The post is obviously mainly about Europe- hence, the picture of the Atomium in Heysel, Brussels that I took few years ago (of course- turned sideways).
Well, I will open with a picture of an old Italian politician resurrecting old antics (from the newspaper “La Stampa”;).
As I wrote in reply to a comment from a Facebook friend, that sign is what we Italians do to “notify” somebody that he is… a cuckold.
Probably, our former PM was inspired by the kid showing “V for Victory”- but the newspaper found few previous instances when Mr. Berlusconi did not need an external inspiration.
Who knows, that might be a sign that he is, after all, again into politics.
I know- I am not the only one that, once in a while (and often during political campaigns) feels as if we got inspired by an advertisement by Smirnoff that I saw in movie theatres in London- still worth watching:D
Now that I hope that you had a couple of good laughs, time to switch to few thoughts that will carry us all (at least within the European Union) for a while.
Today I posted the 12th weekly digest of my daily multilingual news selection that I post (almost every morning) on Twitter, as @robertolofaro.
What’s the content? This week: https://gettingaroundtheworldnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/links_restructure_2015-05-10.png
If you read the digest (on robertolofaro.com/blog), you will see that the week started with the news about the thousands saved by Italian seafaring people (military and civilians) between Italy and Libya- just over the previous week-end.
At last, this week-end is bringing a potential for a further step toward converting the European Union into something more than a mere “fair weather friendship”, as I discussed yesterday in a mostly business post that I shared on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dear-mr-bezos-smart-specialization-roberto-lofaro?trk=pulse-det-nav_art
Next week there should be a discussion on the proposal to spread across Europe those saved, plus a more critical change: at last, making “asylum” something that matters the whole of our European Union, instead of just the country where the asylum seeker first set foot within the EU.
It always puzzles me that the richest aggregation of countries is making such a fuss for a tiny fraction of the per capita number of refugees hosted by tiny Lebanon.
Scroogy? Probably, just short-sighted.
The upside is that this new crisis could be yet another instance when European states (not just EU members) look a little bit further in time than the next electoral cycle, and introduce structural changes that will take a generation or two to implement.
If you look at map showing who is supporting the new “EU-wide asylum seeker status” it looks depressingly such as a map similar to 1950s Europe.
UK? Well, it seems that again is having the routine focus on dividing continental countries in order to extract the best bargain (such as the idea of staying within the EU on finance and few other domains, and out for everything else- membership à la carte).
Tonight I had considered using as a background “West Wing”- but, as I have left the seasons 1 to 6 in Brussels, I turned to a Kennedy miniseries whose leading actor is… Martin Sheen (yes, the one who was to eventually be the President in West Wing, in this case he is JFK).
It wouldn’t be bad to have one of our current European leaders suddenly turn into a JFK- whatever you think of his politics or personal life, he was certainly able to inspire others.
Sunday night, and therefore obviously I have to share something more personal.
You might remember that I wrote about one of my projects to escape terminal boredom in Italy, a book on the organizational development history of China, expanding on other books that I published on change and the like (not on China), for future uses in my activities.
Well, tomorrow I will complete, as planned, a review of an A1-A2 Mandarin course that I followed a while ago, something that I had planned to complete by the end of the month- instead, I will spend on it probably another week, while waiting to move onto a B1-B2 (this time, to study it, not just to read it and “get acquainted”;)), basically to make easier then translating properly (and maybe finding other material online in Chinese) lectures from a course on China’s history that I followed on Coursera.
Along with that, by the end of the month I had planned to complete working my way through an intermediate German grammar workbook (I have another one that covers A1-C2, that I will use later, after testing it: it isn’t clearly marked which exercises are at which level, and my German reading skills are most certainly not at C2 :D).
Obviously, plans do change- so, I will probably spend few days more on Mandarin exercises before moving forward, but the German side will move faster- along with the publication of further episodes of a fictional case study on a business change programme on compliance (basically, service/relationship management).
How do you mark progress? By having other books that are way above my current skills (I have bought one teaching how to read Chinese newspapers, and a biography of Bismarck in German whose translation I found in Italian libraries).
All this to say: I have few more mini-books (50-100 pages) scheduled for 2015, some already with a draft, others with just a preliminary table of contents or a short “treatment”, as if they were scripts for a movie:)
And, probably, also an “encore” on the book that I wrote in 2012 and started as a series of blog posts while I was visiting Berlin in November 2012, #BerlinDiaries, and will also expand the sources used for the daily news review.
From now on, the picture that you see along with this post will appear whenever my posts talk also about Europe- if you are interested in following European news on a daily basis, have a look at Facebook.com/BerlinDiaries, where I share daily news on or affecting the European Union (an extract of the news that I share everyday on @robertolofaro).
On the same page, I will also add short comments whenever appropriate.
As the title of this post goes… “don’t mind old antics, there might be something new coming up”- even avoiding to make a choice is a choice.
Which, in the case of the European Union, would imply letting others do the choices, and pick up the tab (as we are the closest ones to the sources of the issues), as we routinely did over the last few years in the Palestine, when Europeans paid for reconstruction in Palestine, and Israel’s IDF then flattened what we built…
Libya and the Mediterranean Sea are a mess that we Europeans helped to develop- without quoting the “backyard approach” à la Monroe (we are in the XXI century, not the XIX!)…
…if the European Union member states cannot make up their mind, then it is up to the Council of Europe- from Portugal on the Atlantic, to Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, probably within the framework of Partner for Democracy (see http://assembly.coe.int/ASP/APFeaturesManager/defaultArtSiteView.asp?ID=996).
P.S. #EU and the new #quota #system for #refugees http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/europaeische-union/neue-verteilung-quotenregelung-fuer-fluechtlinge-13586358.html #reality http://www.lastampa.it/2015/05/11/esteri/ridistribuire-mila-migranti-prime-ipotesi-di-quote-dalla-ue-eqi3mjfiZDapjypemAmdQP/pagina.html #immigration #Europe
P.P.S. #Mogherini: #immigration a #global #issue – cannot be solved just by #EU http://www.lastampa.it/2015/05/11/italia/politica/mogherini-allonu-migrazione-fenomeno-mondiale-lue-non-pu-fare-da-sola-AbB3St0AwFUD1us8yIPP1K/pagina.html #security #UN