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Explainer: European Media Freedom Act

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The aim of the European Media Freedom Act is to protect media pluralism and independence in the EU single market, where media can operate more easily across borders without undue interference.

The Act will complement existing measures on the audiovisual market, setting clear rules and safeguards to ensure greater independence, transparency and cooperation between media market operators and thereby promote their economic development across borders.

  1. What are the benefits of the European Media Freedom Act for media companies in general?

The European Media Freedom Act will strengthen the editorial freedom of media companies and protect them from unjustified, disproportionate and discriminatory national measures, protecting the pluralism of European media landscape. Media companies will also benefit from fairer and more transparent allocation of state advertising expenditure.

This common set of rules for all EU media players will allow for greater legal certainty and more predictability in media market concentrations, making it easier for media market players to expand their operations across the European internal market. Media companies will be able to benefit from fair competition and better return on investment in the digital environment through, for example, new audience measurement transparency rules and new safeguards concerning content removals on very large online platforms.

  1. What are the benefits of the European Media Freedom Act for public service media providers?

Public service media play a special role in ensuring that citizens have access to information. However, because of their source of funding, public service media are particularly exposed to the risk of political interference.

This is why the Media Freedom Act pays particular attention to public service media and the challenges they face. The Regulation proposes that funding provided to public service media should be adequate and stable, thus ensuring editorial independence. The Regulation also stipulates that public service media providers shall provide a plurality of information and opinions, in an impartial manner. Finally, to ensure greater independence from partisan political influence, the head and the governing board of public service media will have to be appointed in a transparent, open and non-discriminatory manner and can be dismissed only in very specific circumstances.

  1. What are the benefits of the Media Freedom Act for journalists and other media professionals?

Journalists and editors will be better protected from undue interference in editorial decision-making and, in the case of public service media, have assurances that their employer is equipped with adequate and stable funding for future operations, in accordance with their public service mission.

The Act also makes it clear that the use of spyware against media, journalists and their families is prohibited. In the same vein, the proposed rules clarify that journalists should not be prosecuted for protecting the confidentiality of their sources.

The accompanying recommendation sets out a catalogue of best practices to strengthen editorial independence and encourages the involvement of journalists in media companies’ decision-making as well as training opportunities.

The Regulation and Recommendation complement the measures to protect journalists issued by the Commission so far, such as the Recommendation on the safety of journalists and the proposed Directive to protect journalists and rights defenders from abusive litigation (anti-SLAPP).

  1.  What are the requirement for the media themselves?  

The Act includes a series of new rights to protect the media and it also comes with a very targeted set of responsibilities. The Act includes some specific requirements for media providing news and current affairs content, as these media play a particularly important role in informing citizens and shaping public opinion.

First, those media have to be transparent about their ownership. This requirement builds on existing EU legislation applying to companies in general (company law and anti-money laundering rules).

Second, those media shall also take the measures that they deem appropriate with a view to guaranteeing the independence of individual editorial decisions and to disclosing any actual or potential potential conflict of interest.

The media have full freedom in deciding which measures are the best fit according to their business model, size and other specificities. However in order to bring more transparency and trust, and in the public interest, the Act requires them to take those important principles – transparency related to owners, actual or potential conflict of interest and the independence of individual editorial decisions – into account. 

This is not about regulating how media organise themselves. The overwhelming majority of media already have relevant measures in place.

It can be noted that the new Board has no role in monitoring those rules and is not a new oversight body for the press sector.

  1. How will the Act regulate the use of spyware against journalists?

The Act prohibits the use of spyware against media, journalists and their families. This is the rule. The Act narrows down any possible exceptions to this rule on the ground of national security, which is a competence of the Member States, or in case of investigations of a closed list of crimes, such as terrorism, child abuse or murder. In such cases, the Act makes it very clear that it should be duly justified, on a case-by-case basis, in compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in circumstances where no other investigative tool would be adequate. The Act therefore provides in this respect concrete new guarantees at EU level.

Any affected journalist would have the right to seek effective judicial protection from an independent court in the respective Member State. Additionally, every Member State will have to designate an independent authority to handle complaints of journalists concerning the use of spyware against them. These independent authorities will issue, within three months of the request, an opinion regarding compliance with the provisions of the Media Freedom Act.

  1. What is the role of the European media freedom watchdog? How will the Board operate in practice?

The Commission proposes to set up a new European Board for Media Services comprised of national media authorities. The Board will replace and succeed the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) established under the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). The Board shall act in full independence when performing its tasks.

The Board will:

  • promote the effective and consistent application of the European Media Freedom Act and the broader EU media law framework;
  • provide expert advice on regulatory, technical or practical aspects of media regulation;
  • deliver opinions on national measures and media market concentrations which are likely to affect the functioning of the internal market for media services, including by having an impact on media freedom and pluralism;
  • promote cooperation and the effective exchange of information, experience and best practices between national media regulators.

The Board will play a specific role in the fight against disinformation, including foreign interference and information manipulation. It will coordinate national measures related to media services provided by media service providers established outside of the Union that target audiences in the Union and present risks to public security and defence.

The Act also foresees a mechanism of mutual assistance in case one regulatory authority needs the help of another to address risks to the internal market or public security.

It should be noted that regarding the oversight of the rules related to public service media providers, it is up to each Member State to designate one or more independent authorities or bodies that may be different from media regulators. This approach aims to take into account national specificities related to the oversight of public service media.

The Board is not responsible either for the oversight of other provisions of the Act related to the rights and duties of media service providers, including press publications.

  1. How will the media market concentration assessment work?

The Media Freedom Act does not prevent or set specific thresholds for media market concentrations. It does however provide a framework regarding national rules and procedures for assessing media market concentrations that could have a significant impact on media pluralism and editorial independence.

The objective of the proposal is to ensure a well-functioning internal media market. Without prejudice to applicable competition rules, the Regulation will ensure that Member States will assess media market concentrations that could have a significant impact on media pluralism and editorial independence. This will be done on the basis of criteria set out in advance that take into account a number of elements, including effects on the formation of public opinion, safeguards for editorial independence and economic sustainability.

The Board will be able to issue opinions on draft assessments done by national regulatory authorities regarding media market concentrations that may affect the functioning of the internal market. It could also issue an opinion in cases where there is no such national assessment or consultation of the Board by a national authority or body. 

  1. How will the European Media Freedom Act regulate national measures affecting the media?

The Media Freedom Act requires that any national measures (legislative, regulatory or administrative, e.g. granting a licence or authorisation) which can affect operations of media service providers in the internal market should be justified, proportionate, reasoned, transparent, objective and non-discriminatory.

The Board will be able to intervene, upon request of the Commission, by issuing opinions on national measures, including legislative proposals adopted at national level. The Commission would also have a possibility to issue its own opinions on such measures.

In case of breach of the law, the Commission will be able to intervene, using the powers granted by the Treaties, including by launching infringement procedures.

  1. How will the European Media Freedom Act address state advertising and why is this important?

State advertising is an important revenue source in the media sector, and market players should benefit from equal opportunities in accessing it.

With regard to advertising by public authorities (at national or regional level, or local authorities of cities with more than 1 million population) and state-owned enterprises, the European Media Freedom Act requires that the allocation of such state advertising to media is transparent, objective, proportionate and non-discriminatory. The objective is to minimise the risks of public funds and other state resources being leveraged to serve partisan interests and to promote fair competition in the internal media market. Public authorities and state-owned enterprises will have to publish yearly information about their advertising expenditure allocated to media service providers, including the names of the media service providers from which advertising services were purchased and the amounts spent (annual amount and amount per provider).

  1. What is the link between the Media Freedom Act and the Digital Services Act, when it comes to media content moderation?

The European Media Freedom Act builds on the Digital Services Act. The proposal offers additional protection against the unjustified removal by very large online platforms (above 45 million users in the EU) of media content produced according to professional standards. Such platforms will need to take all possible measures to communicate the reasons for suspending content to media service providers before the suspension takes effect. The procedure includes a series of safeguards to ensure that this early warning procedure is in line with other priorities of the Commission, such as the fight against disinformation. Any complaints lodged by media service providers must be processed with priority by those platforms. The proposal provides for a meaningful and effective dialogue between the parties to avoid unjustified content removals and for obligatory annual reporting by very large online platforms.

These provisions are accompanied by a structured dialogue organised by the European Board for Media Services between very large online platforms, the media sector and civil society to foster access to diverse offers of independent media on very large online platforms and to monitor adherence to self-regulatory initiatives aimed at protecting society from harmful content, including disinformation and foreign information manipulation and interference.

  1. What are the links between the Act and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD)?

The European Media Freedom Act builds on the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), which coordinates certain aspects of Member State regulation on audiovisual media services. In particular, the proposal strengthens the cooperation of national media regulators, including with regard to the provisions of the AVMSD. Notably, the European Media Freedom Act establishes a framework for cooperation and mutual assistance among media regulators and introduces a new mechanism to facilitate the enforcement of the AVMSD obligations of video-sharing platforms. In addition, the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA), which was established under the AVMSD, will be replaced and succeeded by the European Board for Media Services, which will take on the tasks of ERGA under the AVMSD and new tasks under the proposal. The proposal and the accompanying Recommendation also build on the provisions of the AVMSD on transparency of media ownership.

At the same time, the proposed European Media Freedom Act introduces a number of new provisions going beyond the AVMSD, for example, on audience measurement systems, state advertising and the protection of journalistic sources. It also has a broader scope and is not limited to audiovisual media.

  1.  What is the new right of customisation of the audiovisual media offer?

The Regulation introduces a right of customisation of the media offer on devices and interfaces used to access audiovisual media services, such as connected TVs. This means that users will be able to change the default settings and adapt them to their own preferences. It will apply, for example, to hardware (e.g. remote controls) or software shortcuts, applications and search areas.

When placing such devices and user interfaces on the market, manufacturers and developers will need to ensure that they include a functionality enabling users to freely and easily exercise this right.

The rules will not affect the Member States’ ability to ensure the appropriate prominence of audiovisual media services of general interest (Article 7a of the revised Audiovisual and Media Services Directive).

  1.  Why and how does the European Media Freedom Act address audience measurement?

Audience measurement is of key importance for the media and advertising ecosystems, as it helps the calculation of advertising prices, and thus further allocation of advertising revenues and the related planning, production or distribution of content by media service providers.

Building on the Digital Markets Act, the Regulation requires that the providers of audience measurement tools provide media service providers and advertisers with detailed information on the methodology used. The Media Freedom Act will also oblige regulatory authorities to encourage the drawing up of codes of conduct among providers of audience measurement tools to foster transparency, inclusiveness and non-discrimination.

With the new audience measurement rules, media companies will be able to benefit from fair competition and a better return on investment in the digital environment.

  1. Why is the Commission presenting both a Regulation and a Recommendation?

The European Media Freedom Act takes the form of a Regulation comprising common rules and safeguards that will be directly applicable across the European Union once adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. The Regulation is accompanied by a Recommendation that provides a catalogue of voluntary best practices collected from media companies and other media stakeholders and to be discussed with them in order to further support editorial independence. The aim is to help increase the resilience of the media against pressure. It also includes recommendations to media companies and Member States enhancing media ownership transparency. The Recommendation will apply immediately and is expected to lead to positive developments in the internal media market in the short term. In addition, a combination of a Regulation and a Recommendation allows taking into account specificities of media regulation and self-regulation at the EU level and in the Member States.

  1. When will the European Media Freedom Act enter into force?

As the next step, the European Parliament and the Member States will discuss the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation under the ordinary legislative procedure. Once adopted by the co-legislators, the Regulation will be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. Most provisions will apply 6 months after the entry into force of the Regulation. Provisions concerning the European Board for Media Services will apply already 3 months after the entry into force to lay the ground for a successful implementation.

  1.  How will the European Media Freedom Act be enforced in Member States?

The Media Freedom Act is a Regulation which means it is directly applicable in all Member States. This means that any alleged breaches can be brought before national Courts. The European Board for Media Services, together with the European Commission, will ensure the consistent application of the European Media Freedom Act and the wider EU media law framework. In the context of national measures affecting the operation of media service providers, the Board’s opinions will be an important element in any decision on whether a Member State has infringed the Act. In the most serious cases, the Commission would be able to intervene, using the powers granted by the Treaties, including launching infringement procedures.

The Recommendation accompanying the legislative proposal is non-binding. However, the Commission will monitor the implementation of the Recommendation by Member States and hold discussions regarding stakeholders’ actions to follow it up in relevant fora.

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European Union Trucks Banned From Entering Russia

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In a reciprocal step, an executive order banning European Union haulage trucks crossing borders into Russia’s territory aggravates economic situation for both Russia and the European Union. Besides the European Union, the ban also affects international cargo transport on Russian territory for transport companies from Ukraine, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Norway.

The ban applies to two way transportation, transit, and transportation from or to a third country, and valid from October 10 until December 31, 2022. On the other side, from April 8, any Russian and Belarusian automobile transport enterprise has been banned from cargo transportation, including transit carriage, in the European Union.

Under the current conditions, EU trucks facing ban from Russia loose huge revenues while essential consumers and other foreign products are obviously cut from the distribution chains, and the situation is characterized by serious price hikes.

Late September, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed an an Executive Order On Some Aspects of International Road Transport of Goods as a reciprocal measure to the new round of  latest EU sanctions due to the Russia’s special military operations in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine.

It was signed in light of some foreign states’ unfriendly actions aimed at adopting restrictions against citizens of the Russian Federation and Russian legal entities, which contradicts international law, to protect the national interests of the Russian Federation and in accordance with Federal Law No. 127-FZ, dated June 4, 2018, On Measures (Countermeasures) in Response to Unfriendly Actions of the United States and Other Foreign States.

Under the Executive Order, the Government of the Russian Federation is authorised to adopt a ban on international road transport of goods across the territory of the Russian Federation for vehicles of international carriers registered in the states that have adopted restrictions against citizens of the Russian Federation and Russian legal entities in the area of international road transport of goods.

If the Government adopts such a ban, it should also stipulate its duration; include the list of states that have introduced restrictions against citizens of the Russian Federation and Russian legal entities in the area of international road transport of goods; the types of international road transport of goods covered by the ban; and the conditions of international road transport of goods compliance with which precludes the imposition of the ban.

The Russian permits, special permits and multilateral permits stipulated in Federal Law No. 127-FZ, dated July 24, 1998, On State Control over International Transport by Road and on Liability for Violating Procedures for Such Operations, shall be considered null and void if foreign carriers use them for international road transport of goods in violation of this ban.

Leading experts commented on the European Union trucks ban from entering Russia. “We’ve been waiting precisely for this decree for months now. We proposed not to completely ban the import of merchandise but to introduce restrictions on trucks entering Russia so that cargos are handed over at the border. European carriers will enter the border zone and hand over the cargos to our carriers,” President of the Gruzavtotrans Association Vladimir Matyagin told local Russia media Rossiyskaya Gazeta. According to him, this will help those Russian truckers who lost their jobs due to the sanctions to transport merchandise domestically.

Executive Director of BMJ Logistics Alexey Yakushev told the Kommersant newspaper that back in April when the EU banned Russian and Belarusian transport carriers from crossing their borders, European logistics operators began preparing for retaliatory measures, actively wrapping up their activity in Russia. 

“So this ban will most likely affect small and medium-sized companies in the EU’s transport sector who continue to deliver cargos to Russia,” he said, noting that domestic carriers would only win while those companies involved in imports from Europe would most likely shoulder additional expenses.

Market experts acknowledge there is currently economic crisis which is aggravated by the risks of transit causing some enterprises to either scale down or shut down operations, and further say retaliatory ban on trucking in Russia from those countries, including European Union, costs of cargo transportation from Russia to Europe and back has already skyrocketed four or even fivefold. According media reports, importers and exporters have already sustained extra costs of over $1.26 billion at the current exchange rate), while the annual figure about $6.18 billion.

As a direct result of Russia’s “special military operation” aims at “demilitarization and denazification” in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine since late February, Russia has come under a raft of sanctions imposed by the United States and Canada, European Union, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and a host of other countries. President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on legal recognition of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions’ independence and finally joined the Russian Federation.

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For A New Foreign Policy in Italy

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The sad and notorious vicissitudes of the non-existence of an Italian foreign policy have hit rock bottom over the last three years, thus destroying even the minimum that we had managed to create after the disappearance of the serious and experienced political class born out of the Resistance Movement and lasting until the early 1990s.

The initial low profile of Italian foreign policy in the international scenario in the aftermath of the Second World War was certainly not due to phantom injustices of history or the inability or acumen of politicians or diplomats at home. For Italy, the reason was the necessary outcome of the Yalta alignments and the presence in our country of the strongest Communist Party in the West.

The values of patriotism, Nation and flag – where they proved to be fundamental for the political-economic reconstruction of the countries that had really fought and had been severely tried by the conflict (China, France, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, USSR, etc.) – were removed and erased in Italy by “a foreign nationalist party, inadmissible in the democracy of our countries”, as Gaetano Salvemini and Ernesto Rossi put it.

Even the liberal epic of the Risorgimento was lost: try asking the 30/40-year-old man in the street, let alone a younger one, about Cavour, Mazzini, King Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, etc. He may know something about Garibaldi, thanks to TV programmes produced by the long wave of Bettino Craxi, a fan of the Italian general born in Nice.

The heritage of the country’s unity and Mussolini’s rhetoric reminded of the very concept of Nationhood and Fascism. It was therefore in the interest of the Kremlin and therefore of the Italian Communist Party – when the Bolshevik revolution in Italy was just a chimera to be administered to the voting masses – that its point of reference set political parameters that guaranteed the international commitments of the Sarmatian region. Over the years they came to brand words such as “Italianness”, “tricolour Italian flag”, “lost former unredeemed lands”, and the like, as right-wing synonyms for grief and tragedy.

The Soviets’ party of reference in Italy then decided that, in order to remain credible before voters and members who still wished in good faith for the mýthos of proletarian catharsis, we had to at least destroy the only non-military or economic-industrial expression of the bourgeoisie, i.e. the sense of homeland. At the same time, for the superpowers’ equilibria, the rest had to be left intact and unchanged.

From 1945 to the events of 1989-1991 – the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion and collapse of the other homeland, the Soviet one – Italy’s foreign policy, while praising and exalting the skilful and refined experience inherited from Lorenzo the Magnificent, from Westphalia, etc., had to move maimed and lop-sided, deprived of the national interest motivation that, on the contrary, other States placed and still place at the core of their actions.

For almost half a century, Italian politicians and diplomats were the protagonists of fundamental engagements and commitments around the world. It was not Italy – as the exclusive subject – that dictated policy lines as pars contrahendi, but there were specific schools of foreign policy, following the lines of De Gasperi, Nenni, Fanfani, Moro, Craxi, Andreotti, De Michelis, etc. The fear of arousing even the slightest top-down nationalism, albeit formal, was the blackmail to which governments were subjected on the sacrificial altar of the internal equilibria desired by the Italian Communist Party.

Over the last thirty years, the end of the bipolar system, based on weapons of mass destruction, the opening up of new international scenarios, and, in particular, the stance taken by the Italian President of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi – with his heartfelt appeals for rediscovering Italy as a value and pride to be flaunted not only at the football stadiums when the national team was playing – have overturned the mannerist minimalism, in which – as Achille Albonetti has been arguing since April 2005 – Italy’s downgrading, which “is neither admitted nor discussed”, has been developing for some months “in the almost general indifference of institutions, politicians, journalists and experts, including historians and diplomats”.

However, just as it took almost half a century after the Resistance struggle to bury the past, we hope that it will take fewer years for Italy to resume the leading role it has uninterruptedly played since Unification until a few decades ago. Three are the most evident symptoms of Italy’s progressive downgrading.

Firstly, the three Summits between President of the Republic Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in June and September 2003, and later in February 2004, which led to some important agreements in the crucial defence sector.

Secondly, the negotiations with Iran, which began at the level of the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom in October 2003, on the sensitive nuclear issue.

Thirdly, Germany’s candidacy as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, supported by France and the UK.

What happened in those years between the great three European countries, which excluded Italy, was the beginning of its downgrading, which would be a severe mistake not to record.

It is worth recalling that Italy has always been present in the leading groups and among the great European powers, ever since its birth (1861). It has therefore been assured a position similar to the UK, French and German positions. Over the last 140 years, regardless of its internal regime and actual strength in relation to the others, Italy has played important and decisive roles: the Triple Alliance in 1882; the Algeciras Agreement in 1904; the Pact with the Allied Powers in 1915; the Treaty of Locarno in 1926; the Four-Power Pact in 1934; the Munich Mediation in 1938; the deployment of the Euro-Missiles in 1979-80, etc.. As seen above, as early as 1882, Italy made a pact with the Central, Austro-Hungarian and German Empires. However, it was contacted by the Triple Alliance and, from 1915, it secretly switched to supporting France, the United Kingdom and Russia.

In the Fascist period Italy had important, albeit harmful and damaging allies, i.e. the Nazi Germany and Japan. In the post-war period, it enthusiastically joined all the major European ventures: the Council of Europe and OECE in 1948; the ECSC in 1950. After the failure of the EDC and EPC in 1954, it promoted the European relaunch in Messina in 1955, which led to the signing of the Treaties of Rome in March 1957, i.e. the European Economic Community and Euratom.

Italy joined the European Monetary System in the late 1970s; the Single European Act in 1985; and the Treaties of Maastricht (1992), Amsterdam (1996) and Nice (2000). It is one of the countries that have joined the Euro. Since 1975 it has been a member of the G5, later to become G7 and G8, and G14. In the sensitive military sector, as early as 1957 Italy has been the architect – with France and Germany – of a project for a nuclear military capability. In 1969 it adhered to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, with twelve conditional clauses, including the European clause, etc..

However, when a Foreign Minister performs his assignment – not knowing, and not even understanding what we have mentioned above (acronyms included) – it is natural that the downgrading process continues. It must also be said, however, that the responsibility does not lie with the Minister, but rather with those who placed him in this role of utmost responsibility.

The opportunity to try to make up for lost time and lost face at the Foreign Ministry could be the creation of the new government that – based on the recent outcome of the polls – could even lead the country to have a woman as Prime Minister. It would be an epoch-making turning point, as well as an opportunity missed by the Left, which from the Liberation to the present day, has expressed only Nilde Iotti, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies from 1979 to 1992, as its highest female leader.

At this juncture, as some media claim that any right-wing government would be an expression of the nostalgic Right, I wish to point out that the alleged historical references of the future government’s protagonists were erased from history by the USA and the UK, while the current leaders of the winning coalition are perfectly in line with the wishes of the White House and the liberal-capitalist West.

In the meantime, let us take a look at the Foreign Ministers of previous centre-right governments and try – based on our experience as former observers of foreign policy and international relations – to provide some advice to the future Prime Minister.

There were four Foreign Ministers in the centre-right governments: Antonio Martino (Ω 2013), Renato Ruggiero (Ω 2013), Franco Frattini and Gianfranco Fini. The latter was also Deputy Prime Minister: a double responsibility that had previously been held only by Giuseppe Pella (1957-1958) and later by Massimo D’Alema (2006-2008), thus proving the skills and experience of the three aforementioned politicians. Gianfranco Fini was also Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies from 2008 to 2013.

When I organised the face-to-face meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini (November 24, 2003), Sharon emphasised Italy’s balanced position, praising it as an important contribution to the advancement of the peace process. Furthermore, during his stay in Israel, Fini spoke of Italy’s faults regarding the “infamous racial laws wanted by Fascism”, for the implementation of which the decisive signature was not that of Mussolini, who proposed them, but of King Victor Emmanuel III of Savoy, who approved them.

It was Maria José of Savoy who, during one of my visits to Switzerland, made me aware of King Victor Emmanuel III’lack of decisiveness, as well as his spouse’s preponderant aspect of mater familiae.

A cowardly act that disgraced that King and his coat of arms indelibly before History. On the contrary, when the idea of marking the Jews with a Star of David was floated, King Christian X of Denmark (who ruled from 1912 to 1947), declared: “If that emblem is used, then we shall all wear it”. The government of that Nazi-occupied country did not implement racial laws.

It is good to remind ourselves of History, but it is also edifying to highlight the value of some Italian politicians who have taken on their responsibilities in the right fora (although they may have made some personal mistakes which, however, were unrelated to their political actions).

At a time of political void, it would be good to pick up the broken threads of a discourse of serious continuity of Italian diplomacy, which has recently undergone considerable stages of total embarrassment.

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How a U.S. Colony Works: The Case of Germany

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On 15 July 2022, Britain’s Reuters news agency headlined “70% of Germans back Ukraine despite high energy prices, survey shows”, and reported that “Some 70% of those polled backed Germany’s support for Ukraine, … found the survey conducted between July 12-14 by broadcaster ZDF.” ZDF is funded by the German Government — German taxpayers. 

Germany’s AfD Party is one of the two Parties in Germany that are less than enthusiastically backing Germany’s anti-Russia position, the other such Party being “Die Linke” or “The Left” Party, which is Germany’s only socialist democratic Party, despite West Germany’s “Social Democratic Party” calling itself “democratic socialist” while being neither. 

The AfD Party issued a press release, on 25 August 2022, “Stephan Brandner: Skandalöse „Politische Filter“ beeinflussen NDR-Berichterstattung” or “Stephan Brandner: Scandalous ‘political filters’ influence NDR reporting.” It reported that Mr. Brandner, who is an AfD Member of the German Parliament, said that

After the self-service affair about the now hated RBB director Schlesinger, reminiscent of feudal structures, an online magazine now reports that employees on North German radio complain about ‘political filters’ from their superiors. According to the report …, public service broadcasting executives act like ‘ministerial press officers’. … 

As an AfD politician I am not surprised. After all, ARD and ZDF only report on the AfD with a ‘political filter’ and, for example, no longer invite AfD politicians to talk shows. … Compulsory contributions [by taxpayers, to ‘public broadcasting’] should be abolished.

Mr. Brandner provided no evidence for any of his allegations. (That’s the way politics is in a dictatorship. How can the public vote intelligently if they are routinely accepting allegations that are being made without supplying documentation? That’s a dictatorship by lies and liars, and no democracy-capable public would accept it. In science, what is not documented to be true is assumed to be false — not assumed to be true. A democratic country operates on the basis of science, not on the basis of faith.)

However, this doesn’t mean that Mr. Brandner’s allegations there are necessarily false. One reason why they could very well be true is that there are six Parties in Germany, and the current governing coalition consists of the three that take the hardest line against Russia, and for America, and for the post-2014, U.S.coup, anti-Russian, Ukrainian Government. The ruling coalition, those three Parties, are called the “traffic-light coalition”, and include the rabidly neoconservative (or pro-U.S.-empire) anti-Russian Green Party, plus the U.S. Democratic Party-allied so-called “Social Democratic Party,” plus the rabidly libertarian or “neoliberal” (pro-free-market, anti-regulation, and generally U.S.-Republican-Party-allied) Free Democratic Party; and they EXCLUDE (or give the red light to, and prevent from participating in the Government) the three least-anti-Russian Parties, which are The Left Party (the authentic democratic socialists, or progressives, ideologically opposed to any imperialism), the AfD Party (nationalists), and the U.S.-Republican-Party-allied CDU/CSU Christian Democratic and Christian Social Union Party. 

Brandner raised an important question, without providing any evidence regarding its solution. But here are some relevant facts, regarding the extent to which Germany’s Government tolerates corruption (which includes corruptness of a Government and of its ‘news’-media):

On 14 December 2021, I did an analysis comparing the anti-corruption laws in three nations, and headlined “Political Corruption in U.S., Germany, and Russia”. I concluded that 

Although this is a very incomplete indicator of a country’s corruptness, it does present the U.S. in a very favorable light, and present Germany (11 out of 12 “No”s [meaning no law against corruption]) as being rather astoundingly corrupt. Russia is midway between those two, perhaps because after Yeltsin’s abominable rule, Putin cleaned up Russia’s Government, but a lot of that job still remains undone, even after 21 years.

Germany’s Government was more shaped by Truman than perhaps any in the world except America’s own Government. But, from the present indicator, America’s vassal nations would appear to be even more corrupt than the imperial center, the U.S., itself, is — at least insofar as their political campaign-finance laws (“what’s written in black and white” in the lawbooks) are concerned.

Here was the summary, specifically regarding Germany:

Following here will be answers that are solidly grounded in the written laws of each of these three countries (though not necessarily reflecting how those laws are enforced — or not), regarding the 12 most clearly important questions that were studied. I present those dozen questions in the order that seems to me to provide the clearest sequence in order for the reader to interpret them, not in the order that was employed by the source:

GERMANY

“8. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates?” “There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.”

“2. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates?” “There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.”

“18. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate?” “There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.”

“10. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates?” “There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.”

“4. Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates?” “There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.”

“6. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates?” “There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.”

“5. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties?” “There are [is] no explicit … ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties”

“3. Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties?” “Ban on donation from corporate bodies, but accepted if it is a business enterprise, of whose shares more than 50 per cent of shares are owned by Germans …”

“9. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties?” “No.”

“14. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period?” “No.”

“16. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election?” “No.”

“27. Are there provisions requiring donations to go through the banking system?” “No.”

Consequently, Brandner’s allegations might be expected to be true, simply because Germany, especially after the U.S. Government blew up the Russian gas pipelines to Germany and yet Germany’s Government continues to be a U.S. vassal-nation, despite that U.S. act of war against both Germany and Russia. This indicates Germany’s Government to be extremely corrupt, willing to ditch its own population in order to please its U.S. masters.

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