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Il Foglio is an Italian daily newspaper and news website. Its print edition, published in broadsheet format, has a circulation of about 25,000, and typically hosts conservative-leaning and pro-market views. Nevertheless, many of its journalists belonged to the leftist Radical Party, and the paper occasionally publishes commentary and analysis by independent and left-leaning voices. Il Foglio was founded in 1996 by the prominent Italian journalist and politician Giuliano Ferrara, but Claudio Cerasa has been the editor in chief since 2015. It is based in Rome.
Image of traffic in Los Angeles
Sara Kahn

From L.A. To Paris, Reflections On The Power Of Public Transport

For the author, the biggest surprise in living in Paris has been the city's efficient metro system. Her hometown of Los Angeles has an addiction to cars that is more than just unpleasant.


PARIS — Between 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on an average weekday, you know what to expect in Los Angeles: traffic jams. The reality is that the city is always so full of cars that we pollute the air and our ears that locals are so used to they hardly notice it.

For this summer, which I've spent in Paris, that means I've developed a severe case of metro envy. My morning commute is a short 20 minutes. I walk to one station, get on the metro line and within 15 minutes, I have made it to my destination.

When I step off the train at my final destination, I am greeted by the sight of cyclists and pedestrians making their way around the city. Sure, there are cars around, but nowhere near the monopoly I'm used to back home.

By contrast, my hometown of L.A. is a sprawling city, designed around cars. To get from point A to point B, you are practically forced to get into a car, whether it is your own vehicle or a ridesharing service like Uber. L.A. is suffering from a severe case of too many cars and not enough public transport.

I am not saying the transportation system in Paris is perfect by any means. But the ability to travel within a city, often a walkable city, without stepping foot in a car or worrying about car payments is a luxury.

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Italians waiting for their vaccine
Alessio Perrone

Whatever It Takes? Mario Draghi, Vaccine Wars, Europe’s Burden

It was nearly nine years ago that Mario Draghi first burst onto the world stage. The Italian-born Draghi, who had recently taken over as the President of the European Central Bank, declared that he would do "whatever it takes' to save the Euro from speculative attacks. "And believe me," he added, "It will be enough."

That statement, on July 26 2012, and the policies to back it up, were aimed at helping multiple European countries — Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece — survive a severe debt crisis that followed the 2008 global financial crisis. Many came to see Draghi's bold action as an essential turning point in the Eurozone — and the stuff to earn the dapper economist a place in the history books.

His skills in crisis management for the European economy also explains why Draghi, 73, was hand-picked last month by a wide range of Italian political leaders to step in to rescue his native country as a caretaker Prime Minister in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic crisis.

Yesterday, Draghi's first major decision as Italy's leader had a different flavor than his famous "whatever it takes' line: blocking the shipment to Australia of 250,000 Italian-made doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The same day, large swathes of Italy were put under new coronavirus restrictions and experts said the new variants risked again overwhelming the country, exactly one year after it became the first Western epicenter of the pandemic.

The Italian government said the shipment was blocked because Australia was doing relatively well to contain the spread of the virus, and because of AstraZeneca's long-running delays to deliver vaccine doses to EU countries.

The decision comes as most European countries have stumbled in their vaccine rollouts, particularly compared to other Western nations such as the U.S., Israel and notably the UK following Brexit. Draghi is the first leader of an EU country to apply new rules to give member states teeth to fight back against unfulfilled orders by the manufacturers of the different vaccines.

"Something has changed" headlined La Repubblica, while conservative-leaning daily Il Fogliohad a blunter take: "Welcome to the global vaccine war."

Today's health crisis is of course very different from the debt crisis of nine years ago — it's far too early to tell whether Draghi's vaccine strategy will also be vindicated by history. But for Europe, there's a certain déjà-vu in seeing its own particular vulnerability to the latest illness spreading around the world. "Whatever it takes…" and whatever that means for a continent still trying to figure out how to be stronger than the sum of its parts.