When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

LA STAMPA

A Simple Political Lesson From One Small Town In Italy

Franco Metta, mayor of Cerignola
Franco Metta, mayor of Cerignola
Massimo Gramellini

CERIGNOLA — Franco Metta is the mayor of the small town of Cerignola, located in the southern Italian region of Apulia. He recently received a box of biscuits as a Christmas gift from a local businessman, but upon opening the box he discovered 20,000 euros ($21,120) expertly rolled into two packs of 10,000 each — not the gift the sweet-toothed mayor was expecting. The mayor immediately filed a complaint with the local police, accusing the businessman of bribing him to gain favor to win a contract for his company.

Metta is the same mayor who briefly rose to prominence six months ago for controversial remarks he made at a public ceremony. In a poorly-filmed video, the mayor — well-dressed and wearing an Italian tricolor sash — berates a child for flunking and repeating his year in school, shouting at him to "study, stupid!"

In Cerignola — Photo: Janssem Cardoso

Metta's brusque tone and methods drew the ire of many Italians, who cast him as a villain also in part for his conservative party ties. The child himself was far less upset and hugged the mayor for another minute, surprised to encounter someone who was willing to reprimand him.

Metta was made out as a villain for lecturing the child, and hailed as a hero for refusing the bribe — but what if the two events are connected? In large cities we go on constantly about the importance of so-called "values', perhaps to fight the toxic smog seeping in. But out in the provinces, or at least in Cerignola, "values' are something far more simple and less ethereal: study and don't steal. Come to think about it, it's a perfect policy for the future.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Geopolitics

Modi Is Wrong: Russia's War Also Creates Real Risks For India

By shrugging aside Russia’s aggression, India has shown indifference to fears that China could follow Russia’s example.

Photo of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visits Russia

Anita Inder Singh*

-OpEd-

NEW DELHI — India is wrong to dismiss Russia’s war in Ukraine as Europe’s problem. The illegality and destructiveness of the invasion, and consequential food and energy crises, have global ramifications.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

This explains why 143 out of the 193 member-states of the UN General Assembly voted against recognizing Russia’s illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions after holding sham referenda there. Ninety-three voted in favor of expelling Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.

India has abstained from every vote in the UN condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The reason? Moscow is India’s top arms supplier and some 70% of India’s military platforms are of Russian origin.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest