Longitude #80

March, 2018


Cover story

What the country needs
by Franco Frattini

The 5Star Movement with 32,5%, has risen to the fore on deep seated voter anger, but the center-right coalition thus far has only 38%. Neither have the numbers, yet the difficulties are not simply forming a majority but creating a strong government capable of addressing the country’s urgent issues.

The Italian political limbo
by Stefano Cingolani

The vote of the 4th of March has humiliated both the Democratic Party (PD) and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, leading parties of the Italian political scene for the last 25 years. Launching the populist anti-establishment 5Star Movement and giving the Lega party a leading position in the center-right coalition, in a surprising game changer.

Why Europe's ambitions matter
by Alain Juppé

The breakdown in multilateralism doesn’t help us to face  an increasingly dangerous world. Yet the hopes born in the last years of the 20th century for a freer and better world, seem to be fading, replaced by the threat of terrorism, nuclear proliferation and rising nationalism and populism in the West.

World economy

Upswing on global trade
by Beniamino Quintieri, Alessandro Terzulli

After years of rowing against the current of the financial crisis, International trade has finally caught a favourable tailwind. The sheer volume of trade has grown more rapidly than industrial production, shipping has bounced back and all this despite the protectionist manouvres of many of the big players.


Enriching culture from outer space
by Ilaria D'auria

Transforming the huge amount of data produced by the European Space systems into useful information contributes to the European cultural baggage. Ensuring that public authorities are aware that this data can change the way they plan and implent public policies is the challenge to meet.

Featured briefing

The closed loop future of new agriculture
by Marco Mona

Rising population, climate change and water scarcity are placing increased pressures on agriculture, yet technology could come to aid this most basic of human activities by creating self contained food production systems.

Influences on food security
map by Marie Joveneau

Sub-Saharan Africa

The energy dilemma
by Laura Painelli

A great part of Sub-Saharian Africa, despite the richness of conventional energy resources lives without access to electricity. The lack of delivery infrastructure and discontinuos and unreliable supply, coupled with the high costs to the consumer, are lowering the demand especially in the least developed rural areas.

Energy's uneven distribution
map by Marie Joveneau

The Orientalist

Turkey ruffles feathers
by Ugo Tramballi

Erdogan is unsettling the entire strategic scenario in the Middle East. He is in conflict with the US, has upset Russia, further divided the Kurds and  exacerbated the civil war in Syria.

Middle East

The unfair ally
by Gianni Castellaneta

With the recent application of bully tactics, Erdogan is alienating his long time allies and foes. The conflictual nature of his foreign policy especially evident in Cyprus is an indication of the regional upsets to come, affecting in the case of ENI, not only the islanders but Italy as well.


The visionary mountaineer
by Antonio Bettanini

This is an abstract from the introduction to the posthumous book Il cielo di Kabul by Nando Rollando, the Italian alpinist, who died on Mount Blanc in 2014 but first managed to bring skiing to war torn Afghanistan. Although only a recent addition to a long history of positive Italian relations, his diary notes narrate an extraordinary adventure in a scenario we could not even imagine experiencing.

Latin America

Unearthing the unquiet grave
by Nicolò Tassoni Estense

Hugo Chavez, Nicolas Maduro, Evo Morales and other  Bolivarian leaders of  21st century socialism in Latin America have each adapted the ideology of their founding hero, Simon Bolivar, to suit their own political agendas. But these dangerous semantic twists have led to catastrophic results in the region, and left a vacant political framework.


The new soapbox
by Gianluca Comin

Traditional vote gathering has given way to newer and more effective methods. In the recent Italian electoral campaign all competing candidates used the same digital platforms to reach voters for the first time. It remains to be seen if this will become the only way to do politics in the future.

Warming bloopers

Insurance's changing climate
by Carlo Clini

There are some things you just can’t insure, but what happens when insurance takes on the very power of nature? Perhaps insurers and financial brokers stimulated by business opportunity can offer a solution towards mitigating the losses from climate change disasters with positive interference in consumer behavior.