Italy fetes 66th national day
Gondola: Venice, known as one of Europe's most romantic cities, is listed as a World Heritage Site.— VNS Photo Viet Thanh
|The Italian-Vietnamese friendship logo represents the spirit of the project: to unite the two countries through increasing mutual understanding and dialogue.
Italian Ambassador Lorenzo Angeloni writes for Viet Nam News on the occasion of his nation's National Day on June 2
The celebration of Italian National Day marks the 66th anniversary of the adoption of the Republic's Constitution. It is a deeply felt commemoration of the long road my country has travelled from the ravages of the Second World War to current development and well-being.
The adoption of a new constitution marked a turning point for Italy as the new text enshrined the values of democracy and human rights and stated that the democratic and republican government must be open and respectful towards all Italian people.
Recent months have marked, in their way, a turning point for the country. Italy has recently faced a dire situation, in terms of sustainability of the Italian state's accounts and the creation of stable and sound economic growth.
The Italian government has been working tirelessly to implement measures to contain public expenditure and to secure the state budget. With the adoption last April of an "Economic and Financial Document", Italy has laid down provisions for future action, in line with budget responsibility and policy co-ordination at the European level.
Thanks to these measures, Italy's budgetary position in 2013 is expected to be 0.5 per cent of GDP, which in structural terms means a surplus of +0.6 per cent of GDP, perfectly in line with the EU Stability Treaty.
The projections mean a primary budgetary surplus (debt service costs excluded) of 5.7 per cent in 2015, a significant increase from the 1 per cent surplus in 2011 and 3.6 per cent expected this year, and this will put the Italian debt firmly on a descending path from 120.3 per cent in 2012 to 110.8 per cent in 2015.
Along with this process, measures have been taken to enhance the competitiveness of Italy's economic system, liberalise parts of its economy and reform some key sectors, such as labour and social security.
These provisions have the goal of making the Italian economic system able to gain more competitiveness, and are expected to add 2.4 percentage points to growth between 2012 and 2020, according to government estimates.
In terms of bilateral relations, this and the coming year will be very important for Italy and Viet Nam; in March 2013 we will celebrate the 40th year of bilateral relations and the two governments are committed to making this celebration a turning point in the history of our two countries that will bring bilateral relations to a higher level.
The Italian embassy is already committed to promoting deeper and more extensive bilateral relations; within the framework of project Y-Viet we are organising this year, together with our partners from the Vietnamese and Italian business world, a large number of cultural and promotional events, all aimed at fostering mutual knowledge and promoting Italian culture, life-style and "Made in Italy" goods.
In the near future, the embassy and its partners will be able to use another important tool for promotion; together with Vietnamese authorities and partners from the business community, we are in the process of opening a "Casa Italia" in Ha Noi. This project, housed in the premises of the former residence, will be a flagship of Italian presence in Ha Noi and will be a tangible sign of the close friendship enjoyed by our two countries.
It will, in particular, allow young Vietnamese people to receive Italian lessons and to access plenty of information about the opportunities offered by the Italian educational system.
Let me conclude by mentioning that the celebration of Italian National Day takes place at a moment when my country is having to deal with the consequences of the earthquake that struck the Emilia-Romagna region on May 20 and May 29. This tragedy killed at least 25 people, injured hundreds and displaced thousands. It also destroyed many industrial plants and historical buildings and places of artistic heritage, and disrupted economic activities. Italy has in the past had to meet such challenges, and will be able to deal quickly and effectively with the consequences of this disaster. — VNS