The record is substantially positive. This is how Cardinal Parolin has summarized the results of his recent visit to the Russian Federation.Firstly, there is the Russian Catholic community to protect, with 300 parishes and 270 priests - mostly non-Russians, but Poles, Lithuanians, Germans, Ukrainians - as well as an Archbishop of Moscow, namely the Italian Paolo Pezzi, coming from the movement of "Communion and Liberation", who is an expert in Russian political, cultural and religious issues.
Populism leaves its supporters spellbound, but it’s not sustainable. It’s a powerful explosive charge that sends taboo and politically incorrect, yet critical, subjects flying on to the discussion table. But politics and governance need the persistent drive of a steadily running engine with a set direction to achieve the promised goals.
European governments’ crackdown against migrants hasn’t let up, even with the summer holiday period in full swing. The Italian government recently hailed a drastic drop in the number of migrants arriving on their shores following new investments in the Libyan coast guard. Meanwhile, Germany started sending asylum seekers back to Greece, despite the fact that reception centres in the country remain vastly overcrowded.
“Ethnic conflict“ has become a very fashionable notion. However, it was not always so. Indeed, in the not-so-distant past such a notion was practically unknown. In the pre-modern times, conflicts were assumed to take place between power-holders, over pieces of land. The former sought to seize, control and exploit all resources within the latter, including the population that was also perceived and treated only as yet another resource for exploitation.
Faceless Eurocrats denying EU member states their rightful sovereignty are the bête noir of Eurosceptics across the continent, a major factor in both the Brexit vote and perennial, continent-wide rumblings of discontent about Brussels. For those in the corridors of power across Europe, however, these ‘Faceless Eurocrats’ are actually a convenient scapegoat on which to pin the blame for unpopular moves that sovereign governments secretly want.
Both Chirac and Sarkozy had five minutes to leave power, while François Hollande could even have five months to do so. In fact, at the time, eight Frenchmen out of ten approved his decision not to run for another term. As you may recall, part of President Hollande’s establishment did not accept automatically to lend a hand to Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister who wanted to join the "two Lefts", the one resulting from Hamon’s proposals for the primary election - a so-called gauche de la tradition - and the one which was being shaped around Macron, with whom Valls had nothing in common at political level.
From the 1970s onwards, politics has undergone a very extensive and thorough conceptual transformation. I am not referring to the usual and trivial issue of the "crisis of ideologies" or the end of Right or Left all-encompassing narratives. Nevertheless the idea that the post-modern world - which was already on the horizon at the time - could do without what Wittgenstein called "super-orders of super-concepts" has been currently wiped out by reality.
Italy is now a clear victim of globalization, which is governed only by those who have a very precise vision of their own country and have access to very confidential information, as well as by those who are able to quickly and wisely exploit its continued asymmetries and finally by those countries that impose their game with a wide range of "indirect strategies".