n.12 December 2006

We are paying for the excessive caution in our approach to a project that demands more vision and courage. So says Emma Bonino, the volcanic Minister for European Politics and International Commerce of the Prodi government. She mourns the idea of a United States of Europe. But she faces the complexities and problems of globalization with rare realism and determination. Furthermore, with regard to India and China….

The authoritative Russian daily “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” uses the term “giant corporations” to describe the large concentration of holdings or super-holdings that have been set up or are in the process of being set up in Russia – a new phenomenon for the country. The benchmark is obviously Gazprom, the super-holding with a monopoly on Russian gas and a lead player on the world energy market.


Denim is an indicator of a country’s well being: the more the domestic economy prospers, the higher the price of a pair of jeans. The theory is simplistic but probable. While the price tags are lower than in the wealthy West (where consumers pay from 180 euros for a basic pair of Diesel jeans to 300 euros for a pair of True Religions), the fashion sector is proof that Russia is climbing onto the podium of the BRIC countries, with the arrival of new brands that specialise in producing good old “Genoa twill”, a symbol par excellence of Yankee well-being and prosperity.

Europeans have realised that the great battle for energy cannot be won without a common energy policy. Meanwhile, however, they continue to advance in open order, as the Italian government did recently by signing agreements with Russia and Algeria. This is an undoubted advantage for players like Vladimir Putin, who believe that energy can bring about a new balance of power.