The story of the day of Monday 19 September 2022 with the main news of the radio news at 19.30. Today the United Kingdom has given its final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II in a collective rite that marks the definitive passage of an era that goes beyond the 70 years of the Elizabethan era. In Ukraine today, the company that manages the country’s nuclear power plants reported a Russian bombing near one of these plants, in the southern region of Mykolaiv. In the northeast, in the Kharkiv region, Zelensky’s army announced that it had crossed the Oskil, a strategically important river. The great enigma, for the United States, is called Vladimir Putin: how far is the Russian president willing to go into the war in Ukraine? Bread has never been so expensive: an average price increase of 18% compared to last year, according to estimates by the European Institute of Statistics Eurostat. Finally, the trend of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy.
The funeral of Elizabeth II and the beginning of a new era
In the United Kingdom today the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. At Westminster Abbey there was a ceremony with about two thousand people, including hundreds of representatives of foreign countries. Thousands of other people paid tribute to the queen outside the church, with the procession starting from parliament and continuing towards Windsor Castle, where there was another – more restricted – ceremony and where Elizabeth was buried. Eleven days ago her death at the age of 96, of which 70 lived at the helm of the United Kingdom.
(by Michele Migone)
The Royal Navy gun carriage on which Elizabeth II’s coffin was carried on her last voyage from London to Windsor had been used in 1901 for Queen Victoria’s funeral and later reused for other royal funerals, including the one. of George VI, the father of the recently deceased monarch. And it is the same one that in 1965 was also used for Winston Churchill’s funeral, on a day similar to today, for participation and homage by the British to the man who had embodied the spirit of the nation in the fight against Nazism.
The same gun carriage and more than 150 years of British history, considering the length of Victoria’s reign. The rise of the Empire, colonization, the First and Second World Wars, the decline and disappearance of the Empire. Elizabeth was the last British sovereign to have a direct link with that past, to breathe its atmosphere, to have to deal with the social changes and customs of English society that forced her to rethink and reinterpret the role of the Monarchy to prevent the institution from losing consensus and popularity.
After all, today’s collective rite marks the definitive passage of an era that goes beyond the 70 years of the Elizabethan era. Perhaps this also explains the popular participation of these days: no nostalgia, the homage to those who embodied the spirit of the country, but also a subtle disquiet for what is perceived as a caesura. The error of Brexit, the push for independence, a mediocre political class, the absence of a future project for the country and a past that is now definitively buried.
The Ukrainian army crosses the Oskil River
In Ukraine today, the company that manages the country’s nuclear power plants reported a Russian bombing near one of these plants, in the southern region of Mykolaiv. According to the company, there was an explosion 300 meters from the reactors, but they would not have been damaged. No comments so far from the Russian authorities. To the east, in Donbass, the pro-Russian mayor of Donetsk said 13 people died in Ukrainian bombing of the city. Again no comment from the other side of the front, the Ukrainian side. In the north-east, in the Kharkiv region, Zelensky’s army announced that it had crossed the Oskil, a river of strategic importance, a news therefore that if confirmed it would be a new success of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in that area. The region is the one in which in recent days the Kiev authorities have denounced the discovery of hundreds of bodies buried in Izium: “A lie,” Putin’s spokesman said this morning. Our correspondent Emanuele Valenti was today in Izium:
How far is Putin willing to go into the war in Ukraine?
In the war, Western and in particular American support for the Kiev forces remains fundamental. In the past few hours, the New York Times has written that Ukrainian President Zelensky has asked the American Biden for more powerful weapons, but so far he has not satisfied him.
(by Roberto Festa)CopyAMP code.
The great enigma for the United States is called Vladimir Putin. How far, to what extent, the Russian president is willing to go into the war in Ukraine. So far, the Biden administration’s strategy has been gradual. Gradual increase in military supplies, intelligence collaboration. This made it possible, according to the Biden administration, to contain the anger of Moscow and equip Kyev with the necessary military means. The latest events change things. The Russians are losing ground, the war is not good for Putin, internal dissent is growing. Hence the fear of the Kremlin’s next moves. Biden, in an interview with CBS, said the use of nuclear weapons would turn Russia into an even more pariah state than it already is today. However, US intelligence does not think that, for the moment, there is really a nuclear risk. What Washington fears is rather that Putin, increasingly in a corner, will widen the military offensive. Destroying inhabited centers, vital Ukrainian infrastructures, reaching to strike beyond the Ukrainian borders: in Poland, in Romania. It would be that escalation, that possible third world war that Biden has always said he wanted to avoid. For this reason, the American president is resisting Zelensky’s requests to send long-range missile systems, the ATACMS, with a range of up to 300 km to Kiev. After hearing the Pentagon, Biden decided that for Ukraine’s current war demands, the Himars already sent from Washington are sufficient. The fear of Biden – and the US military – is that with new, even more sophisticated offensive tools, Kyev will widen the war on Crimea and hit internal Russian targets. However, the president must resist. Resist the demands of Kiev, but resist those democratic and republican sectors that ask him to arm the Ukrainians decisively before the arrival of winter freezes the conflict. For now Biden has said no. The unpredictability of the reaction of Moscow, a wounded and weakened giant, is a risk that the president does not want to take.
The battle of Piazza del Popolo between the center-right and the center-left
(by Luigi Ambrosio)
The battle of Piazza del Popolo. On Thursday the final rally will be held by Giorgia Meloni and allies. On Friday the PD of Enrico Letta and allies will do the same.
It is the most challenging square because if you don’t fill it, you can see it. It is the square that takes those who want the test of strength, that of tens of thousands of people. The square of the trade unions in the great national disputes. The square of those who dare, like Calenda at the municipal offices of last year. The square of those who feel strong and successful. The right had gone to fill it in 2018, at the time of Salvini’s heyday. Now back there after Meloni threw the mask on rights and Europe over the weekend.
For the PD it is a different challenge: to fill Piazza del Popolo to tell everyone and first of all to himself that it still exists and will continue to exist, even in the event of defeat.
Letta must beware of Conte, who aims at remuntada by going to the South to flood the people he meets with electoral promises, without paying too much attention to the concrete possibility of realizing them, and Conte will close the electoral campaign in Piazza Santi Apostoli.
Santi Apostoli is a historic square on the left that has not always brought good luck. It is the square of Pisapia’s flop when he attempted the national leap after having made the mayor of Milan. It is the square of the tragedy night of the 2006 elections, when Prodi thought he had already won and instead was taken over by Berlusconi.
Prodi spoke again today. He said two things. A joke about the Count on the left: “A nature that I had never known him”. And a warning to Letta: the PD until now has not sung in chorus. Translated: the congress is being prepared, they are working to take it out. But this is the after, when the squares have emptied and the urns filled up, to resume the famous line by Pietro Nenni.
Bread has never been so expensive
(by Massimo Alberti)
Bread has never been so expensive. An average price increase of 18% compared to last year, estimates the European Institute of Statistics Eurostat. A basic and essential food, but also a symbol of the economic woes: both of how the price increases are affecting the weakest groups, and of the general causes of inflation, ranging from financial speculations to energy increases.
We are not just talking about the basic food commodity par excellence, but also about an indicator of inequalities, which adds up the causes of inflation in recent months. Starting with the main raw material, wheat, treated like any financial product with the peaks reached in May on the futures markets, but which was also affected by the shortage of recent months due to the stop of exports from Ukraine and Russia due to invasion, which other exporting countries such as Canada and the USA have taken advantage of by raising prices. Ditto for the fertilizers used in agriculture. In the background, the costs of energy, which affect the entire supply chain from the raw material to bread-making, with the bills of the operators even tenfold. This is how we arrive at that 18% of the European average compared to a growth of 3% last year. Coldiretti in November estimated a national average of 3.2 euros per kilo. But the map of the cities is articulated with different prices and in some cases even doubled, Assoutenti estimates that it can even reach a maximum of 10 euros, in some ovens in Ferrara, down to below 3 euros in Naples. The increase in Italy is less than the Eurostat average, but in Italy the price was already high, Coldiretti still notes: over 15% above the European average. But our GDP is below the European average, and the average expenditure on food consumption only slightly higher. From here we understand why the price of bread therefore has a strong impact, which obviously weighs heavily on lower incomes. Therefore, consumer associations consider the government interventions that have taken place so far inadequate, and are calling for urgent action on the prices of basic necessities. Even according to economist Francesco Saraceno, director of the Research Center in Economics of the Sciences-Po institute in Paris, the support measures introduced by governments are not sufficient in removing the burden of price increases from the shoulders of the poorest citizens. “Central banks take off ideological blinders to avoid rents and speculation, and governments act because the fight against inflation is also the fight against inequalities and must be done by redistributing income” he says to our microphones. “Targeted and temporary measures are needed, including through public control of the prices of basic necessities. In part, some governments are already trying to do it but it is certainly not enough “, adds Prof. Saraceno who concludes:” In Italy we are witnessing a surreal debate on the budget gap: in other European countries they are all well aware that to intervene to protect weaker sections of the population need to make new debt. Only with us it is not like that “.