March 6, 2009

A bridge to the future?

Italy’s government has revived plans to build the Strait of Messina bridge, linking Sicily to the mainland. The single-span suspension bridge, with a central span of 3,300 m (about 2 miles), would be the longest in the world. The project is part of a massive 17.8bn-euro public works program to create new jobs and boost the economy.

Italy’s Foreign minister delays Iran visit

In light of the “unacceptable statements” made by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “against the state of Israel and the American administration,” Italy Foreign minister Franco Frattini has delayed a visit to Tehran. Yesterday Ali Khamenei described Israel as a “cancerous tumor,” and criticized Washington’s “unconditional support” for Israel. He also said that the Holocaust was used to “usurp” Palestinian land.

The Italian reaction to both the hateful and hurtful anti-Semitic statements made by Ali Khamenei and the equally unacceptable statements contained in the draft of the final document of the upcoming United Nations World Conference Against Racism (see my previous post), has been as severe as quick. Which is something new, to tell the truth, in comparison with the standards of our political decision-making. I think Franco Frattini earns a “bravo” for this.