April 08, 2006

Citizen Primaries: Economy

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Comic strip by: Vilfred Moneta

Today Iím publishing proposals for the Citizen Primaries about the Economy. Iíll rewrite it again to include your suggestions.
Iíve run out of time for Blog confrontations with the Party Secretaries. Anyway, the results of the Citizen Primaries about Energy, Health, Information and the Economy will be put forward to the new President of the Council, if he wants to listen to usÖ.

business program articles new program business opportunities finance program deposit money program making art loan program deposits make program your home good income program outcome issue medicine program drugs market program money trends self program roof repairing market program online secure program skin tools wedding program jewellery newspaper program for magazine geo program places business program design Car program and Jips production program business ladies program cosmetics sector sport program and fat burn vat program insurance price fitness program program furniture program at home which program insurance firms new program devoloping technology healthy program nutrition dress program up company program income insurance program and life dream program home create program new business individual program loan form cooking program ingredients which program firms is good choosing program most efficient business comment program on goods technology program business secret program of business company program redirects credits program in business guide program for business cheap program insurance tips selling program abroad protein program diets improve program your home security program importance
business carrier articles new carrier business opportunities finance carrier deposit money carrier making art loan carrier deposits make carrier your home good income carrier outcome issue medicine carrier drugs market carrier money trends self carrier roof repairing market carrier online secure carrier skin tools wedding carrier jewellery newspaper carrier for magazine geo carrier places business carrier design Car carrier and Jips production carrier business ladies carrier cosmetics sector sport carrier and fat burn vat carrier insurance price fitness carrier program furniture carrier at home which carrier insurance firms new carrier devoloping technology healthy carrier nutrition dress carrier up company carrier income insurance carrier and life dream carrier home create carrier new business individual carrier loan form cooking carrier ingredients which carrier firms is good choosing carrier most efficient business comment carrier on goods technology carrier business secret carrier of business company carrier redirects credits carrier in business guide carrier for business cheap carrier insurance tips selling carrier abroad protein carrier diets improve carrier your home security carrier importance

The long-term strategy (decades, centuries) must be for a healthy economy. It must allow for development and it must have rules that allow it to be put in place and controlled. The strategy and the rules are two avenues to be developed together.


Our economy is based on oil. But in time frames that must be shorter rather than longer, we will have to do without it. As well as renouncing the use of oil we also have to avoid wasting resources ever again, avoid doing mega engineering works, avoid transporting around the world goods that are available here, like water, food, jumpers and cooking utensils.
The economy should be sustainable and so should be based on renewables resources. Renewables should be encouraged by providing incentives so that they gain widespread use.
Those companies without an environmental impact should have a big reduction in taxes. This should be balanced by a similar increase for those companies that produce damage to the environment.


- Allow class actions
- Abolish the Chinese boxes in the Stock Exchange
- Abolish the possibility of a person being on more than one Board of Directors of those companies that are quoted on the Stock Exchange.
- Set up a system that really represents the small shareholders of the companies quoted on the Stock Exchange
- Abolish the Biagi Law {law about flexible employment}
- Avoid the dismantling of manufacturing and food production companies that have most of their market in Italy
- Forbid the cross over of shares between the banking system and the industrial system
- Give responsibility to financial institutions in relation to the products they propose so that they share in any losses that may be incurred.
Forbid any Members of the Board of Directors to hold any office within their company if they have been responsible for serious crimes (as has happened with the Banca Popolare Italiana, in which 2 Directors of Fioraniís Board were members of the new Board: Castellotti e Olmo)
- Forbid the acquisition of a company by incurring big debts (as has happened with Telecom Italia)
- Impose a top limit for the salaries of the management of those companies quoted on the Stock Exchange and of those companies that have the State as an important or major stakeholder.
- Abolition of the monopolies, in particular Telecom Italia, Autostrade, Eni, Enel, Ferrovie dello Stato {State Railway}
- Adjustment of the prices for energy, connectivity, telephones, electricity and transport in line with those in other European countries
- Reduction of the public debt with major action to deal with the costs of the State. This is to have a 2-fold approach: cut waste and use new technology to allow citizens to have access to information and services without needing to use intermediaries.
- Increase the scope of the Regulatory Authorities. Change their top managers. Insert clear and transparent rules for the citizens about competition. For any companies that are actually found guilty, ensure that the motivation for the guilty verdict is published in the principal media (newspapers, radio, TV)
- For those companies that refer to the State or are quoted on the Stock Exchange, forbid the nomination of anyone who has been convicted (example: Scaroni Ė appointed to Eni)

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:10 PM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (8)
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April 04, 2006

Citizen Primaries: Information


Up until now the Primaries have been organised by our employees.
The time has come for them to be done by the employers.
The Citizen Primaries posts will be on the right hand strip under the heading ďCitizen PrimariesĒ together with your comments up until the elections.
I invite the Party representatives to send to this Blog their point of view on different aspects dealt with, so that they can be published.

Proposals for information

Today Iím listing a series of proposals about information. The list will be completed with ideas that you send in, just as Iíve done on the topics of health and energy.
Information is a fundamental necessity in a democracy and also for the survival of individuals. If the control of information is concentrated in the hands of a few people, there will automatically be antidemocratic happenings. If information is referred to economic units and not to the citizens, the interests of multinationals and of powerful economic groups will gain over the interests of the individual. Information is thus fundamental to any other social area: energy, the economy, education, and health.
Citizen with no information or with bad information are not in a good position to make decisions. They can take on a role as consumer or voter who is passive and is excluded from the choices that affect them.

My proposals are:

- digital citizenship by birth: free access to the Internet for every Italian citizen
- elimination of public financing of newspapers
- no national TV channel to have majority ownership by any private person or organisation. Shareholdings must be widespread with no one allowed to own more than a 2% share.
- no national daily newspaper to have majority ownership by any private person or organisation. Shareholdings must be widespread with no one allowed to own more than a 2% share.
- sale of 2 public TV channels to a widespread collection of shareholders, with no one allowed to own more than a 2% share
- a single public TV channel, without advertising, that is informative and cultural and independent of political parties
- abolition of the Gasparri law
- Complete national coverage of Broadband
- nationalisation of the telephone infrastructure to be bought back at cost price by Telecom Italia and the commitment by the State to supply the same services at prices that compete with all other telephone operators.
- introduction of Wimax nodes for mobile access and widespread Internet access.
- elimination of line rental for landline telephones
- immediate alignment of connection tariffs and telephone tariffs with European ones.
- a top limit of 5% nationally for companies selling publicity owned by a single economic entity.
- reduction of the time period for Intellectual Property Rights to 20 years
- abolition of the Urbani law on copyright
- abolition of digital terrestrial TV and restitution of the investments made by the State to the private entities involved.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:22 PM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (23)
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March 16, 2006

Citizen Primaries: Health. Marco Cappato

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Marco Cappato, secretary of the Association Luca Coscioni(*), in the name of Rosa nel Pugno has sent me this letter for Citizen Primaries: Health.

"Dear Grillo,

I believe that in the case of health, for every discussion about efficiency and organisation we need to precede this with the objective of having more freedom and autonomy. It was the battle of Luca Coscioni and as I am the secretary of the association that bears his name that is “for the freedom of scientific research”, I want to tell you about the objectives of some of the most important Italian scientists and a few things about Rosa nel Pugno:

- with strict rules and limits following the model used in Great Britain , allow scientific research on embryonic stem cells with the aim of understanding and finding a cure for illnesses that afflict hundreds of millions of people in the world:

- allow access to artificial reproductive techniques and to the diagnosis before implantation for couples affected by genetic illnesses as well as artificial insemination with an embryo that is external to the couple,

- guarantee therapeutic freedom, entrusted to the relationship between the doctor and the patient, in the effective delivery of drugs that are amply tested and authorised for use in all civilised countries, but made difficult (and in some cases prohibited) in our country, such as: the abortifacient RU486, therapeutic cannabis, pharmacological treatments for people who are dependent on drugs and opiates for the treatment of pain.

- allow autonomy and individual responsibility in choices relating to the end of life, above all to put a stop to the phenomenon of clandestine euthanasia. Respect the will of the individual expressed freely and unequivocally, even through the recognition of a living will giving directions about treatment and ways of regulating euthanasia on the models developed in the Netherlands, in Belgium, and in Switzerland or according to the approach being taken by the British Parliament [….] The first to sign are  Elena Cattaneo, Gilberto Corbellini, Giulio Cossu, Elisabetta Dejana, Cesare Galli, Piergiorgio Strata, Antonino Forabosco, Demetrio Neri. These signatures are followed by those of 130 academics.

To these objectives I would like to add three campaigns promoted and sustained by Luca Coscioni:

- “freedom of speech”: investments and initiatives in accordance with regulations to make freely available equipment and technologies that help people with disabilities in communication, as well as in gaining access to and in producing information;

- “freedom to read”: guarantee the availability of books in digital versions for people who have disabilities and who are blind;

- “independent life”: strengthen the freedom of choice based on real need for people who are disabled or are ill and not on bureaucratic needs of the organisations providing the services, thus favouring a gradual de-medicalisation of the services so that they can be funded by insurance or bonus funds.

As a final point, I can definitely agree with the objective of promoting a health policy based on information. In all industrialised countries there has been a sharp increase in the amount of money spent on health, but with modest gains in terms of health improvement. Health expenditure varies between 7% and 15% of GDP (thus there’s 100% variation) without visible changes in terms of health in terms of life expectancy or mortality.

In this respect it is useful to remember that:

positive influences on health do not depend on health providers (hospitals, pharmacies etc.…) but also and above all on other factors (life style, economic conditions, environment, genetic makeup…); A famous model (Dever, at the end of the 1970’s) reckoned that the balance in the health system was worth 11% with respect to other factors!

Many studies have evidenced the distorted use of the part played by the health system; a famous study (Domenighetti, Canton Ticino) showed that doctors chose surgical interventions for themselves or their family members for half the times that they suggested these operations for their patients (unless the patients were lawyers and then they had the same frequency as the doctors!). Other studies showed that obtaining a second medical opinion led to a different therapeutic route in about half the cases.

All this leads many to believe that the true deficit is not in expenditure, but in the information that is available to the population. Up until now, information has been exclusively in the hands of the providers (doctors, professional and Trades Union bodies) who have sought the interests of the health system more than they have worked for the health of the people. Only recently, for example, are we seeing a discussion of the issues around health risks, that is damage and deaths due to errors of doctors or the health system. Certain studies suggest that in Italy there are between 15 thousand and 50 thousand deaths due to medical errors; and that hospital infections cause 7000 deaths a year (deaths from road traffic accidents are “only” 5000 a year).

Thank you for giving me this opportunity.”

Marco Cappato - www.rosanelpugno.it

(*) The Association Coscioni is together with Radicali italiani, the SDI and the FGS, one of the bodies making up the Rosa nel Pugno

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 02:06 PM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (5)
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March 06, 2006

Citizen Primaries: Health. Antonio Di Pietro


The proposals about Health for the Citizen primaries have had many contributions both on this Blog and on the site www.partecipasalute.it.

In the next few days I will publish the final document about health with all the comments integrated into it.
Antonio Di Pietro has been the only one to reply to the proposals on health and I am publishing his letter.
The next appointment for Citizen primaries is for the topic: Information.

"Dear Beppe,

I'm responding to your proposals about health.

Free access to the National Health Service. My aim and that of Italia dei Valori is the abolition of every form of direct contribution (in Italian referred to as a “ticket”) on the part of the citizens. This is the final result to be achieved but it’s clear that we need to balance this with the current empty coffers of the State. Thus I don’t know whether it will be possible to find the resources to make this a reality straight away, but it’s certain that in the mean time we’ll have to have some sort of contribution from the citizens based on their ability to pay.

Promotion of the use of generic drugs, prohibition on economic incentives on sales for “scientific” sales personnel and strengthening of checks aimed at preventing every possible form of corruption in the field of medicines: I am absolutely in agreement with this. In the field of health, the volume of business and interests has reached the heights of the stratosphere, it is thus obligatory to be vigilant in relation to the pharmaceutical lobbies.

Separate the careers of public doctors from private doctors. This question is not so easy to solve. The previous centre-left Government tried to tackle this problem by getting an intermediate solution: the regulation of private professional  activity within public structures.

And it is only in this way that the best professionals can continue to operate within public structures, thus available to all and not simply to the exclusive private clinics, which can be accessed by only a few. As well as this, with this system, the State can receive money from the private activity of the doctor.

Whatever a professional does whether a lawyer, or a doctor, should not matter to the State. But it’s certain that we must make sure that public and private activities do not come into conflict and that funds destined to public structures are not channelled into private activities. To understand the atrocious abuses that we are finding in this sector, it’s enough to watch Bianchi and  Nerazzini the documentary  film by Bianchi and  Nerazzini called “La mafia é bianca”(“The Mafia is White”) about the situation of the health service in Sicily.

Do systematic evaluation of waiting lists and make the results known to everyone on-line. We agree absolutely with this proposal. The technicalities for making it happen will have to be defined, but this problem has been adopted explicitly in the programme of the Unione, which talks of: “scandal of the two speed health system […] is one of the most odious” and of the current national health system where “today a person who is ill is not allowed to choose between the public and the private system, but is obliged (and I’m adding – “if they can afford it!”) to pay for the service privately […], because of the really long time delays associated with the waiting lists.

fight against pain I’m in complete agreement about the need, a need that can no longer be put off, to provide for all the necessary measures that will remove the bureaucratic and administrative obstacles preventing the use of those substances that are needed for pain control therapies. Unfortunately, our country is once more suffering from a cultural delay , bound up with a catholic tradition that has now been overcome which has conditioned the attitude of doctors with respect to the suffering of patients.
Every department, and especially those for children, should, I believe, have a doctor with exclusive  responsibility for pain therapy taking into account the quality of life of the patients, as happens in other European countries.

Put in place a national health policy that is cultural, support to research regarding the effects on health of social inequalities and environmental pollution, the evaluation of the impact on health of public policies, like the monitoring of the perverse effects of “devolution” on the fairness and the regional differences: all points which are tied up together and are basically contained in the programme of the Unione.

In fact, Italia dei Valori, together with the other parties of the centre left, has explicit proposals for promoting the objective of “evaluating the impact on health” and is using this as the starting point for a coherent set of policies concerning the political economy at national and European levels.”

Thank you for the hospitality!”

Antonio Di Pietro, president of Italia dei Valori www.antoniodipietro.it

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:33 PM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (4)
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February 16, 2006

Citizen primaries: Health

Up until now it's been our employees who have done Primaries.
Now's the moment that the primaries are done by the employers.
Today I'm publishing a draft of proposals about Health for which I'd like to thank Partecipasalute. The final version will include your comments.

The posts will be visible in the right hand section under the title “Citizen Primaries”. Your comments and the posts will be there until the elections.
I’d also like to invite Party representatives to send their point of view on the various topics dealt with, to this Blog to have it published.

Proposals regarding Health

Guaranteeing free access to the National health Service.

Promote the use of generic drugs that have no patent, as these are generally safer and cheaper than the “branded” drugs.

Prohibit economic incentives on volumes sold to “scientific” sales personnel. Attack corrupt doctors and bring in new laws to do this if necessary.

Separate the careers of public doctors from private doctors. Don’t allow a doctor who is working in a hospital to work privately as well.

Do systematic evaluation of waiting lists and make the results known to everyone on-line

Ensure that Italy is in line with the other European countries and is following World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines concerning the fight against pain. In particular eliminate cultural and bureaucratic obstacles to the use of pain-killers (morphine and others).

Put in place a national health policy that is cultural and is based on information and social communication, that aims to promote consumer choice based on knowledge and adequate provision and developing self-management of one’s own health (taking into account risk factors and protection) and simple self-medication.

Promote and finance research into the effects on health of social inequalities and environmental pollution giving priority to “pure” researchers.

Based on the recommendations of the WHO, establish at national and regional level health impact assessments of public policies in particular for the sectors of transport, town planning, the environment, work and education.

Monitor the effects of “devolution” on equality of access to services and adapt the investments for structures, technologies and research into regional inequalities to guarantee an adequate level of service.

PS The next topics for Citizen Primaries will be the economy and information.
PPS Let your mouse run over the picture of me.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:35 AM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (3)
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February 13, 2006

Citizen Primaries: Energy. Marco Pannella

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Marco Pannella has sent me this letter about the Citizen Primaries on Energy. In fact it is dedicated to the excessive birth rate and to the consequent dangers for our future.

It’s obvious that we are of two different types. If it were up to him we’d all be extinct by now, if everyone was like me with 6 children, there’d be 25 thousand million of us……

Dear Grillo,

You know how close they are to my heart the inspirations, objectives, urgencies that you propose and that your ideas are moving consciences, starting debates and finding consensus; starting from renewable sources and stretching to the reduction of waste, to get benefit from the mountains of rubbish that submerge and pollute the world, to the promotion and protection of independent producers. Please excuse me with all the commitments that have been keeping me totally busy that I haven’t yet found the time to write to you about your document on energy resources.

However not all that is bad actually causes harm, the document is useful, valuable, but I’d say it’s also “other”.

Beppe, “how much, what and how we consume and produce” is the problem that thanks to your help we can now try to face up to so that we can fill in the gaps that have been the result of decades of disastrous energy policies, where petrol has been the fuel corrupting Parties and the State, the fuel causing the creation of and the support to bloody dictatorships. But at the origin of all this, we need to ask ourselves who this is for and who owns this? To sum up “How many are we?” “Energy” for whom? For how many? For 3, 6, 9 and so on thousands of millions of “people” of consumers?

If Chinese Nazi Communism had not established for generations to prevent (like Nazis) the rise in birth rate, using the force of the State to exterminate foetuses and newborn infants, and “guilty” parents, what point would we already be at?

If we don’t immediately take the road of a “gentle return” of the planet’s population from more or less  6 thousand million people to half that over a period of about 4 or 5 generations, of a century, we will continue to be overcome by the birth-rate tsunami that has seen over the last few decades allies like fundamentalists clerics, with the Vatican in the lead, as well as the Soviet Imperial power and fascists, nazis, totalitarians of every type, who have imposed and continue to do so the procreation of humanity, to multiply like beasts, irresponsibly thus condemning hundreds of children to die of hunger, suffer privations, wars…

Summing up, a vigorous, immediate demographic policy of “gentle return” seems to me to be co-essential to bring about energy saving policies and investments in renewable sources for the future of our country as presented in the document on energy resources.

I repeat: fascism, nazism, Stalinist communism, Vatican fundamentalisms, Talebans, and those nationalists and racists have once more suggested these days maddening birth rate policies.

Today, we have in Italy electoral programmes, and Party conferences are reciting a common dogma: “defence of the family”. And for “family” they mean continuous reproduction, intensified, with incentives provided by the State, with millions of  tips to every newborn, allowances and tax breaks for families with many children. Is there no voice raised against, apart from the usual Radicals? The Rose in the fist? The daisy and the UDC, Mastella and the League are dragging the powerful people the F.I. even on their knees are the D.S., the Greens and the “distracted” Communists.

The family? Which? What social rights, “ethics” politicians for their “constituents”, women and men of every latitude, colour, opinion, religion? Beppe, even you are of an age to remember – there are still lots of us – but we are about to be overcome if the “others”, the “young” don’t know: “God, Patria, Family”. The “bomb” is not the “nuclear” one, unless in terms of risk and of danger. It is the “demographic bomb” it will explode in more than a century and in its path it will destroy everything: nature, humanity, planet, it is infecting our world and its surroundings.

Shall we send out this SOS, this MayDay? I’ve been  ready for some time to lend a hand and do more than that. From the time of the Club of Rome, when we proposed having Aurelio Peccei (and who’s he?) as Presidente del Consiglio…

But what a disaster that tribe of sex-phobics, of absolutists, of desperate people, of blasphemers, of those accumulators of gold and powers, of impotents and over-powerful, disembarked, once more, from one side of the River Tiber to the other, and what desperation of the powerful, over-powerful and impotent who are here, who opened the big and little doors of the Palace for them and their stories and their consciences!

Marco Pannella

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:13 PM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (11)
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January 28, 2006

Citizens Primaries: Energy Ė Your comments

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Today Iím doing a summary of your many comments on the topic of Energy as part of the Citizen Primaries initiative.

Many thanks to Pecoraro Scanio, Di Pietro and Bertinotti for having expressed their position. In your comments you repeated many times that there is a need to develop renewable sources and to adopt incentives to make this happen.

For example with certificates of energy efficiency, giving fines to those who sell energy without reducing CO2 emissions over a period of years.
I have collected together your suggestions according to topics (some referred to the same problem) and Iíve put them into this initial document.
>This document is attached.

PS. Tomorrow thereíll be a demonstration at Latina against the privatisation of water by the company Acqualatina spa. Hey, letís participate! All the details are on: http://acqualatinanograzie.splinder.com

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 03:51 AM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (1)
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January 15, 2006

Citizen Primaries: Energy - Fausto Bertinotti

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The Citizen Primaries that I’ve started on this Blog have received more support from another Political Party. Talking about Energy, here’s Fausto Bertinotti, secretary of Rifondazione Comunista.

Dear Beppe,

Allow me to thank you publicly for the initiatives that over the years you have promoted and thank you for the interest that you have created among the citizens.
Let me say that you remind each one of us to think of every day problems and the associated contradictions.
And you give us concrete proposals, about concrete topics that we need to give immediate and certain responses to so that we can involve all of us.

As regards us in the Rifondazione Comunista Party, a left-wing force dedicated to the search for “another possible world” we note that you give support to an innovative idea which is gaining ground in society: that of the participation and democratic and popular involvement in the decisions that are important for everyone’s life, politics, the economy and the day to day things of life.

You are talking about Citizen Primaries and I’m saying that this is a route for giving a sign of great discontinuity with the past, the route for giving a voice to every woman and man, the route for a real change of direction to the widest possible sharing and democratic participation.
We have always been in favour, and we always will be in favour of every form, the widest possible of participatory democracy.

And turning to Energy. From the pages of your site, dear Beppe, you propose detailed points in your programme that can be shared, but you also have elements that are of strong discontinuity that we have long been waiting for with respect to the policies of the past. And this, in my opinion, is one of the elements that is most characteristic of the proposals of Rifondazione Comunista both with regards to energy and in regards to other topics as well.

For this reason, your proposals should be supported and encouraged. Without going on much longer, I’d like to draw the attention of any reader to clean energy, saving energy, protection and respect for the territory, quality of life of women and men, efficient public transport, non-polluting and at the service of all women and all men.
We also believe like you, that it is possible to have another development model and another model of life.

I’m certain that together we will commit to supporting and giving strength to these projects, I send you my most cordial greetings”

Fausto Bertinotti

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:48 AM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (3)
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January 14, 2006

Citizen Primaries: Energy - Antonio Di Pietro

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The Citizen Primaries that I’ve started on this Blog have received more support from another Political Party. Talking about Energy, here’s Antonio Di Pietro, President of Italia dei Valori.

“Dear Beppe,

Having read your Blog I’ve had a think and decided that it’ll be a pleasure to support your “Citizen Primaries” initiative. I’m confirming the support of Italia dei Valori and I’m also sending you a brief contribution explaining our position regarding alternative energy sources and the energy question. I think that this topic should be at the top of the political agenda.

Energy is needed to live and for economic development, both in Italy and in the whole world. To a great extent, it is the solution to many of the problems troubling third world countries. Electrical energy in fact means fridges where we can keep pharmaceuticals (one of the main health needs in Africa) electrical pumps to extract and purify water, generators to facilitate the activities in hospitals and so on.

We know there’s the demand, but how are we going to produce it? Using coal? Methane? Nuclear? And then how are we going to protect the environment from the resulting pollution?
Up till now we have seen a definite tension between energy and the environment, almost a duel to the death: the means of producing energy are destroying the environment. The over-protection of the environment is hindering the solution to vital problems for millions of human lives.

Recently, however, fortunately, science and conscience are offering us different solutions.
In fact, what we need to do is to focus on renewable sources, like photovoltaic cells, solar energy, thermodynamics, wind power, biomass, micro hydroelectric generation, energy coming from the tides and the movement of the sea, while keeping in mind also the “old renewables” such as “big hydroelectric” projects and geothermal sources (Italy is particularly well endowed here).

Renewable sources in the future will be not only a great environmental resource, but also a great economic resource when the oil production starts to slacken off as resources are exhausted, since we can only pump so much oil from the earth’s layers (according to the USA’s Department of Energy, this will happen soon).

For the moment, it will be necessary to turn attention and investment towards the use of cogeneration of electricity and heat, as well as to electricity generating stations using natural gas (methane) that will give a better return.
It will also be necessary to focus maximum attention on a hydrogen-based economy.
In fact if hydrogen is generated from renewable resources, this could solve many future problems: from “stock-piling” of the renewable resources (so avoiding shortages or at particular moments) to transport which could use electric motors and hybrid engines and thus reduce dangerous polluting emissions.

In this light, even basic research is important, especially in the area of applied nanotechnology, for example renewable resources, mainly photovoltaics which makes use of the a resource in which Italy is rich: the sun.

Thus the Government programme must contain clear investments in this direction.
These new applied technologies will have to move the various sophisticated levers of the economy, producing many new jobs and thus income and at the same time saving the planet from the environmental catastrophe and from the inevitable termination of the limited natural resources.
Only in this way, with patience and tenacity, can we transform the environmental dead-end into a true development opportunity.

Antonio Di Pietro - dipietro@antoniodipietro.it

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:24 AM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (4)
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January 11, 2006

Citizen Primaries: Energy. Pecoraro Scanio.

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The Citizen Primaries initiative of this Blog have received their first expression of support from a Party Secretary. Here's the opinion of Alfonso Pecorario Scanio of the Verdi (Green Party) on the Energy proposals

"Dear Beppe,

Having discussed this with the National Executive, I’m writing to tell you that the Verdi are formally supporting the Citizen Primaries initiative and your proposals concerning energy which anyway, coincide perfectly with our ideas and our programme. We commit to get the Union to accept these ideas and to get them into the Government programme to the greatest extent  possible. Il Sole che Ride {The Laughing Sun} is already committed, in all the local and regional authorities where it is present, to develop incentives for saving and improving the efficiency of energy use, to develop safe sources that are clean and renewable and for having sustainable mobility. These have always been our priorities.”

Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, President of the Verdi

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:00 PM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (8)
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January 09, 2006

Citizen Primaries: Energy


Up till now it's been our employees who've done Primaries.

Now's the time for the employers to do Primaries.

From today I'll be publishing proposals about important issues like Energy, Transport, Electoral Regulations and I'll be assisted by recognised experts in the field, so that I can receive your comments.

The posts will be visible on the right hand strip under the title: "Citizen Primaries" together with your comments right up to the time of the elections.

I’m also inviting representatives of the Political Parties to send their views on the different points dealt with, to this Blog for publication.

Proposals for Energy

The efficiency with which we use energy in this country is really low.
At least half the energy consumption is wasted and this can be avoided by using technologies that are economically mature. By reducing the waste of energy and increasing the efficiency of energy use, not only will we have the maximum possible reduction of CO2 emissions for the same investment, but we reduce the imports of fossil fuels and the savings allow us to pay for investments without having to get public financing.

The increase in efficiency and the reduction of waste are pre-requisites for the development of renewable sources, which currently cost more and produce less than fossil fuels. Only if we reduce waste and improve efficiency will their contribution to energy needs be significant and the capital needed to cover the costs can be recovered.

Consumption of imported fossil fuels is divided into three roughly equal areas:

- ambient heating
- thermo-electric production
- transport

If the law 10/91 were rigorously applied, to heat our buildings we would consume 14 litres of oil (or cubic metres of methane) for each square metre of floor space each year. But in fact we consume more.

From 2002, German law and a more recent regulation in force in the Province of Bolzano, fixi 7 litres of oil, or cubic metres of methane for each square metre of floor space each year as the maximum allowed consumption for ambient heating. This is less than half of the average Italian consumption.

Using the labelling system set up for white goods, in the Province of Bolzano, this level corresponds to Class C, while Class B corresponds to consumption not exceeding 5 litres of oil, or cubic metres of methane and Class A to not more than 3 litres of oil, or cubic metres of methane for each square metre of floor space each year.

For ambient heating, energy policy designed to reduce CO2 emissions which will also avoid economic sanctions under the Kyoto agreement for those countries which do not meet the requirements, should be articulated as follows:

- immediate application of the regulations, already set out in the 10/91 law and outlined in the European Directive 76/93 about the energy certification of buildings

- Class C definition set out by Bolzano Province set as the maximum consumption level for the granting of a building license for new constructions, and for the restructuring of existing buildings

- reduction by at least 10 per cent in five years of energy consumption of the buildings occupied by public bodies, with financial penalties for non-compliance

- reasonable facilities on bank loans and simplification of the regulations regarding contracts for energy restructuring using the method called esco (energy service company), that is carried out at the expense of who does the work and repaid from the money saved by who uses the energy;

- working out regulations about paying for thermal energy consumption in condominiums, as set out in the European Directive 76/93, as already applied in other European countries.

The average yield of Enel’s {Enel is the Italian State Electricity company} thermoelectric generating stations is about 38%. The standard for the construction of the new generation of combined cycle plants is 55 to 60%

Distributed co-generation of electrical energy and of heat, with the use of heat at the point of production and the transportation to a distant place of the electrical energy allows for the use of the energy potential from combustibles to go up to 94%. The inefficiencies and the actual waste of thermoelectric production are not acceptable technologically, economically nor morally, for the following reasons: because of the devastating effects on the environment, because they accelerate the end of availability of fossil fuels, because it means that the richer countries corner the market leaving insufficient for poorer countries. From the start it is not acceptable to remove what is necessary from those who need it, but if it is then wasted, it is not conceivable.

To increase the supply of electrical energy it is not necessary to construct new power stations of any type. The first thing to do is to increase the efficiency and reduce the waste of existing power stations. At the same time we need to increase the efficiency of use of the energy produced (lamps, white goods, air conditioning, industrial machinery). After that, if the energy supply is still insufficient, we can consider constructing new electricity generating stations.

For the production of electrical energy, an energy policy aimed at reducing CO2 emissions while increasing the supply, must be articulated as follows:

Strengthening of existing power stations and reduction in the impact they have on the environment
Providing incentives for the distributed production of electrical energy with technologies that use fossil fuels more efficiently, like distributed co-generation of electrical energy and heat, starting with buildings that are high energy-consumers like hospitals, commercial centres, industries using heat technology, sports centres etc.

Extension of the possibility to return energy to the national grid and to sell electrical energy even from micro-generating plants producing less then 20 kW

Providing incentives for the distributed production of electrical energy with extensions to all renewable sources and to distributed micro-generation regulations for energy accounting, tied to the kilowatt-hours sent to the grid during peak hours and excluding any produced during off-peak hours.

Providing incentives for distributed production and on the spot consumption of thermal energy from renewable sources (excluding from incentives the distribution over a distance of heat because of the inefficiencies and environmental impact)

Rigorous application of regulations set down by decree about the certification of energy efficiency

Elimination of the incentives set out in CIP 6/1992 (Provvedimento del Comitato interministeriale prezzi) for the combustion of refuse since refuse was inserted without any techno-scientific basis, among renewable resources.

Providing incentives for the production of bio-combustibles while obliging agricultural production aimed at this to increase organic substances in the soil.

In the transport sector, interventions are needed at a technical level where incentives must develop more efficient and less-polluting means of transport as well as at an organisational level to favour the development of public transport and remove incentives for using private vehicles especially in highly congested urban areas.

In urban transport the pivotal point is the strengthening of collective use public transport and the introduction of individual–use public transport, with electric motors powered from a network and not by batteries.

A more interesting version of the traditional trolley bus imprudently abandoned in recent decades can be created by positioning networks of electrical cables underneath the road surface In this way it’s possible to provide power not only for collective public transport, but also for fleets of public automobiles for individual use with payment on consumption by using pre-paid electronic cards. The combined effect f these technical and organisational measures can make it feasible to place ever more rigorous limitations on private vehicle traffic and at the same time increasing the speed of movement and reconstructing the possibility to have the function of “door to door” which car drivers in urban areas have not seen for some time.

Starting from these preconditions, all these technological innovations aimed at reducing polluting emissions from cars start to have an effective utility in terms of reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and the impact on the environment. They can also increase the number of kilometres travelled per litre of fuel.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:13 AM in Citizen Primaries | Comments (4)
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