18-Sep-18 14:58 - By Milan correspondent

Starbucks has opened in Italy

Starbucks has finally opened in Italy. Is this symbol of American gastronomic imperialism a threat to Italian coffee? The Milan’s Starbucks shop is a huge roastery, the first in Europe after others in Seattle and Shanghai. The shop is located in piazza Cardusio near the Duomo, and is meant as a full “experience”. This means it offers coffee and food and also illustrates Starbucks’s roasting process.

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18-Sep-18 14:49 - By Giulia Lombardo

Former Parliamentarians face cuts in pensions

The Five Star Movement (M5S), now ruling the Italian government in a coalition with the northern league, has long called for cutting the pensions of many former parliamentarians. The measure was now approved and is set to go into effect in January next year. The cuts to former MPs' retirement benefits represent a historic victory for the M5S. Indeed, the party was born almost 10 years ago backing protests against the privileges of the so-called political “castes”. According to the new rule, the pensions of 1,240 former parliamentarians must be recalculated using the contributory method instead of the remunerative one. The lower house speaker Roberto Fico, from 5-Star, estimates it will save the state some 40 million euros per year. Lawmakers’ pensions are governed by parliament’s own internal rules, so the change could be made by a simple directive without the need for a new law.

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10-Jul-18 17:08 - By Giulia Lombardo

Fines up to €7,000 for buying counterfeit goods from beach vendors?

From this summer tourists who pay for massages, tattoos, hair braids and counterfeit products from unauthorised vendors could run the risk of a fine up to €7,000. According to the ruling called Safe Beaches wanted by Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, vendors caught selling counterfeit products could face fines of between €2,500 and €15,500 and have their merchandise confiscated. Harsh fines also apply to customers. The proposed ruling which is expected to be rolled out this summer aims to tackle vendors who sell fake brands and evade tax, damaging legitimate businesses. Laws relating to the illegal trade in counterfeit goods are already on the statute book. The new decree against vendors and those who choose to buy from them will be enforced by Local police, Carabinieri and the Tax police.

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