Italy shows limits of technocracy

first_imgThe second is that technocracy is not sustainable. Staying away from elections is only a short-term fix, not a medium-term modus vivendi. The Monti government did not run its course, but ran out of road. Moreover, before it did so, it had failed to push through the unpalatable reforms that the mainstream parties had shied away from. What Italy has collectively failed to do – and technocratic government provided only temporary respite – is confront the moral bankruptcy of its politics. The fascinating question now is whether the massive protest vote for the Five Star Movement will precipitate genuine self-scrutiny and regeneration. A broken and deeply corrupt political set-up is desperately in need of renewal. For the European Union, there are some uncomfortable parallels between Italy’s situation and its own. The EU is a technocratic creation that has been run for the most part by technocrats, albeit with the intermittent intervention of democratically elected politicians. Occasionally, some aspect of the EU’s work – a treaty, a constitution, a piece of legislation – is exposed to the test of a popular vote, a referendum or an election. At which point the technocrats often receive a rude awakening. What the EU struggles to do – like Italy – is to live with democracy. To come up with policies and legislation that are exposed in the member states to meaningful public discussion, argument and persuasion. If it does not do so, the EU will suffer from the same kind of disenchantment that appears to have taken root in Italy. Technocracy is only a form of prevarication. It is not a long-term option, either for Italy or for the EU. One of the lessons of the Italian elections is that technocracy has its limits. It is a lesson that the European Union finds hard to learn, but should nevertheless be heeded. In Italy, because of failures on both the left and the right, the political establishment resorted in late 2011 to a technocratic government led by Mario Monti, a former European commissioner. Monti gave the Italian economy the kind of medicine that it needs, but which his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi, was not prepared to administer. The Italian economy may be better for it, but the electorate is not obviously grateful: in the election contest, Monti’s centrist coalition finished a distant fourth. That technocrats are not good at electoral campaigning can hardly be considered a surprise, but the lessons go further than that. The first is that those failures that provoke a political crisis are not necessarily remedied by being ignored or sidestepped. Since the collapse of Berlusconi’s government, there has been no true transformation on either the centre-right or the centre-left. That so many voters have resorted to an anti-establishment vote for Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement is surprising but not incomprehensible: the political establishment had shown itself to be broke, bereft of ideas or appetite for change. last_img read more

PHOTOS: Providence Church of Southeast Texas rededicates Historical Marker

first_img The Marker was first dedicated in 2000 at the church’s then location as Presbyterian Church of the Covenant at 4500 Jefferson Drive in Port Arthur.Pastor Rick Shreve noted the importance of honoring and understanding the past in order to move successfully into the future, reminding that God was there then and is here now. NEDERLAND — Providence Church of Southeast Texas celebrated with a rededication ceremony of the church’s Historical Marker at their 5315 N. Twin City Highway location in Nederland.Church leaders said the marker commemorates the rich history of the church, dating back to the establishment of the First Presbyterian Church on 5th Street in Port Arthur in 1900. The church moved to it current Nederland location in 2010.center_img Courtesy photoslast_img read more

Orbea recalls Avant bicycles due to fall hazard

first_imgOrbea has issued a product recall that involves all Avant bicycles and carbon framesets sold with hydraulic disk brakes and all Avant bicycles and carbon framesets that are capable of being configured with hydraulic disc brakes. The model numbers are not marked on the bicycles and there is also no color or gender designation.The word Avant is in black or white on the top and head tube of the frameset and the word Orbea is in white on the top and down tube of the frameset. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled bicycles and contact Orbea for a free replacement and installation of the bicycle fork.Contact Orbea toll-free at +1 888 466 7232 from 08:30 to 17:30 ET Monday through Friday, online at and click on the “Support” tab located on the upper right section of the home page; or e-mail[at] for more information.Further information can be found at Relatedlast_img read more

Building a trust culture

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr How much does a lost member or customer cost your credit union or bank? And we’re not just talking dollars and cents here. The total expense of a lost member or customer can far exceed simply the monetary.According to the book Customer Winback: How to Recapture Lost Customers–And Keep Them Loyal, most banks (and by extension credit unions) lose members and customers in an average of 12.5% a year. Balance that with an average acquisition rate of 13.5% and we find that acquiring new customers and members is virtually a wash-out. The book also references a study showing the average cost of acquiring new customers is about five times higher than retaining the ones you already have. Even more troubling, the new customers that are acquired are unlikely to be as profitable as those they replaced.While it may be difficult to pin an exact figure on the cost of a lost member or customer, we cannot end the equation based solely on them. The lost customer or member may very well have brought additional business to your bank or credit union through friends and family members. It is also possible they could have brought business accounts. When we begin to total the cost of a lost customer or member both in terms of immediate financial loss and potential future financial loss, the implication for banks and credit unions is dire.The most obvious solution to this challenge is to retain the loyal customers and members that banks and credit unions have. The best way to retain them is to instill in your bank or credit union a culture of trust. Trust is a commodity that takes time, effort and perseverance to build. It is also something that is quickly lost given the wrong set of circumstances. continue reading »last_img read more

After they lost in a shootout, Gophers defeat St. Cloud in second game

first_imgAfter they lost in a shootout, Gophers defeat St. Cloud in second gameThe Gophers cruised to a 5-2 win on Saturday after tying the night before. Courtney Deutz, Daily File PhotoLindsay Agnew skates towards the puck on Friday, Dec. 8 at Ridder Arena. Max BiegertFebruary 5, 2018Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintMinnesota gave up a two-goal lead late in the third period in its first game of the series. The team was determined to bounce back after a disappointing tie.The Gophers got off to an early start once again, but this time, they held on.Minnesota (20-8-3, 13-6-3-0 WCHA) defeated St. Cloud (6-18-5, 4-14-4-1 WCHA) 5-2 on Saturday afternoon at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. Forward Lindsay Agnew and defenseman Sydney Baldwin each scored two goals. Cara Piazza added a goal as well. “It was a great response by our team after giving up the lead there yesterday, and getting out quick as we did was awesome,” head coach Brad Frost said. Minnesota denied any chance of a second comeback on Saturday, holding the Huskies to 11 shots on net.Agnew scored 1:55 into the first period after Taylor Williamson wrapped around the net and found Agnew for the opening goal. St. Cloud came back five minutes later and tied the game 1-1 on a power play after the Gophers had too many players on the ice.  Agnew earned her second goal two minutes after Williamson passed the puck to her once again. “In the past, our starts haven’t been what we have wanted them [to be],” Williamson said. “We wanted a full 60 minutes of domination, and I think that is what we did tonight.”In the second period, the Gophers created plenty of chances and, eventually, Baldwin scored her ninth goal of the year on a rebound shot. Piazza also scored her ninth goal of the year.St. Cloud added one more goal with less than four minutes left in the game, but could not match the previous night’s comeback attempt.  Gophers blow two-goal leadSt. Cloud ended up earning the extra point after taking care of the Gophers in the shootout 1-0. Minnesota tied St. Cloud 3-3 on Friday night in St. Cloud at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Williamson scored her first goal of the season since her return to the team after being diagnosed with a brain condition. Caitlin Reilly and Olivia Knowles tallied a goal each, but Minnesota could not hang on in the third period. “When you are up two goals with less than three minutes left you got to win that hockey game,” Frost said. “We have to learn from it, continue to learn how to finish out games.”Minnesota took a 3-1 lead into the third period. With less than three minutes left to play, the Gophers were called for a penalty. The Huskies decided to pull Emma Polusny to make it a 6-on-4 attack. The Huskies’ Kayla Friesen pulled the Huskies within one goal of the lead with 2:13 remaining in the game. Just 40 seconds later, with the net still empty and an extra-attacker on the ice, Julia Tylke sent the game into overtime. In overtime, the Gophers shot four times on net, including a breakaway from Reilly, but she could not find the net nor could any of the Gophers for the rest of the game. Grace Zumwinkle, Emily Brown and Nicole Schammel all came up short in the shootout. Friesen beat Alex Gulstene for the lone goal of the shootout. St. Cloud was first to get on the board in the opening period when the Huskies’ Laura Kluge scored 11 minutes into the game. Williamson ignited the bench after scoring her first goal of the season with five minutes left, and then with just 30 seconds left, Knowles scored her seventh goal of the season. Williamson was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis last April and has been battling it ever since. This was her first goal since the diagnosis. “To finally get that puck in the back of the net was just an incredible moment,” Williamson said. “It is just about enjoying it and never taking a shift for granted.”last_img read more

Outlet centres: creative outlets

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Sainsbury’s Bank Edinburgh HQ sold

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Sod polite architecture

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

Alkhallafi steps up for Emirates SkyCargo in India

first_imgBased in Delhi, he succeeds Keki Patel, who is to retire after more than 15 years in the role.Alkhallafi has been cargo manager in the North India region for Emirates since 2017. He joined the airline in 2014 and worked in Singapore after completing his initial training in Dubai.Emirates SkyCargo operates more than 170 weekly flights to nine destinations in India.www.skycargo.comlast_img