role Of Italy In The Mission In Niger.

 Luca Tatarelli

 ROME. Africa is the new Operative Theater. Not only the Northern part of the Continent with the Libyan question, but also other areas, such as the Sahel, where five States have given life, with the blessing of France, a Coordination of regional cooperation in development and security policies in West Africa.

Born February 16, 2014 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, sees the involvement of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

The military aspect is coordinated by the Chiefs of Staff of the respective countries.

The purpose of this body is to strengthen the link between economic development, security and to fight together the threat of jihadist organizations operating in the region (AQIM, MUJWA, Al-Mourabitoun, Boko Haram).

The latest report to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres on the threat of DAESH or ISIS, which is said to highlight how the Islamic State of the Great Sahara is on the border between Mali and Niger. This group has a smaller persistence in the Support Group for Islam and Muslims, the breakfast of terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaida in the region.

These militiamen launched attacks against American, French and other countries in the first half of 2018.

The Islamic State of the Greater Sahara and other jihadist groups intend to destabilize the Sahel and prevent local populations from having a normal life. They intend to continue to have access to routes for smuggling.

Aggregations are in place. But these are “cooperative” unions. In Burkina Faso, a faction of Ansaroul Islam is linked to the Islamic State of the Great Sahara.

In the region, the European Union, together with other international actors, is giving its support considered essential for getting out of the economic, social and security crisis. So much so that the sahel has become a sort of “laboratory” for the EU’s foreign policy.

Cooperation, diplomacy and defense are an example of how to possibly export this “laboratory” elsewhere in other crisis areas.

Security and development are two other important elements of this cooperation.

It is clear that all this needs the collaboration of citizens who need basic services from their respective states and from the international community.

And speaking of security, the development of a G5 Sahel joint military force presupposes a novelty in this part of Africa, having a major impact on the ground. Just as the action of the international community has already developed a series of innovative instruments from a financial and strategic point of view, always under European coordination.

The Sahel is increasingly taking on a strategic importance that will increase in the coming years, thanks to a demographic increase in global Islam. Passing on the message that moderate Islam can bring development and social growth is important to the region. It means multi-million dollar investments.

The question of migration hovers like a sword of Damocles over all this. And here politics must return to the field, or better diplomacy. We need to work on an agreement that involves (Libya permitting) the European Union with all its Member States, the Maghreb countries and those of the G5 Sahel.

A strategy that must lead to the defeat of the numerous traffics: drugs, weapons, human beings.

Italy is taking an important role in the area with the “Bilateral support mission in the Republic of Niger - MISIN” (with a geographical area of ​​intervention also extended to Mauritania, Nigeria and Benin).

In particular, the mission must support the Republic of Niger, carrying out tasks such as support, as part of a joint European and US effort for the stabilization of the area and the strengthening of the territorial control capabilities of the Nigerian authorities and the G5 countries. Sahel (Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Burkina Faso), a development of the Nigerine security forces (Armed Forces, National Gendarmerie, National Guard and Special Forces of the Republic of Niger) to increase their ability to know how to combat the phenomenon of traffic illegal and security threats. In addition to contributing to the surveillance of the borders, the territory and the development of the air component of the Republic of Nigeria. 

 

Report Difesa: Japan

Report Difesa: Japan - ATLANTIS

Towards a review of military Japan strategies

 Annalisa Triggiano

Tokyo. Japan, at least since the end of World War II, from a military point of view has always been a peaceful country, characterized by limited military strategies devoted exclusively to internal defense, also thanks to a Constitution - imposed by the United States - inspired by a pacifist principle among whose peculiar aspects there was, and still is, that of maintaining a basic structure of Armed Forces, able to operate exclusively within the borders of the country.

Two paragraphs of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution are crucial in this direction, in which mention is made of the renunciation of war as a means of resolving international conflicts and prohibiting the country from possessing military potential, except within the limits of the so-called SDF (Self Defense Force), tending to be limited to domestic defense.

But times, as in common language they say, have changed. And not a little.

The analysis will attempt to give an account of it, from the point of view of the safety policies implemented and to be implemented.

Japan currently faces a delicate and problematic situation for its security. In spite of the recent and almost constant media attention on North Korea, which is notoriously dangerous, especially from the point of view of the nuclear threat, Japan's strategies are called to confront on the ground a broader, multidimensional challenge launched by China and from its territorial ambitions on the East China Sea (and not only). This is all the more true given that even Japanese analysts currently foretell scenarios of highly dramatic confrontations between Japan and China.

China already owns an aircraft carrier, the mammoth Liaoning, originally built under the Soviet government and purchased from China in Ukraine in 1998.

More than 300 meters long and weighing more than 60 thousand tons, it has often been used for training at sea of ​​the Army, starting from its launch in 2012. According to analysts' opinions, however, China would need to build at least 6 aircraft carrier, over the next decades, to be able to compare on an almost equal level with the United States.

The latter already have 10 active aircraft carriers and are about to manufacture another two. This renewed emphasis on the development of the Chinese Navy could be a direct consequence of the new, most active foreign policy initiated by President Xi Jinping. Precisely since its first mandate in 2012, China has launched a series of territorial claims in the South China Sea.

But if the aggressive Chinese military activity in the South China Sea is well documented, besides China's territorial disputes, to which it was mentioned but on which it is not possible to linger, with five nations, the "novelty" is always more insistent Russian presence.

This presence, however, according to analysts, is currently completely independent of Beijing's moves. Rather, the Russians on one side are interested in monitoring US military activities in the country and, on the other side, on the side of disputes, they are most interested in the Kuril Islands, historically Japanese territory occupied by the Russians during the last days of the Second World War World.

The graph, taken from the site of the Japanese Ministry of Defense, shows in red the routes of Chinese aircraft and in yellow those of Russian aircraft. Of course, the Japanese Ministry of Defense declares the Kuril Islands as a legitimate part of the national territory but, in fact, islets are often under Russian control.

Moscow, moreover, is increasing its presence in the Pacific region: two of the three Russian Borei class nuclear submarines, very sophisticated and equipped with ballistic missiles, have been assigned precisely to this quadrant.

But the "game", if we want to call it that, between Japan and China is not played only on the "local" level.

The strategies of the two countries are intertwined even many miles away, in Djibouti. In fact, it is here that Japan has the only military base abroad. The Japanese country has been present in Africa since 2011, carrying out maritime patrol operations as a contrast to piracy activities promoted by the international community off the coast of Somalia. It is a base able to provide excellent support to multinational operations, so much so that it has also been used to support peacekeeping operations towards southern Sudan. The size of the base, however, is proving to be inadequate compared to the amount of operations to be performed.

That is why, as early as 2016, the Japanese government is negotiating an expansion of the area to be rented also towards the East. But, given the increasingly invasive presence of Chinese investments in the Djibouti area, as in all of Africa, moreover, it is reasonable to think, as analysts have already established, that the Tokyo move is an effective response to Chinese policies. And last but not least, Djibouti is also a Chinese military base.

China and the United States, moreover, as the image shows (source: Bloomberg) face each other, on the sea, potentially, in many strategic points of the East:

(China: red, USA: blue, gray is India.The naval bases are identified with the anchor and in the striped color there are areas of potential and conflicting military interest).

The Chinese naval power appears even in degree, currently, according to some American officials, to compete on a par with the United States, at least in the here discussed Pacific Region. The data, of course, is alarming. In fact, the Chinese Navy is the most equipped - quantitatively - in the World, having passed the United States.

Faced with the potential (especially of the Chinese fleets), there was not much choice for Japan. The first and most logical political reaction to these pitfalls was the increase by Japan of expenditures in military equipment.

In fact, even the Defense spending forecasts for 2018, approved last year (record figure: $ 48.1 billion, about 2.5% more than the forecasts for the fiscal year 2017) have been in large part influenced, if not really conditioned by the urgent need to cope with the continuous Korean missile launches and the increasing Chinese activities in the South and East of the Chinese Sea.

The budget would include the purchase of "additional Sm-3 missile defense systems, new radar systems and a terrestrial Aegis device that would complement the naval system already in service; in addition, Tokyo would also equip itself with some additional F-35 fighter-bomber ".

More precisely, the US bill-taking missile system Aegis Ashore was authorized by the Prime Minister last year for an installation planned in 2023. Needless to say, the move has made Russian President Vladimir Putin suspicious, causing Russian dissatisfaction.

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to the test of facts, seems even more farsighted and unscrupulous than his predecessors. In fact, it was directed towards reinforcing the defense capabilities of Japan, reorganizing the institutions devoted to defense and increasing the military budget after a long period of decline, overcoming some critical issues due to spending restrictions and reinforcing the intelligence capacity also, and especially, on the cyber side.

However, it should also be remembered that Junichiro Koizumi was also at the center of the controversy when, for the first time since the Second World War, Japan sent support troops to Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of US military operations in those theaters.

The chart below shows the position of Japan among the top military world spenders of 2017 according to SIPRI:

These measures, however, can only marginally and apparently buffer the situation of imbalance of forces in the field. A rethinking, conversely, of the military strategy, capable of acting as a deterrent to China and sufficient even in the absence of explicit military threats, appears, according to analysts, now indifferent.

Just as it seems likely that the prime minister is heading towards a clear reform of Article 9 of the Constitution, definitively overcoming the "constitutional taboos" and post-war structure, since, de facto, this constitutional order is superseded by military policies in place.

Japan's current military approach could be labeled as an "Advanced Defense-Forward Defense" strategy and is focused on pushing back as quickly as possible aggression from outside the Japanese territory.

Traditionally, therefore, this type of threat is dealt with by normal maneuvering means. But although such an advanced defense structure could have its own justification of being in the Cold War years, it risks today to be thin and totally inadequate to changing scenarios, in which China would undoubtedly have significant advantages in the conflict case. If nothing else, for the amount of quickly deployable means.

To mitigate the effects of this vulnerability and fully exploit the potential of its historical "friendship" with the United States, increasing deterrence against China, Japan should instead evolve its strategies towards the so-called "Active Denial-Active Denial", concentrated not so much on the combat of field battles on the borders, but on the maintenance of a number of forces able to repel and survive an initial impact, and then continue to resist and repel enemy forces quickly, also containing the costs of a military aggression .

In the last twenty years, the modernization of the Chinese army has increased both the size and the nature of Beijing's strategic challenges in Tokyo.

The Chinese military budget went hand in hand with the impressive economic growth of the country, reaching, in 2017, according to official data available, about 220 billion dollars. In the same period, Japan's budget only increased by 22 percent and currently, with almost $ 47 billion, is less than a third of the Chinese budget.

The development of the Chinese capabilities of "Anti Access and Denial of Area-A2 / AD Anti Access / Area-Denial", aimed at preventing the entry of American forces and limiting their operational freedom, once they arrived in the theater of operations, it poses quite unique challenges. These capabilities include approximately 40 modern submarines, antisatellite systems and, most importantly, a large and sophisticated arsenal of conventional armed missiles.

Considering the approximately 1,300 conventionally armed ballistic missiles of China, between 150 and 500 of them have sufficient radius to hit targets in Japan, as hundreds of its surface-to-air missiles could do.

These high-precision missile systems could destroy key targets in Japanese defense infrastructures: air bases, defense air mechanisms, communication hubs and military ports, potentially endangering Tokyo's ability to withstand direct attacks by air forces and / or Chinese ships.

More recently, China has also developed a formidable deployment of maneuvering forces. For the past seven years, he has doubled his modern arsenal of fighter planes and now the Air Force now exceeds the sum of the Japanese and US forces deployed in the region in a two to one ratio. And, considering the current rate of development of the industry, China's advantage in developing modern combat aircraft will probably reach, by 2025, a three-to-one relationship.

Of course, the overall quality of Chinese military systems and training itself does not exceed US standards, even if China is trying with considerable effort to reduce technological and training gaps.

Currently, in the event of an attack on one of the four main Chinese islands, the US and Japanese forces would quickly and successfully reject an assault. But, considering Beijing's perspective of wanting to ensure greater control of the Chinese East Sea and the Chinese South Sea, Tokyo has good reason to worry about the safety of its offshore islands, where China is in a position ideal for a serious military escalation. And while an attack, or a deliberate invasion by China, to these islands is highly unlikely, it is on the contrary certain that the situation will degenerate very quickly.

The chain of Japanese islands Ryukyu stands about 600 miles from the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, and the disputed Senkaku islands (known in China as Diaoyu islands) as well as the small group of Yaeyama islands at the extreme of the Ryukyu chain, are double distance from Kyushu compared to the Chinese continental bases.

here are about 29 air and naval bases of the Chinese PLA in the fighting range of the Senkaku Islands, while at the same distance there are only 4 of the United States and Japan.

The US and Japanese tanks could support air operations from more distant bases, but with low success rates and above all with great stress for pilots and vehicles.

The relative lack of nearby military structures by Japan and the United States, and, on the contrary, the proximity to large internal Chinese bases, enhances the power of the latter's threats, consisting of a system of aircraft and missiles, supported by submarines and surface ships.

After all, China inaugurated 2018 with an incursion, on January 11, in the contiguous area of ​​the Senkaku. During the operation, a type 054 frigate of the Navy of the People's Liberation Army and a nuclear attack submarine belonging to the Shang class were used. The frigate was an official unit of the Navy of the People's Liberation Army, instead of one of the Coast Guard, more commonly used in these cases. Furthermore, China had never sent a submarine to the disputed waters before.

Data in hand, it is noted that China has intensified, from 2012 onwards, its naval and air activity in the area:

The graph, taken from the website of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, shows the number of times the Coast Guard and the Japanese Air Defense Forces have been sent to intercept Chinese ships. In response to all this, Japan has recently established the first unit of Marines since the end of the Second World War (ARDB-Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade). The significantly offensive potential of the Marine Corps poses, once again, problems and doubts of 'constitutionality'.

How, from a theoretical point of view, yes, but also practical, could Japan begin to rethink its military strategy? One can start by considering and summarizing the three typical and classic strategic approaches of technique aimed at defense and deterrence: Forward Defense, Denial, Punishment.

Forward Defense: this technique refers to the ability to repel enemy military forces as soon as possible and as far as possible, preferably at the borders of the state, or a little further.

Denial (Strategies): with this technique we tend to prevent the enemy conquest through a prolonged active resistance, often gaining a little ground and trying to avoid a decisive battle until the balance of forces does not fall in favor of the State that He defends.

Punishment: it is based on the ability to inflict unacceptable losses from the point of view of the invaders' structures, such as, for example, striking sensitive targets in your country.

In the early years of the Cold War, Japan implemented a Denial strategy based on the "Shield and Spear-Scudo and Lancia" technique.

In practice, the Japanese forces contained and at the same time threatened the invading enemy (Spear), until the arrival of US rescue (Shield). But already in the seventies, in truth, Japanese military strategies favored the Advanced Defense technique.

Before the end of the Cold War, Japan boasted one of the highest defense budgets in the world, mostly employed in the maintenance of traditional maneuvering forces (such as, for example, large warships and large air squadrons) able to repel any potential attacker in a direct confrontation.

And in spite of the adoption, in 2010, of a "Dynamic Defense Concept-Dynamic Defense Concept", Tokyo actually continued to focus on Forward Defense. In fact, by developing a system of amphibious assault capacity from very high costs, for an immediate counterattack against potential offensive allocations off the Japanese islands, in fact it has turned decidedly on the Forward strategy.

But such a strategy perhaps had its own meaning in the context of the late Cold War and in the post-war Cold period, periods in which Japan certainly managed to face any potential aggressor on an equal footing, if not in advantage.

With the emergence of China, by now, this assumption no longer holds. China's long-range precision capabilities can fatally threaten Japanese military infrastructure. Underestimating an early counter-offensive action, especially in the Senkaku Islands and in the South Ryukyu chain would have the effect of catastrophic defeat and could potentially knock down Tokyo's ability to continue the battle. A missile defense does not seem to be a reliable and safe solution, especially for the high costs deriving from it.

Are there any better alternatives? one could opt for an enhancement of Active Denial Strategy, the Active Denial, focused on demonstrating to Chinese Leaders that any attack could easily degenerate into a conflict of duration, from which US and Japanese forces would easily benefit from inevitable advantages.

The priority, in a Denial Strategy, would not result in a quick success, but rather in an active resistance, such as to prevent a quick victory in Beijing and vice versa to allow the arrival of US reinforcements.

Of course, the current concept of Denial Strategy is very different from that of the First Cold War, built more or less entirely on relatively immobile terrestrial forces organized by regions.

Active Denial should be modern, dynamic, mobile, including tactical offensive capabilities.

The Active Denial strategy has two elements that reinforce and connect to each other:

A resilient set of forces

a reordering of mission priorities

The first element, a deployment of resilient forces, refers to the ability of the Japanese army to absorb attacks and to continue to operate effectively and effectively. Resilience will necessarily require a broad and reinforced military infrastructure system, which will certainly have very high costs in spite of armaments.

For example, civilian airports will be prepared to support air operations, allowing for rapid deployment of Japanese and US aircraft, thereby reducing Japan's vulnerability to missile attacks.

Increasing, moreover, the number of ports and stations for naval supplies, similarly, would enhance the survival and flexibility of the Japanese fleet.

Mobility can also play an important role in the development of resilience. Japan could use new concepts of mobility, similar to those currently tested by the US Armed Forces to confuse the enemy on the targets to be hit.

These devices include the so-called "Agile Combat Employment", an agile combat system based on the temporary use of a small number of combat aircraft (two to four, usually), supported by a cargo ship equipped with fuel and ammunition to refuel the air bases.

Other types of advanced mobility technologies, such as the development of a reserve civil fleet, consisting of fast ships and operated by Navy reservists, could be central to maintaining adequate defense in the Ryukyu Islands, where the ability to replace damaged and the ammunition used would present many difficulties.

Even the Active Defense systems against air and missile attacks would have their importance for Japan, but all this must be considered in the context of a wider effort, as we said, in the direction of resilience and dual-use.

Defense missile systems, in particular, can, in theory, also protect civilian targets. But they absorb huge percentages of the defense budget. And mobility, on the other hand, can often be a more effective and economic strategy.

The second element of the Active Denial Strategy derives naturally from the first. In pursuing the goal of resilience, Japan should then establish a clear, precise hierarchy of priority missions. Firstly, the defense of the key assets, the vital ones that allow the Government and the Armed Forces to exercise their respective functions. Secondly, isolate and hit enemy forces that invade the national territory. Finally, counterattack to gain ground lost, waiting for US reinforcements.

The most important and immediate mission, the defense of both military and civil key objectives, is assured by an integrated air and missile system (IAMD), anti-war submarine systems, anti-surface defensive war devices. But even the modernization of the air fleet, with the purchase of fourth or fifth generation fighters (such as F / A-18 E / F or F15 S / E), would allow the small fleet of F35A to be used as more effective multiplier of the air forces for the air defense sector.

To all this, however, it must be added that the Japanese have been working for a sixth generation fighter for a couple of years, to be developed by 2030. If the project to develop a sixth generation fighter internally could succeed, the rebirth of the Japan as an aerospace colossus would be assured. But it seems more realistic that Tokyo develops its combat F3 in partnership. In this sense, the US offered a technological partnership in Tokyo, with Lockheed Martin launching a new fighter with a mix of F 22 and F35 technologies, "superior to both of them". Meanwhile, it should not be forgotten that the Japanese have already produced their first invisible F35 fighter.

The purchase of some specimens of F35B, aircraft capable of taking off from short runways, or of amphibious assault ships, at the same time would allow the current state to enhance the ability of Japan to sustain an air conflict, even at the time of the attack of the islands Ryukyu.

Furthermore, and in the maritime field, a fleet implementation with multifunctional frigates, more agile and economical, could help to improve the Japanese ability to resist an initial hypothetical Chinese attack on the islands of the South West.

Clearly, focusing on these objectives would require a real inversion of the current priorities of expenses, which for now weigh more than fifty percent on land-based military equipment, compared to the Navy and the Air Force.

And all this would require the introduction of Joint Commands, so as to improve coordination and make all the different types of defense systems work in an integrated way.

Coming to the economic aspects of the reforms, one can not help but mention the military, and therefore also economic, cooperation between the USA and Japan. It is worth mentioning that the so-called Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement between the two countries dates back to 1954 and provides that Japan hosts permanent US bases on its land in exchange for military alliance and immediate operational support in the event of a military attack.

The alliance between the two countries continues to be useful for the critical interests of both (economic support to Japan vs. US military presence point).

But it is clear, even if this did not happen formally, that it is in the intentions of President Trump to press, as has happened recently in Europe in the NATO meeting, so that Japan on the one hand increases its military spending, and on the other continues reforms of the Defense system. Although not a few were the perplexities sometimes expressed about the usefulness of the American presence (about 26 thousand soldiers) in Okinawa's case, the garrison is not in question.

But the only increase in spending - it must be emphasized - does not seem sufficient in itself to buffer the changing threats implemented by China. It will be necessary, it is repeated, a rethinking of the strategies from the foundations.

With, on the horizon, the threat of Chinese raids on the Senkaku islands, Japan would benefit from an Active Denial Strategy that would enhance its long-term defense capabilities. By making a brief conflict in a conflict of resistance, the Japanese strategy would considerably reinforce the potential for deterrence, also because the hypothesis of maintaining a supremacist supremacy over areas close to China, at least at low cost, is a hope now close to unreality.

Another equally important element, a Denial Strategy would make the crisis areas more stable. If it is true that the three governments involved should - it is desirable but complex - work on the diplomatic front to ease the political tensions of the area, it is equally true that the military aspects are a driving force.

In short, an Active Denial Strategy would have the effect of improving, on the one hand, the capacity for deterrence while mitigating political instability in the event of a crisis.

Although public opinion will not be an easy obstacle to overcome, pragmatically the times are ripe for a more incisive remilitarization of Japan that passes, primarily, through a now inevitable constitutional reform. 

 

 

 

 

Report Difesa: Defense industries Focus mbda Italia

Report Difesa: Defense industries Focus mbda Italia - ATLANTIS

Journey into the integrated center of the missile excellence of our country.

Giulia Prosperetti

It has its roots in almost half a century of history but has an eye to the future. Represented by the Integrated Center of La Spezia and Aulla (Massa -Carrara), the Italian anti-ship missile tradition is today an international excellence. An inheritance that since 2001 has been collected and carried out successfully by MBDA Italy, which annually invests about 7 million euros in the La Spezia-Aulla area, supplies the local supply chain for about 20 million and also thanks and in close cooperation with the Universities and the Armed Forces, it produces cutting-edge technologies.

With 12% of the Group, MBDA Italia currently manages 15% of total turnover, participating in the creation of 21 products and ensuring national technological sovereignty to support the Armed Forces’ operational capacity in the missile segment.

The history of the site began in the 70s when Italy, taking a political and military decision aimed at providing the country with a sovereign capacity in the sector of tactical surface missile, decided to start the development of anti-ship missiles. Following an industrial cooperation agreement between Oto Melara and the French Matra to develop the Otomat / Teseo missile system, the first missile center infrastructures were built in La Spezia and the agreements with the Ministry of Defense were finalized to be carried out at the Advanced Ammunition Interforces Center (CIMA) of Aulla, at the time MARIMUNI ,, the piric activities related to the integration, final testing and storage of ammunition. This will result in a fruitful collaboration which, currently, sees the combination La Spezia / Aulla unicum at European level.

The Center’s peculiarity is, in fact, to provide global visibility of the various production phases, offering the rare possibility of following the missile from design to launch to delivery to the customer.

With 22,500 square meters, of which 10,500 are divided into three buildings, the MBDA spezzino site deals with the development, testing and production of missiles and launch installations for aerial, naval and ground platforms. Among the activities that are carried out in La Spezia are the mechanical and aerodynamic design, advanced simulations based on Synthetic environment (SE), unit verification with the method Hardware in the loop (HWITL), interference tests and electromagnetic compatibility (EMI / EMC). Great attention is also dedicated to the revision of the turbojet engines that are disassembled up to the last screw to verify and maintain the propulsive capacity.

Central in the phase of testing and verification of the missiles, it results the testing of the seeker part, carried out thanks to the aid of an anechoic chamber where the characteristics of the targets are simulated.

To enrich the potential of the Center there is a laboratory for dual technologies in which the materials are studied in their birth with the aim of increasing their level of technological maturity (TRL) in relation to the subsequent use for which they are intended. The research also focuses on the study of reactive materials which, if used to make the missile’s war head, increase its lethality.

The piric integration of the missiles is then carried out at the CIMA of Aulla, a unique structure in the panorama of the armed force that this year opened for the first time the doors to the specialized press, where MBDA has two dedicated structures.

At CIMA, which has an area of ​​130,000 hectares of land with 250 buildings, the missiles Aspide, Teseo and Marte are processed. In addition, the flagship of the structure, starting in 2016, is the checkout of the Aster missile. Although it depends on the Navy Staff, CIMA, as shown by the collaboration with the Army for the activities on the Aster and Aspide lines, aims to increase its inter-force character.

In the spezzino site, starting from 2006, the assembly line of the second generation Mars missiles was active, to which, in 2009, the development of the Marte Mk2 / N naval version was added. Currently, after the first order in February 2009, the production of the additional supply of Mk2 / N anti-ship missiles for the UAE Navy is under way at the site. As part of the contract signed at the beginning of last year, chosen to equip each of his multi-role fast multi-combat ships with four Mars ammunitions.

The multi-platform aspect of the Marte family is characteristic. MBDA has, in fact, aimed at creating a common frame within which products can grow in step with technology. The development of the Mars ER (Extended Range version of the Marte missile), assembled in La Spezia and selected by the Qatar navy for coastal defense and, more recently, for use on NH 90 helicopters, is part of this strategy. Naval (N / G) and Helicopter (H / C) are also joined by the Fastjet (F / J) version which, compared to the first two, presents more marked differences to allow its installation on these platforms.

As regards the heavy antineve, in La Spezia, the assembly line of the Teseo missile system is active, which ensures the missile capability of Surface / Surface missions of the Italian Navy. In view of the end of the operating life of the systems and missiles currently provided, planned for 2022, in synergy with the evolution of the missile Marte ER, Mbda Italia and the Italian Navy are collaborating on a plan for the development of a new Teseo missile generation (Teseo MK2 / E)

At present, the La Spezia / Aulla site is also preparing to prepare the inert and pyrical assembly line in view of the implementation of the program for the new CAMM ER air defense system (Common Anti-air Modular Missile Extended Range) of MBDA, aimed at meeting the air defense requirement of the Italian Army and Air Force, allowing the maintenance of the operational capacity of the systems based on the ASPIDE missile, which, after 40 years, are now nearing the end of their operational life.

Although the funding has already been allocated last year, the program, also assessed by the Italian Navy and strategic for Italy both from the internal point of view and as regards the aspects related to exports and international cooperation, because of the resistance of the new government, it has stalled awaiting the official go-ahead. 

 

 

Comunication at Female

Comunication at Female - ATLANTIS

 

“Locked into a nutshell”

 Serenella Antoniazzi 

“He for She” for good and evil. In this autumn of 2018 charge of warm and enveloping colors, I decided to write a story that enhances the relationship between Man and Woman despite the black chronicle is full of brutal crimes to wives, mothers and, unfortunately, children. A carnage that seems to have no end. Today the red blood mixes with the bright red of inflamed maples and I do not want to talk about death, but about the rebirth of a woman, made possible even by the proximity of a Man, a life’s and hope companion.

“Locked into a nutshell” 

Lost in a rainbow. 

The air was unbreathable, the sultry heat was so strong that even turning over in bed was a superhuman effort for mind and body. The left foot dangled out of the mattress, the face looked for cooler parts of the pillow, the colored pillowcase, soup of sweat, gave no relief. Sunday afternoon was the only time dedicated to rest. The weight of the increasingly hectic weeks accumulated as the garbage bags accumulate outside the bins on holidays. The drops of sweat descended on the face to the lips. When the tongue caught a salty droplet, the corners of the mouth arched downward, pungent salt that irritated the eyes and blurred the sight. It almost seemed to wear glasses with inadequate lenses that, instead of helping, distorted own vision. Perhaps an icy shower would have reconciled better sleep, but the idea of ​​having to get up and rolled off the bed restrained any initiative. The room furnished with 30s style furniture was not at all comfortable and functional. In life it often happens that there are other priorities and the furniture at that time was not among them. If only I could sleep a little, maybe I would take my mind away from so many thoughts. At that moment I was lost in the fumes of heat and fatigue. A small rainbow reflected on the floor caught my attention back to reality; where did he come from? The room was immersed in the darkness except for a glimmer of light that managed to enter through a crack in the old shutter badly closed; even this was not a priority, it often happened that in the morning, while I waited for the sound of the alarm clock, I fixed on the wall those two “spots” of different colors. The rising sun was beating on the fixtures; two holes in the wall that became almost burgundy. Little maintenance had not solved the problem, it always bothered the left-hand shutter; although I carefully lowered the flat rope that moved it, one of the bands that composed it, rebellious, inclined, leaving some small hole free, which inevitably made the light penetrate and I romantically thought, then, I was a lucky woman kissed by the sun . After almost a year, the sun beam had turned into a lightsaber; with spite it had leaned on the inclined part of the mirror, a profile of fine chiselling that adorned the central door of the wardrobe. The oval edge looked like a rainbow of colors reflected backwards. It had not formed the bow as usual in the sky after the storm, but small colored squares where the blue prevailed and, by a strange play of light, the same light shown was reflected on the small mirror of the dresser. It seemed like the entrance to an enchanted world. Sometimes it happens to set a specific spot and lose oneself in distant thoughts, to become protagonists of fantastic stories, to escape from reality, to change the ending of a bad story, a little like one does with the ending of dreams. Someone wakes us up and the dream is interrupted; why waste it, why let it go? We close our eyes, pretend to sleep and force the ending. I also wanted to change my final but, as I tried, nothing would have been as before. The physical pain had passed for a few months, the invasive and disabling therapies had devastated me; I wondered why I consented to the fury on my body by continuously injecting, swallowing, inserting, irradiating chemicals that, as the nameless did, devastated me. I no longer understood if the physical pain I felt was caused by the disease or by chemo-therapy. Before the surgery I had no pain; a joke of fate, a trivial routine check, breast screening, to do after fifty. Target, to identify the breast cancer or its first “manifestations” when they still do not cause symptoms. A prevention program that was supposed to confirm the results of previous examinations. The documentation, stored in the pink shocking folder, was rigorously arranged by date: 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018. In the last two years the seed of evil had crept into my sinus. “Triple negative” the most aggressive cancer, the one that does not respond either to anti-hormonal treatment or to monoclonal antibodies. A number from the prefix of my district has been insisting on my phone for days. I did not have the courage to answer, I felt that this time it would not go well. One thing is listening about it, other when it happens to you. The intervention, the chemo-therapy and radiotherapy, the reconstruction, the tattoo at the nipple, the wet hair far from the head, resting in a disorderly way on the shoulders, on the back, on the bottom of the shower, on the toilet bowl. Ephemeral beauty consumed not only by time passing, but also by the disease that devours you. Sneaky and slimy, it had nestled comfortably inside the soft flesh of my left breast. Although they had assured me that it was still locked inside its gestation egg, I felt it flowing in the arrogant and mocking veins. I wanted to tear it away, I wanted to get rid of that worm, I did not want to be the one to mutilate my body, I wanted to pretend like nothing and hoped that he would leave by himself letting me live. Reflected in the mirror of my room, with my left foot dangling from the bed, with part of my body out of the mattress not to press on a wound not yet healed, I looked at the image of a woman who did not feel complete. The reassurances and results of the reconstruction and the perfect healing of the scars, partly relieved the embarrassment of a body no longer perfect. The extra pounds had never allowed me to be a model, I would not even have aspired to such a sad career, to be honest. Simply the idea of ​​following perennially a diet saddened my whole existence. Keep my shoulders closed inward to protect that “stump”, always wear a colored scarf to create movement by hiding the disparity of the cleavage that lived in my mind, combining turbans in the same shade during the hardest moments. Particular turbans made by myself after seeing some muslim girls who did not wear the traditional veil but, with imagination and stratagem, covered part of the hair with a weave of cloth to form almost a chignon. It was very nice to see and also suitable for the summer. The wig was torture. At the end of the day the hair line was always slanted and the fringe was three fingers above the forehead. Itching was unbearable; I tried to put cotton cuff underneath, but the heat and the sweat evaporated the few wisdom I still had. The illness had brought out the worst of me. Even though I was very angry with our Lord, I sometimes thanked heaven for allowing me to get sick at the beginning of summer, as fashion allows us to indulge in clothing without looking ridiculous. The problem came invariably before taking a shower, where the scarves and the turbans must be removed. Without these stratagems you also go to sleep and there you non only feel naked, but also without skin. The caress on the breast that accompanied the kiss of the goodnight had moved on the arm. His gaze remained fixed in my eyes, when I undressed; his embrace enveloped me, held me tight, but our mouths were not touching. His lips rested on one shoulder, we were no longer facing each other, we were not yet ready to look at each other. We were not yet ready to accept ourselves. I would like to enter the mirror, I would like to lose myself in the colors of that rainbow. An artifice of play and colors, although artificial, beautiful and engaging; I would like to give a happy ending to this love story that has lived up to now with passion and intensity. Life had given me a second chance, could not take it away from me. After so many years I had rediscovered the sweetness of feeling, the fire of passion, desire. Trust and let myself be guided discovering with fantasy and complicity a world made of sensations, of smells, of sensuality that I would never have believed to have. Go back into the box where I had lived for years. When I was still a child I had been given a jewel box and every time I opened it, the dancer bent inside was dancing on command. She danced only if the spring was charged and the lid opened, captive in a satin-lined box between plastic jewelry and dust. I was tied up by invisible wires made of taboos and duties. The salt I felt at that moment on my lips was sweat mixed with tears. Tears that grooved a proven face and a skin full of spots. The emotional intensity of that moment accentuated the sensation of burning and pain in my hands and feet. A thousand needles amused themselves by torturing me with incessant rhythms. Even lifting a glass could be difficult, peeing, combing, oh no, I forgot, combing no longer needed. Simple actions that became titanic businesses and required energies I did not have. Asking for help for every single daily action made me impatient. “I want my life back!”A silent scream filled the room. Only I felt it, and perhaps God, if exists, had felt it up there. 

Re-si-liènce 

Female noun, ability of a material to absorb a shock without breaking; in psychology, the ability of an individual to face and overcome a traumatic event or a period of difficulty (from vocabulary). In recent months the word resilience was back in fashion, you could meet anywhere. During the presentation of a book, in school texts, in political discourses, in texts and design documents, in illness and in psychological support to this. My resilience, at that moment, was given by the fact that I could not die so, reluctantly, I had to move on. Immersed in the “memory” mattress, which by now had taken the shape of that half of my body that slept or rested on the extreme edge, between wood, mesh and fabric, not being able to go further to avoid falling from the bed as well as I felt falling from life, since immediately after there was the bedside table, I had to choose whether to roll on the other side, sinking into a sort of catalepsy, or get up. The next day I would have to go back to work. Working did not mean, for me, to start living again; no, it meant for me, the latest arrival of an efficient working group and equipped with those instruments of which I had always felt the lack, feeling the center of attention for a “diversity” that I did not want so evident. I had always lived the small acts of courtesy with a great sense of inadequacy, as if they wanted to support me for a sort of “obligation” to keep me in the team. Having to ask for computer activities that I did not know, waiting for a translation, had always made me feel ignorant. The reassuring words and the work done were worthless; when one does not feel prepared or even ready to face a challenge, one lives with great suffering. If compassion had been added to all this, it would have been all too heavy to bear. When the new yet another wound, this time also physical, opened, a sense of anger had also taken me for the job. I was working on a project that I felt almost mine; a sort of exorcism for my fears, like entering into a dimension that I felt closer. Having to leave in the hands of others the embryonic fruit of all that I had studied; what I had learned and found, looking with great effort, climbing one of my innumerable mountains, remained without a custodian. Whoever took up my job would have no way of understanding where I wanted to take it, how I wanted to achieve the result. The goal had been clear to me right away, my hands were doing autonomously what the brain thought and, without realizing it, they acted in tune. The enthusiasm in describing it to my husband, a partner in life and profession. Telling it during that bicycle ride a few months earlier, when the season was not yet stable and threatening clouds alternated with the first pungent sun. The words described in every detail the execution of the project; from the embryonic phase, it passed, pedaled after pedaling, to a feasible and viable reality. The scenography made of smiles, laughter, caresses. Long stretches where my hand gripped his wrist; I did not let myself be pulled along but simply carried by his strength. When I could not take it anymore, that contact supported me. The efforts that that small company would have to face mixed with mine, ours, along that stretch of dirt road. I already knew how I would set it up and made it sustainable and I knew how to make it alive, palpable, human. That project was almost my mission, my way to show everyone and, above all, to myself, my right to be part of that group. Demonstrate effectively how it was possible to do business without devastating anything or anyone, without treading on the value of others. My mind had become a 3D printer and, as I thought it, it grew and developed. At the end of the race, the yellow fields of canola in bloom, shone with their own light. Looking up at the sky, the joy of feeling alive mingled with the lightness of a blue sky without clouds, nor distant thunderstorms. That dream, as I wanted to show, I had to abandon it. A pain added to the pain. The next day I would have to choose whether to remain inert among the sheets of that crumpled bed or face the looks of my colleagues full of piety, the same looks that I felt at the supermarket or in the doctor’s waiting room. Before that thought I would have liked to close my eyes forever, become almond from the persistent melancholy that now had taken possession of me. Reflected on the mirror of my room I had to admit that the loneliness that enveloped me was created by me. I had removed everything and everyone, I had isolated myself, I no longer saw life in color, gray prevailed every day. A color without feeling or emotion. I did not allow anyone to approach; the fear of feeling loved because I’m sick and not because I was the same as always. Loved because being desired and accepted with merits and defects, not because I’m dying or destined to certain death. The disease was devastating, but even more devastating was the feeling that the non-habitual affectionate gestures were soap for those who gave them, even if they were not used to it, only to wash their conscience. At that moment, however, it was about me and how I wanted to live that opportunity for redemption provided by my work. It was up to me to choose a different ending, just me. 

 

Last act 

The end is the most important part of a film, it can further enhance the plot or make it bland losing every emotion experienced, making the whole story obvious. I did not want to invent it, I wanted to understand what I had already written in my movie script. Like every morning I would have waited for the scent of coffee to invade the house; the rhythmic noise of the shutters announced the arrival of the new day; he would have appeared at the ajar door shortly before to not disturb me and would have said, sitting on the edge of the bed: “Good morning love, come on, the alarm has sounded. I will not reassure you, I will not tell you that everything will be all right because I do not know, I’m so scared. What I can tell you is that I would recognize your perfume among a million women. Your skin delights me, your face is what I want to see when I wake up, your body makes me vibrate every time as if it were the first time among us. I do not give up on you and I do not want to lose you. Let yourself be taken by the hand; I do not want to drive you towards the end of this nightmare, I want to walk with you to make me courage and endure this moment without losing anything of this journey. So much or less that be the road ahead of us I want to do with you, for me too, for us. You are my Bride and our life, without having honored and respected until the last breath, it would not be life, not for me“. In front of those words I could not hide myself in my fears, I would have to get up and show that he was worth a lot for me too. It was worth the effort to find all the will to enter the shower, fill the sponge with its sand-flavored bubble bath and take it with me. Impregnated with its smell, I would have picked up my project until it was completed. Perhaps I would never have seen the finished work, but certainly a piece of my heart would have remained alive through the realization of an idea. The disease had taken away so much, but not everything yet. Head, heart, feelings were still all there. A journey without return, but at that moment I understood that the only way to go home was to let love, without ifs and buts. “I love you as you are”.

 Shampoo, balsam, bath foam were there in a row on the edge of the tub. He had collected them from the garbage and put them back in their place. In a moment of anger I had thrown away everything and left only a neutral soap without perfume or foam. The water was pleasant, no sponge this time, I had to start to love me and to caress after so much pain. Beautiful sensation of drowning all the sounds of the world immersing the head underwater, but just as nice to go out, feel the skin crawl by the temperature change, the ears empty from the water and the heart beating quickly after the apnea. At that moment I was alive and I could not do less than breathing! 

 

 

 

 

 

Comunication: Between the lines of the World

Comunication: Between the lines of the World - ATLANTIS

Farming involution; cultivate civil society

 Riccardo Palmerini

The term weed means a plant that, not covering any function deemed useful for agricultural production, goes to damage the existing plants competing with them or parasitizing. There is no real list of weeds because the definition is purely subjective: some useful or grown plants can become weeds when cease their utility function for humans. (source Wikipedia)

Sow and grow fruit trees that yield good results is very complex. These are often plants that require many and daily treatments, suffer the vagaries of climate and also the parasitic effect of those weeds; require water constantly, and compost humus to grow fertile. You have to sweat the forehead and not only, knowledge, expertise, experience are needed, but also getting your hands dirty in the bare soil. It is not a job for “Lords” much less for ignorant in the strict sense; need to know all of their plants, the land on which it grows, changes occurring in its real nature. Different places, different treatments; different plants differen needings. The same harvest requires care and attention if you want to follow the culture; It is increasingly difficult to find experienced farmers or young people with the desire to apply and learn. Everyone wants a quick crop obtained without great labors, maybe contrived.

Cultivate weeds or weeping herbs is easy; they eat everything, especially from other plants as parasites, they reproduce very easily and it’s not hard to find those sowing. Often it doesn’t even matter the fact that most weed seeds do not produce income, make profit. The greenery covering everything has its effect. “Nature that runs, that retrieves the environment from what doesn’t support on its own”.

The real problem is that weeds are a bit like a bomb: no restraint, its invade spaces that are not reserved to them; its can climb up walls and even on cement, worm one’s way into stone’s leak and beyond the control up at times, to choke what you would like to save.

 

There are those who sow zizzania on their land, to avoid having to laboriously cultivate or even just to avoid having to keep tidy; a green area with various shades and the eye is satisfied. It does not matter if it invades the grass, in this case the greenest and dense green is clear which one is. An act of weakness, ultimately. Risks, as I mentioned earlier, are remarkable: weeds grow overflow in walkways and flower beds, its climb up walls and undermine the solidity of the land and the house too. There is no control or resistance possible, if not fire that, however, is even less controllable; or the total herbicide that, therefore, burn all and undermines the spaces created between the stones. You can prune away but they will find a way to grow and climb; once sowed and let grow it’s no possible to stop more with normal systems.

There’s those who sow it in the ground of others, maybe the neighbors, so act then as skillful exterminator and intervene, heroically, with a thorough fumigation. Remembering what we have just said, on that land will remain little or nothing and everything will tend to be unstable. On the rubble, our farmer sower of weed will plow the Earth, will topple the buildings and establish new rules of cultivation, strict to prevent that other infestations, “due to inattention and too much generosity toward the plants all”, can have to go back, damaging and infesting the neighbors. 

Even in this case you need strength, serves a multitude of trusted aides, because farmers weeds, you know, beyond the control, grow back, invade and tend to occupy any space. Without a strict and rigorous supervision of “saviors” herbs, radically forced into surrounding areas, will tapp into their own gardens. Because weed is so, does not stop, never dies.

In the midst of all this there are strong plants, those high-yield plants that do not require many resources to live and grow. Don’t haunt, require care and hard work but, above all, the farmer who cultivates must constantly understand weaknesses, faults and limits and, with no implants, give them what they need to grow by developing positive attitudes, productive ones, and why not , profitable.

As about the farmer, the one who bend his back and produces valuable plants is easily criticized, every mistake is noted, pay each failure not only with an awareness of the effort to share, but even with the weight of fierce criticism and sometimes ungenerous critiques. You do not control the acts of nature, did not own the earth, nor the animals, as well as any factor that affects the crops so laboriously, and knowingly, with attention.

Paradoxically, for those who cultivate weeds, where failure ever occur it would be obvious because of sabotage and external action. On the other hand a weed grows anywhere yet, if it dies there has to be an external cause. This strengthens the ego of the farmer and his conviction that he can attract the most with the least effort.

Throughout the world there are peasant farmers and potential ones and exist for each type of crop. When even the so-called simple farmer begins to cultivate the land, even if only a portion, should acquire basic skills. The skills are made of culture and culture is determined by the purpose. Every farmer should know that the aim of working the land is to see it flourish and grow lush, tidy and productive, defined in the spaces. Every farmer should know that a good cultivation produces wealth and new crops. Every farmer should know that plants need care day by day, one by one, paying particular attention to those in need and severing promptly those parasitic and weeds. Every farmer, even for a simple vegetable garden, should know that work a piece of land can affect, positively or negatively, on the whole ecosystem. There is no vegetable garden out of context. 

Colture, as culture, derive from the Latin cúltus, origins from cólere (cultivate): cultivation and, morally, civilization, erudition (source etimo.it)

The one who sows the wind gathers the storm and the weed, sooner or later, come back... 

 

 

 

Italian Excellence in the World: Cortina d'Ampezzo

Italian Excellence in the World: Cortina d'Ampezzo - ATLANTIS

Cortina d’Ampezzo a pearl even more embellished by the Olympics?

The name “Cortina” seems to derive from the term “curtis” which, in the High Middle Ages, indicated small territorial units forming part of a fiefdom. The town is documented in 1156 as Ampicio (probably deriving from “ampedin”, sterpeto); the church is mentioned for the first time in a document of 1203 and was to be a Romanesque church. In 1241 the village was referred to as Ampicium Cadubrii, in 1317 as Ampitii, in 1331 still Ampicio and in the same year also appears a Gidini de Curtina and Curtinam Ampicii, but only as a village or hamlet where there was the church. The village was then called Ampicio (until about 1200), then Ampezzo di Cadore (from 1200 to 1511), then Ampezzo in Tirolo (from 1511 to 1918) and finally Cortina d’Ampezzo (from 1923). In the eighteenth century the town proclaimed itself Magnificent Community (in fact independent republic), but this did not please the Hapsburgs so much that the country was again subjected to imperial authority by Joseph II, who had all the statutes and autonomy granted to the Ampezzans canceled. With the French revolution, Cortina was once again united with Cadore but, at the fall of Napoleon, returned to Austria. This was an excellent period for Cortina, which began to be the object of strong interest from mountain lovers, especially Germans and English: travelers, naturalists and climbers such as John Ball, Paul Grohmann, Emil Zsigmondy and Theodor Wundt arrived in Ampezzo conquering a at one all the peaks of the mountains that surround the valley, giving their name to the alpine routes. The skiing appeared in the late nineteenth century and the first race was held in 1911. Only two years later, in 1913, the first international ski race was organized, but in the First World War Ampezzo became one of the main theaters of the conflict. In 1921 a narrow gauge railway came into operation which from Calalzo di Cadore reached Cortina and continued to Dobbiaco, the Dolomites Railway, which remained in operation until 1964. In 1925 the first tourist cableway of Italy was built, inaugurated with a solemn ceremony in the presence of eminent authorities, including the Patriarch of Venice La Fontaine; the Faloria cableway was built in 1936 and blessed by the Patriarch of Venice Piazza. On the Ampezzan peaks, the Dimai brothers in the 1930s roped together with King Leopold of Belgium. In 1939 was founded the first and most famous group of rock climbers, the famous Squirrels, who expressed masters of sixth grade as Ettore Costantini called “Vècio” (whose name is linked to the streets drawn on the Cinque Torri, the Cime di Lavaredo, the Tofane ) or as Lino Lacedelli, conqueror of K2 together with the Valtellina Achille Compagnoni, in 1954): their daring enterprises had in the years following a similar echo that in 1948 one of them, Luigi Ghedina Bibi, successfully proposed the idea of ​​extending the ‘use of the red squirrel to promote tourist activities throughout the basin. The 1956 Winter Olympics has transformed the former elite tourism into a lively summer and winter mass tourism.

 

 

THE DOLOMITES

The Dolomites 250 million years ago were a collection of shells, corals and algae immersed in a tropical sea.

Emerged 70 million years ago, worked by weather and atmospheric agents, today they represent a magnificent geological treasure and give the landscape an incomparable beauty.

These mountains are named after the French naturalist Déodat de Dolomieu, who in the second half of the 18th century, first, studied the particular type of rock predominant in this region, baptizing it “dolomite”. The mineral gives the mountains a particular light shade - a reason why the Dolomites also take the name of “Pale Mountains”.

At sunrise and, above all, at sunset, the dolomite takes on a color from rosé to fiery red: the phenomenon, whose variations of colors are due to the different positions of the sun during the year and to the conditions of the atmosphere, is said Enrosadira and is particularly visible on summer evenings.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, whose mountains are protected by UNESCO and the Natural Park of the Dolomites of Ampezzo, is therefore the ideal place to explore and discover a unique world made up of vertical walls, spiers and pinnacles, green valleys, alpine pastures high altitude, woods, streams, lakes, canyons and waterfalls.

WINTER SPORTS

The Queen of the Dolomites is a real paradise for lovers of snow sports and gives some of the most evocative winter sceneries.

The Cortina d’Ampezzo ski area 3 areas connected by a free ski bus service:

Cortina Cube which includes Cristallo - Faloria - Mietres

Tofana

Lagazuoi - 5 Torri

for a total of 85 km of pistes with 95% of snowmaking scheduled for skiing from November to April.

Cortina d’Ampezzo is also part of the Dolomitisuperski ski area, one of the largest ski carousels in the world with 450 ski lifts included in a single ski pass for over 1200 km of tracks spread over 12 different valleys.

 

SKI AREA FALORIA CRISTALLO MIETRES

The area is famous for the variety of its slopes, from those dedicated to beginners and children to technical slopes for experts.

On Mount Faloria since 2010 the Pista Vitelli, among the most panoramic of the Belluno Dolomites, has been dedicated to slow skiing for lovers of relaxation and nature, with rest areas along the track to enjoy the view on the most beautiful peaks of the whole alpine arch.

For freeride lovers, do not miss the Freeride Challenge Punta Nera in the three days of pure adrenaline, to challenge yourself between ski mountaineering, freeride and Boulder.

From the resort of Rio Gere starts the quad chairlift that in a few minutes takes you to Son Forca, where the Cristallo ski slopes start, famous for having seen the birth of Alberto Tomba’s talent.

The area of ​​Mietres is perfect for beginners and children to learn on slopes with little slope equipped with games and surrounded by nature to take their first steps on the snow full of fun.

 

SKI AREA TOFANA

SKIING ON THE SLOPES OF THE WORLD SKI WORLD SKIRT

37 slopes (6 black, 12 red, 13 blue and 6 green) for a total of 47 Km

Skiing in Cortina on the slopes of the Women’s Alpine Ski World Cup, technical tracks like the Canalone and the famous Schuss.

In the lower part of the area there are the beginners’ slopes and the snowpark for freestyle lovers.

Ski Tour Olimpia: for history lovers to try the tour of the Dolomites on the slopes that hosted the ‘56 Olympics.

Ascending with the Freccia cable car in the sky you can touch the 2,500 m of the Ra Valles area of ​​the Tofana di Mezzo from where you can admire a spectacular view of the Valle di Cortina and from where the most characteristic slopes wind through the typical pink rocks of the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites.

Only for expert skiers, the black track Vertigine Bianca.

Because of its beauty and steepness it is one of the two slopes of Cortina that are not beaten by snowmobiles, giving the opportunity to expert skiers to try out downhill in fresh snow, on an ecological and zero impact track, among the splendid views of the Dolomite peaks.

 

SKI AREA LAGAZUOI 5 TORRI

11 slopes (5 red, 6 blue) for a total of 29 Km

The 5 Torri area has recently been connected to the Falzarego Pass through the Averau Troi plant.

With a few minutes by cable car, from Passo Falzarego you reach the Rifugio Lagazuoi (2,500 m), from where you can admire the Marmolada, the Sella group, the Civetta, the Pelmo and the Tofane.

The World War I Dolomites ski tour runs along the Dolomite front and goes around the Col di Lana.

 

Super 8 Ski Tour

The special Dolomiti tour that winds through the Averau Troi and Armentarola slopes. Along the way you will find 8 alpine refuges from which you can admire 8 of the most beautiful peaks of the Belluno Dolomites.

 

Armentarola: the most fascinating track of the Dolomites

In the presence of the mountains of Fanes, the track unravels in a fairy valley, dominated by majestic rock castles and ice falls for about 8 km and a half. The Armentarola track can be reached by taking the Lagazuoi cable car to Falzarego pass, which in just three minutes leads to an altitude of 2,800 meters from where one can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Dolomites. And as in all the fairy tales that respect each other, the route ends by being pulled by the horses to the place from which you can leave to repeat the route or for new fantastic adventures.

 

NORDIC SKIING

The Ampezzana offer dedicated to Nordic skiing includes tracks and services able to satisfy the most demanding athletes with guaranteed snowmaking, in addition to the exclusive environment of the Natural Park.

The focal point for cross-country skiing at Cortina - enhanced through a series of specialized services - has always been the Fiames Sport Nordic Center.

Even in the case of a lack of natural snow, you can ski on the school field and on most of the route that runs along the Ex-Ferrovia of the Dolomites, a very attractive route, frequented by many experienced cross-country skiers both in classical technique and free technique .

Mandatory tickets for access and use of the cross-country trails that can be purchased at the Fiames Sport Nordic Center, at Info Point in Corso Italia and at the ticket office at the bus station.

Cortina has some of the most beautiful black slopes of the Dolomites, due to the slope that characterizes them and the landscape that surrounds them: among the most famous those of Vertigine Bianca and Labirinti, suitable for all expert skiers who love the thrill.

If you want to ski off-piste, along the steep crests of Creste Bianche, Bus di Tofana, the Vallon dei Comate and Sci 18, it is essential to contact the ALPINE GUIDES to have fun in complete safety.

Huts, refuges, peaks and breathtaking landscapes: an enchantment to be discovered on foot, in slow mode, listening to the silence of nature, looking for animal footprints in the snow.

The beauty of the snow-capped Dolomites unfolds step by step, through easy walks on foot or on ciaspes, both during the day and after sunset, in the light of the frontal stacks.

Natural continuation of summer hiking, snowshoeing walks are a simple but wonderful activity that opens to the discovery of the snowy mountain, allowing you to penetrate the heart of pristine environments.

Accessible to all, in fact, there are no technical requirements or special physical skills, this sport is proving a great success.

It is necessary to know and know how to juggle safely on the various types of snow and slopes and it is useful to contact professionals in the sector to tackle some more unusual routes.

 

WORLDWIDE PERSPECTIVE 2021

The ski connection between the Pocol-Tofana and 5 Torri areas will be done: it has been approved by the Veneto Regional Council and will find its place in the new “Son dei Prade-Socrepes-Bai de Dones” area. The intervention, aimed at achieving what will be the training area and qualifications of the athletes during the Alpine Skiing World Championships 2021, will enrich the whole experience of the visitors of Cortina, enhancing the offer and integrating it further into the Dolomiti Superski activities, which is part of it.

The New Vertigo track in Tofana will be completed for the summer of 2018 and will host the downhill, super-giant and giant slalom races of the Alpine Skiing World Championships 2021. The spectacular track - which will give emotions to athletes, but also to lovers of discipline - will descend from 2,373 meters of departure, above Pomedes, up to the 1,568 meters of the finish line of Rumerlo, with a vertical drop of 805 meters, an average gradient of 31.6% and a maximum of 62%, on a total development of about 3000 meters. Three tunnels will allow the passage of skiers even during the races, with the track closed.

“Squirrel”: the new black trail in Faloria. Quote of departure: 2054 meters s.l.m .; Arrival altitude: 1816, with a difference in height of 238 meters with an average gradient of 27% and a maximum of 55% and a length of 905 meters. The new black run will be served by the Pian Bigontina-Costa Faloria chairlift, parallel to which it will develop, resulting in a variation to the Bigontina track. It can be used for competitions and training of ski clubs, without compromising the functionality of the entire area: the opening, scheduled for the 2017/2018 ski season, will allow all fans to experience new sensations and enjoy freer tracks to the slopes. interior of the area. 

 

 

Italian Excellence in the World: TOWER SPA

Italian Excellence in the World: TOWER SPA - ATLANTIS

1988 - 2018 Tower Spa: a celebration long thirty years

 

In October 1988, Tower Spa was born, a new insurance brokerage company, based in Vicenza. The festival of the thirty years of activity, which took place at Villa Curti in Sovizzo (Vicenza), on October 12, 2018, allowed to retrace and celebrate the company’s historical stages. The desire of founder and partners was the sharing with suppliers, customers, collaborators and friends in various capacities, of the awareness of what the current society is. Understanding the road traveled and looking back to understand what will be there. A future that Tower Spa will face, as always, with serenity and determination, at the service of its client.

 

 

The evening

During the evening, in addition to the convivial moment, some short speeches were given to remember the company activity and its birth.

 

“So, it was 1988, the day before yesterday, when I decided to stop acting as an agent to become an independent entrepreneur, with the desire to play my professional adventure to the end - said the founder of Tower Spa Guido Mocellin - today I can proudly say that Tower spa is a healthy society, with its well-known personality and physiognomy. Tower has developed over the years on different areas to have a balanced business mix, on a philosophy and values ​​consolidated over time: the customer at the center of our attention and activity, with a spirit of service, with independence, respect and transparency. The same spirit governs and has governed in all these years the relations within the society, with the staff and the stakeholders. - still the founder - Thirty years later and for me personally with the future behind me, I am proud to say that a team of people has grown who share deeply the philosophy and ethical values ​​on which Tower has grown, a rich team of professionalism, of technical and human culture, capable of evolving in the sign of the times “.

 

“I almost came by chance to Tower in 1998, I had to stop for a month, just after graduation, and instead I spent 20 years ... my entire professional life that has accompanied and supported the stages of my private life - said Fabrizio Ferrari - have been 30 years of profound social changes that obviously affected also Tower. The next few years are ahead of us. The insurance world seems to change at a speed never seen before. The new European standards already in force in a few days are opening new challenges but also new opportunities. Many insurance companies are no longer there, information technology is increasingly essential in our business and even say that it will replace us”.

 

“I joined Tower spa with the prospect of welcoming the new challenges that the profession proposed to us - said Diego Trestin - investing today on the future means knowing how to adapt to major changes imposed by new rules defined by the legislator or markets or simply to provide more useful and performing consulting services to its customers. The emphasis on outcome goals too often leaves little room for the assessment and quantification of the risk associated with different business choices. We believe this is a vital issue for building and solidifying companies for a prosperous, dynamic and stable future. It is on this ground that Tower spa is investing, convinced that this is the necessary evolution. We will be happy, from the near future, to be able to offer our customers this innovative service and to collect their feedback for all the possible improvements”.

“Tower and I have almost the same age, it’s like a big sister that has always accompanied me since I remember - the review of the interventions Rebecca Mocellin concluded - I remember the day I went to Tower, in 2013, after a period abroad, and the confirmation that the fil rouge that I had perceived from the outside was not exactly different from the perceived. Tower spa is today a reality that looks to the future with an international breath, not just Italy, but with the skills and tools necessary to manage customers who have facilities abroad. Many of the companies with which we have done, and we hope we will continue to do, a joint path, have grown by turning overseas and we have had to grow with them, structuring to be able to decline the advice and service according to the cultures and regulations of reference countries”.

 

 

Books

Books - ATLANTIS

  The Reis, as Erdogan has changed Turkey

 Within 15 years, Turkey, which we were accustomed to know as a loyal ally of the West, a member of NATO and a candidate for entry into the European Union, implemented an authoritarian and Islamonationalist turn that surprised foreign observers and began to worry both Washington and Brussels. But how was this process born? And how could it be completed in such a short time? This is what Marta Ottaviani tried to do in his book Il Reis. As Erdogan has changed Turkey, published by Textus editions. The volume, which also received very flattering opinions in the academic environment, won the Fiuggi Premio Speciale Special Section Award in 2016.

As is clear from the title, the work focuses on the figure of the current Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. However, the first part is entirely historical and very important, because it speaks of Turkish politics since the death of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern state, until 2001, when Erdogan founded his AKP, the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, the party for Justice and Development, which has been leading the country since 2002. In this first part we examine the birth and progressive affirmation of the Islamic political right, implemented by Necmettin Erbakan, Erdogan’s own political father and that of an Islamic right more devoted to soft power, which has never revealed its power with the creation of a traditional party, but that has operated through a powerful organization, which has infiltrated people loyal to every level of bureaucracy and the highest institutions of the country. To pull the strings of this second entity was Fethullah Gülen, the real gray eminence of the Turkish republic. Those of Erbakan and Gülen are two key figures for understanding recent Turkish history.

The thesis that reaches Ottaviani is courageous. According to the author, Turkey has never achieved true democratization. In this context should be read the four coup d’etat brought by the military from 1960 to today (but excluding that of July 2016) and the many judgments of the judiciary with which they were closed dozens of parties served to maintain a precarious balance, filtering what, at least in part, has always been a commonplace, true only up to a certain point, namely that of Turkey, the only Muslim country, but secular and democratic. More than secular he had been forcibly laicized. And it has never been fully democratic.

Hence the second thesis: Erdogan, in fact, has not invented anything new. He only gave new life to an Islamic political tradition that already existed, giving it a new look and receiving the help, unaware of the European Union. We can now safely say that the Turkish president has never really believed in the entrance to the club in Brussels and that this has served as the motivation to approve those reforms that, in fact, have removed powers to the two apparatuses that were the only and true opposition to his power: the army and the judiciary.

Four phases can be identified in the management of Erdogan’s power. The first goes from 2002 to 2007 and is definitely the best. The power system in Turkey was still balanced and the then prime minister focused primarily on economic growth and the first reforms to win the confidence of Brussels. The period from 2007 to 2011 represents in some way the apogee for the Turkish leader, considered by Europe as a model for the entire Middle East. But already there were glimpses of what would have been the fate of the country. Since 2009, Turkey has embarked on an increasingly autonomous foreign policy from the US and EU, managing the Libyan and Syrian crisis in a blatant and harmful manner, where Erdogan’s ideological opposition to President Assad and the anti-corruption motive have led Ankara to an alliance under track, but dangerous, with some jihadist movements including the Islamic State. With the third mandate, started in June 2011, the author also officially starts the authoritarian and conservative drift. A double track that led Erdogan to be increasingly aggressive abroad and increasingly dictatorial within national borders. These are the years in which the distance struggle began with Fethullah Gülen, with whom the Turkish president had been an ally for a few years, just long enough to dispel the secular currents of the army and the magistrates. The revolt of Gezi Parki, in June 2013, stifled in violence, has unveiled to the world the true face of what, until recently, was considered in Europe, a possible model for many Mediterranean countries. Gezi Parki served Erdogan not only to quell the square, but also commissioned his AKP party, eliminating the most dangerous exponents for him and replacing them with loyalists increasingly linked to the most subversive religious circles. The book ends with the three dramatic years that culminate in the coup of July 2016, where the author explains how Turkey has changed, first from a social point of view and how this country is still destined to impact on Europe. (The Reis, as Erdogan has changed Turkey, Marta Federica Ottaviani, Textus Editions, first edition 2016). 

 

 

 

Travel tips for Italians

Travel tips for Italians - ATLANTIS

Travel tips for Italians

Before leaving for abroad

• Know

• Inform

• Make

 

Inform yourself

The www.viaggiaresicuri.it site, edited by the Crisis Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with ACI, provides information as current as possible on all countries of the world.

In the country’s page where you plan to go in the foreground A NOTICE PARTICULAR with an update on the current situation, in particular on specific security issues, weather, epidemics, etc.

Besides the Notice Particular is available the FACT SHEET, which provides updated information about the country in general, with instructions for safety, health outcomes, indications for economic operators, traffic and useful addresses.

Remember to also check www.viaggiaresicuri.it shortly before your departure because security situations of foreign and regulations and administrative measures countries can change rapidly: is data that we continually upgrade.

You can acquire the information through daily active Crisis Telefonica Operative Central Unit (with voice timetable night service):

• Italy 06-491115

• from abroad + 39-06-491115

 

Inform

Before leaving, you can also record your trip on www.dovesiamonelmondo.it site stating your general, the itinerary of the trip and a mobile phone number. By recording the trip, the estimate will more accurately Crisis Unit the number of Italians in crisis areas, identify the identity and schedule servicing when sopraggiunga a severe emergency situation.

All the data are automatically deleted two days after your return, and are used only in case of emergency to facilitate action by the Crisis Unit in case of need.

As well as via the Internet, you can also register with your mobile phone by sending an SMS with a question mark? or with the word HELP to the number 320 2043424, or by phone at 011-2219018 and following the instructions.

 

Make

I strongly encourage anyone who is about to travel abroad temporarily, in their own interest, to obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), for travel to EU countries, or, for travel outside the EU, a ‘health insurance with adequate ceiling, to cover not only the cost of medical care and treatment carried out at hospitals and health facilities, but also the possible plane transfer to another country or repatriation of the sick, in severe cases even for means of aero-ambulance.

In case of organized tourist trips, we suggest you carefully check the contents of health insurance included in travel packages and, in the absence of adequate safeguards, we strongly recommend taking out individual health insurance policies.

And ‘well known that in many countries the local medical and health standards are different from those in Europe, and often private facilities have very high costs for each type of assistance, care or benefit provided. In recent years, the Directorate General for Italians Abroad and Migration Policies (DGIT) has seen the rise of reported cases of Italians in difficult situations abroad for medical and health reasons.

Remember that the diplomatic-consular missions, while providing the necessary assistance, can not sustain nor grant direct payments to a private nature; only in the most serious and urgent cases, they may grant to nationals not residing in the consular district and who find themselves in situations of hardship loans with restitution promise, which must, however, be repaid to the State upon return to Italy.

To obtain general information on assistance healthcare abroad, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Health, particularly noting “If I start service to ...” that allows you to have information on the right or not to health care during a stay or residence in any country of the world. 

 

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