n.7 December 2005

Sixteen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the transition has brought about mixed results, through radical political changes and wide-ranging economic reforms. A genuine laboratory for an investigation into the way the reforms have influenced the relation between politics and the economy. Hence some Central and Eastern European countries, and the Baltic States, have managed to get into the European Union and combine Market and Democracy, but as for the majority of the former Communist countries.…

The “Italy System” has been unable to take substantial steps forward in the region, where Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Turkey are doing better than we are, while we Italians come up against the limits of our foreign economic policy. The relationship with the European Union, too, has not really taken off. Meanwhile, bilateral relations between countries are intensifying. What does the horizon hold in store?

Romania, a fantastic place where waters, peoples and animals seek refuge: the Danube delta is an extraordinary no man’s land that millions of migratory birds overfly ever year, where people on the run from totalitarian regimes live together. The land of the Eastern Latins is a great country through which the Danube flows like a slimy snake; it is home to the Kalderash gypsies, noblest of the Romany clans and bosses of the gold trade

In Hong Kong on Sundays, women gather below the skyscrapers, bringing tiny stools or a plastic sheet to sit on. They chat, laugh and play poke. This is the only way they can get together — on the road, seated on the melting asphalt. But in North Korea, the horizon changes to a trip backwards in time. A futuristic airport with 20 brand-new gates and only two hostesses, while all around...