Aleksandar Trajkovski’s goal knocks out European champions ,North Macedonia now face Portugal, who beat Turkey 3-1.

Italy missed out on the World Cup finals again after losing 1-0 at home to North Macedonia in their playoff semi-final as Aleksandar Trajkovski’s last-gasp strike earned the visitors a famous win.

Italy did not qualify for the World Cup four years ago, missing out for the first time since 1958, but the European champions dominated from the off in Palermo. The hosts became more desperate in their search for a winner after the break, however, as chances continued to come and go before, in stoppage time, Trajkovski arrowed in a stunning winner to spark wild North Macedonian celebrations.

Roberto Mancini’s Italy side had 32 efforts at goal in the match but somehow fell short, with North Macedonia going on to play Portugal in the playoff final on Tuesday for a place in Qatar.

“It is a huge disappointment,” the Italy midfielder Jorginho said. “It hurts, it hurts so much. We have always created and dominated matches but we have not been able to finish teams off. It is not to blame anyone in particular but it is the reality.

“I don’t know why we haven’t been able to do this, I am also involved in this, and it hurts me to think about it.”

João Pedro reacts after Italy’s last chance to equalise

Without the veteran pairing Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini through injury, Italy’s makeshift defence was barely troubled in the first half, as all the action took place down the other end.

Domenico Berardi had the best of the openings, having been presented with the ball after the North Macedonia goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski misplaced a pass, but his shot was tame, with Dimitrievski getting back to make the save. Ciro Immobile also wasted a glorious first-half chance for Italy when blazing over the bar from a good position.

Berardi was again guilty of profligacy after the break, shooting over when he should have hit the target, and with their only meaningful attack of the match North Macedonia seized their chance. Italy did not look to be in too much danger, but Trajkovski, who plays in Saudi Arabia for Al-Fayha, wrote his name into North Macedonian football folklore with a shot that crept inside the post to stun the home fans.

Portugal moved into the final with a 3-1 win over Turkey, for whom Burak Yilmaz skied a penalty five minutes from full time that would have drawn the sides level.

Roared on by a sold-out Estádio do Dragão in Porto, Portugal dominated the game from the start and went 2-0 up in the first half after Otavio scored one goal and created another for Diogo Jota before half-time. But Fernando Santos’s side were pegged back by a Yilmaz goal in the 65th minute that put the Portuguese fans on the edge of their seats as Turkey started to threaten.

José Fonte then fouled Enes Unal inside the area in the 85th minute to concede a penalty given by VAR but Yilmaz fired it high over the bar. The Portugal substitute Matheus Nunes relieved the pressure on the hosts in added time with their third goal from a counterattack.

The Sweden substitute Robin Quaison struck in the second half of extra time to secure a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic and set up a clash away to Poland.

The Czechs had an early goal ruled out for a foul and the Swedes had the lion’s share of possession for most of the playoff semi-final, but the two sides struggled to break each other down in a game full of tough tackling and wayward passing.

The substitute Mattias Svanberg went closest for the Swedes in normal time, but his header from Emil Forsberg’s corner was aimed straight at the visiting goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.

The game finished scoreless after 90 minutes and appeared to be heading for penalties when Quaison danced through the middle of the defence before exchanging passes with Alexander Isak and coolly slotting home to move his side a step closer to Qatar.

Italy: New Restrictions For Those Not Vaccinated Against Covid-19

On Monday, several new restrictions came into place in Italy for those not vaccinated against Covid-19.

In order to visit restaurants, hotels, trade fairs, ski lifts, local or long-distance trains and buses, you must now present a proof of vaccination against or recent recovery from Covid-19. Previously, a negative test result was also accepted.

The new rule also applies to team sports, so all professional soccer players must be vaccinated in order to play.

EU tourists can use the QR codes of their vaccination certificates to get around the country.

Italy has seen a spike in infections recently, with the latest figures showing 1,669 new cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days.

Here are the latest major developments on coronavirus from around the world:


School pupils in Uganda returned to the classroom, in some cases for the first time in nearly two years.

In the world’s longest disruption to in-person learning, schools across the country have been partially or completely shut down across the country since March 2020. Local experts and teachers have warned, however, that the long pause has proven a permanent end to the education of many students who have begun working in the meantime to help support their families.


A massive booster campaign has begun in India, with frontline workers and inhabitants over 60 being first in line to get more doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

India has recently reported a surge in cases, particularly amongst health care personnel and essential workers such as police.


Sajid Javid, health minister of the United Kingdom, has ordered the country’s private health care providers to strike a deal with the National Health Service to provide crucial treatments such as cancer surgeries should the NHS become overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.

Hospitalizations for Covid-19 are at their highest in the UK since last February, and ill personnel have meant staffing shortages at many health care facilities.

Italy cancels quarantine for those vaccinated with 3 doses after contacts with patients

Rome [Italy]: Italy has revised anti-coronavirus measures in light of the spread of the Omicron strain of COVID-19, among others cancelling the quarantine for people inoculated with three doses of vaccines after contacts with COVID-19 patients.
The new regulation was adopted on Wednesday by the Council of Ministers following a meeting of the committee on COVID-19. The quarantine after contact with COVID-19 patients will not be also mandatory for those who got two doses if the inoculation took place less than 120 days before the contact.
The new measures also extended the use of the enhanced green pass, a sanitary document for those fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. Starting from January 10, the enhanced green pass will be mandatory for all types of transport.
Italy, like many other countries, is currently facing a new wave of coronavirus linked to the Omicron strain.

Italy tightens anti-virus rules for holiday season as Omicron cases mount

Rome [Italy]: Italy on Thursday tightened anti-pandemic rules for the Christmas and New Year holidays amid concerns over rising Omicron cases across the country.
The cabinet unanimously approved a decree to introduce new restrictions which will enter into force in the next few days, including prohibiting public gatherings for Christmas and the New Year’s Eve. The step came after several mayors and regional authorities had cancelled all public events in the festivities.
According to the new rule, discos and nightclubs have to stay closed until Jan. 31, 2022. The validity of the health green pass certificate is reduced from nine months to six months in order to stem the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, Health Minister Roberto Speranza told a press conference.
The decree also cuts from five months to four months the required time between the completion of full vaccination (two doses) and the administration of a booster dose.
“This is a difficult phase… and we are implementing measures that we think will provide further protection to citizens and to our public health system,” the minister said.
Face masks are required in every outdoor place, plus to use only FFP2 masks — those providing more protection — on public transports and public indoor places.
According to earlier restrictions imposed on Dec. 6, only those vaccinated and recovered, who hold the so-called “super Green Pass,” would be allowed to sit at restaurants and bars, theatres, discos, stadiums and other sports facilities.
Yet, the rapid increase in new cases combined with the forthcoming Christmas and New Year holidays prompted authorities to move further on.
The new restrictions were decided after the National Health Institute (ISS) on Thursday shared with the cabinet the results of a preliminary survey on the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
According to data based on some 2,000 swabs carried out on Dec. 20, Omicron represented 28 percent of new infections.
“Although preliminary, the estimate confirms the great rapidity of the variant spread, which seems to produce large outbreaks in a short time, and it is expected to become predominate, as it is already occurring in several other European countries,” ISS president Silvio Brusaferro said in a statement.
Italy has seen an increase in new infections and deaths, yet the daily caseload has so far remained below that of some other major European countries.
Nonetheless, the surge is significant, with over 44,500 new infections over the 24 hours on Thursday, which marked the highest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic here.

Italy Tightens Restrictions For Unvaccinated Travellers: Covid-19

In a bid to control the spread of COVID-19, Italy has tightened curbs on unvaccinated travellers. Such travellers will have limited access to several places and services. The discovery of the Omicron has made things difficult for the tourism sector everywhere. But in Italy, the number of COVID-19 cases have been on a rise.

The new guidelines introduced by Italy allow only fully vaccinated people or those who have recently recovered from COVID-19 to access indoor seating at bars and restaurants. Only such people are allowed to visit museums in the country or go to cinemas and clubs.

Unvaccinated people will get a basic green health pass after testing negative for COVID-19 in PCR test taken within the past 48 hours. The country police have also started enforcing the various measures from the early hours. If anyone is caught travelling without a health certificate on a bus, metro, tram or train, they’ll be slapped with an automatic 400-euro (USD 450) fine.

Italy in Europe has the highest vaccine rates with 80 percent of the population receiving either one or two jabs. Another 15 percent of people have had a booster shot. The country has seen a spike in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, and on Sunday the number reached 15000.

Rome has tightened the weekend curbs and made face masks necessary to be worn outdoors, or at shopping streets. In 2020, Italy was the first European nation to be hit by COVID-19 and also had the highest death tolls. Till now, Italy has reported 51.1 lakh cases of COVID-19 and 1.34 lakh deaths.

Italian President kicks off visit to Algeria to boost energy partnership

Algiers [Algeria], November 6 : Italian President Sergio Mattarella kicked off on Saturday a two-day visit to Algeria at the invitation of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, aiming to boost bilateral cooperation, notably in the economic field.
Upon his arrival at Algiers International Airport, Mattarella was welcomed by Tebboune and a number of high-ranking officials. The visit provides an opportunity for the two countries to discuss political and economic issues of common interest, as part of the strategic relations between Italy and Algeria.
In the energy sector, Algeria supplies 40 per cent of Italian natural gas demand via the 1,200-km-long gas pipeline linking the two countries.
Bilateral trade in the first half of 2021 hit 5.9 billion US dollars, of which 4.2 billion dollars came from Algerian exports to Italy, according to the official figures.
As many as 384 Italian companies are investing in Algeria in different fields, including construction, manufacturing, mining, and engineering studies.

Set goals complying with Paris climate deal, says Italian PM Draghi to G20 countries

Rome [Italy]: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Sunday said that the G20 countries should set long-term environmental goals which comply with the Paris climate deal and fasten the transition to clean energy sources, reported Sputnik.
Notably, Italy is the host country of the ongoing G20 summit. “We need to set long-term goals that are consistent with the Paris agreement and make short-term changes to achieve them. We must accelerate the phasing out of coal and invest more in renewable energy,” Sputnik quoted Draghi as saying at the summit.
PM Modi is in Rome to attend the G20 summit. He has held several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit. On Saturday, he met French President Emmanuel Macron and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Meanwhile, the G20 summit was kicked off on Saturday. The second day of the G20 started with a walk of the Heads of Delegation in one of the symbolic places of the historic downtown: Trevi Fountain.
Thereafter, PM Modi attended the session on Climate Change and Environment on Sunday.
Afterwards, the G20 Heads of Delegation gathered at the Convention Center La Nuvola for a side event and two working sessions.
Later today, Prime Minister is expected to hold a meeting with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Convention Center La Nuvola in Rome will then host both the multilateral sessions and the bilateral meetings of the Leaders. Today’s engagement also includes a working session on Sustainable Development.

PM Modi visits iconic Trevi Fountain in Italy

Rome [Italy] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday visited the Trevi Fountain on the second day of the G20 Summit in Rome.
Along with PM Modi, several heads of the states visited the symbolic place of the historic downtown: Trevi Fountain. He was seen having a conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
It is believed that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the water, you will be sure to return to Rome.
Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world.

On Saturday, PM Modi met various leaders including Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.
PM Modi had a warm meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican City which lasted for an hour and invited him to visit India.
The Prime Minister arrived in Italy on Friday to participate in the two-day G20 Summit.
The theme of this G20 meet under the Italian Presidency is centered around ‘People, Planet and Prosperity.’
On Sunday, the Prime Minister is expected to have a meeting with Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the G20 summit besides participating in discussions on ‘Climate Change and Environment and Sustainable Development’.
There will be a global summit on supply chain resilience.

PM Modi to unveil ambitious plan for expanding clean, renewable energy at COP26 in Glasgow to meet 2030 targets

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil an ambitious plan on expanding clean and renewable energy at COP26 in Glasgow. India is among the top countries in the world in terms of installed renewable energy, wind and solar energy capacity and is on course to achieve the target of 450 GigaWatt of renewable energy by 2030.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Glasgow to attend the World Leader’s Summit of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP-26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), at the invitation of the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson. COP-26 is being held from 31 October 2021 to 12 November 2021 under the Presidency of the UK partnering with Italy.
The high-level segment of COP-26, titled the World Leaders’ Summit (WLS), will be held on November 1-2. The Summit will be attended by Heads of State/Government of more than 120 countries. COP-26 was originally slated to be held in 2020, but was deferred to 2021 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, addressing a special briefing on the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to UK for COP26, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla noted that India is taking ambitious action on expanding clean and renewable energy. He said that the country will work towards mobilization of climate finance and for action to strengthen climate adaptation technology development at COP26 in Glasgow.
He said Prime Minister will deliver a national statement at the World Leaders Summit of COP26 on November 1. PM Modi will participate in a leader’s event organized by the COP26 presidency around the themes of climate change, mitigation, adaptation and building resilience, clean technology innovation.
Prime Minister last attended the COP-21 in Paris in 2015, when the Paris Agreement was concluded, and whose implementation commences this year. At COP-26, the parties will work to achieve the completion of Paris Agreement implementation guidelines; the mobilisation of climate finance; actions to strengthen climate adaptation, technology development and transfer; and keeping in reach the Paris Agreement goals of limiting the rise in global temperatures.
Prime Minister will hold numerous bilateral meetings on the sidelines of COP-26, including with the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson.

G20 leaders have reached historic agreement for effective international tax system, says Italian PM

Rome [Italy]: Leaders of G20 nations have reached an “historic agreement” for a fairer and more effective international tax system that would set a 15 per cent global minimum corporate tax.
“We reached a historic agreement for a fairer and more effective international tax system,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said at the opening of the G20 summit on Saturday. The OECD had finalised a major reform of the international tax system earlier this month under which Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) will be subject to a minimum 15 per cent tax rate from 2023. The deal was agreed by 136 countries and jurisdictions representing more than 90 per cent of global GDP.
The global minimum tax seeks to block corporations from moving jobs or profits overseas in order to avoid paying taxes.
According to Hill, the agreement would set a 15 per cent global minimum corporate tax rate that administration officials say would generate $60 billion or more in additional revenue annually in the U.S. alone.
The first session of the G20 Rome Summit kicked off on Saturday as world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi gathered to discuss the global economy and health
Over the next two days, the heads of state and government of the world’s major economies, together with invited countries and representatives of international and regional organizations, will address several key topics of the global agenda. Finance Ministers traditionally attend the event as well.
Draghi said in his opening remarks that “multilateralism is the best answer” to deal with the problems posed by the COVID-19 pandemic across the world.
“The pandemic has kept us apart. Earlier we have faced protectionism, unilateralism, nationalism, but the more we go with all our challenges, the more it is clear the multilateralism is the best answer to the problem we face today,” he said.
“In many ways, it (multilateralism) is the only possible answer from the pandemic to climate change to fair and equitable taxation, going it alone is simply not an option. We must do what we all can do to overcome our differences. We must recall the spirit that led to the creation of this group,” he added.
The Italian Prime Minister said that almost two years since the start of the pandemic, “we can finally look at the future with some optimism”.
“Successful vaccination campaigns and coordinated actions from government and central banks have allowed the global economy to rebound,” he said.

PM Modi, Mario Draghi express resolve to strengthen cooperation in energy transition

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi have expressed resolve to strengthen cooperation in the energy transition, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Saturday.
PM Modi and Draghi met on Friday on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit hosted by Italy. A joint-statement said the two leaders acknowledged significant progress in bilateral relations since the adoption of the Action Plan for an enhanced Partnership between India and Italy (2020 -2024) on November 6th, 2020, said joint-statement on strategic partnership in the energy transition of India and Italy.
They expressed their resolve to strengthen cooperation in the strategic sectors addressed by the Action Plan, including the cross-cutting issue of accelerating the clean energy transition to fight climate change, central to both the G20 Leaders Summit in Rome and the COP26 in Glasgow, added the statement.
They also recalled the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting held in Porto on May 8, 2021, where the European Union and India highlighted the urgency of addressing the interdependent challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and agreed to deepen cooperation for accelerating the deployment of renewable energy, including deployment of innovative renewable technologies such as offshore wind energy and exploiting the potential of green hydrogen, promoting energy efficiency, developing smart grids and storage technologies, modernizing the electricity market.
In addition, both sides agreed on the utmost importance of cost-effective integration of a growing amount of renewable energy into their respective power systems, as a key asset for an effective clean transition that generates jobs, GDP growth, reinforces universal energy access while eradicating energy poverty.
In this perspective, the two Prime Ministers appreciated India’s resolve to deploy 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030 as well as Italy’s prompt ratification and active support to the International Solar Alliance, and agreed to launch a bilateral strategic partnership in the domain of energy transition, added the statement.
Such a partnership could build on existing bilateral mechanisms, including by giving new impetus to the cooperation on renewable energy and sustainable development between the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition and its Indian counterparts, namely the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the Ministry of Power and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
As per the statement, in order to promote their partnership in energy transition, Italy and India will task the “Joint Working Group” established by the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Energy, signed in Delhi on October 30, 2017, to explore cooperation in areas such as – Smart Cities; mobility; smart-grids, electricity distribution and storage solutions; gas transportation and promoting natural gas as a bridge fuel; integrated waste management (“waste-to-wealth”); and green energies (green hydrogen; CNG & LNG; bio-methane; bio-refinery; second-generation bio-ethanol; castor oil; bio-oil -waste to fuel).
Both countries will also initiate a dialogue to support the development and deployment of green hydrogen and related technologies in India; Consider working together to support a large size green corridor project in India to capitalize on India’s target to produce and integrate 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030; Encourage Italian and Indian companies to develop joint projects in the natural gas sector, technological innovation for decarbonisation, Smart Cities and other specific domains (i.e. electrification of urban public transport).
They will also encourage joint investments of Indian and Italian companies in energy transition-related fields; Share useful information and experiences especially in the field of policy and regulatory framework, including possible means to facilitate the transition to cleaner and commercially viable fuels/technologies, long-term grid planning, incentivizing schemes for renewables and efficiency measures, as well as with regard to financial instruments for accelerating clean energy transition, added the joint statement.

Indian diaspora, religious leaders, scholars elated over PM Modi’s outreach in Italy

Rome [Italy] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a visit to Italy to attend G20 Summit, met the Indian diaspora, religious leaders and scholars, who were elated over his outreach and gesture.
Madhu Sevita Dasa, President of ISKCON, sharing her experience with PM Modi said, “We gifted the Prime Minister with the Ramayan Special Edition, I am just a messenger of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust of the editing house of Srila Prabhupada. PM Modi loves books. And this Ramayana, I think he liked very much. The security advised that PM will not take it in his hand, don’t put it in his hand, but to my surprise, Prime Minister immediately grabbed it when he saw the Ramayana, he put it in his own hand, and he wanted the picture to be taken with it. So I think he loved it.” When asked about the leadership of PM Modi and the future of India under his leadership, she said, “I think his leadership is wonderful. I told him how we hope that he never gets old and remains the prime minister for a long time to come. That was my sort of, you know, wishes that I gave to him. And he has a good heart. And his heart is beating for India.”
Sharing his experience with PM Modi, Svamini Hamsananda Giri, President of Sanatan Dharma Sangha, said, “To meet the Prime Minister was a great honour for us.”
When asked about what he feels about Indian culture recognized worldwide, he said, “I think that the culture of India is a treasure for the humanity because it is a culture of ancient time, for the whole human being and is a culture of non-violence “Ahimsa” of harmony and respect for the nature and the environment since the beginning of this culture.”
“I am delighted and happy to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He asked about our work at Italian University as well as about my studies. I told him that it’s my honour to spread and publicise the Hindi language and Indian culture. We are trying that the awareness about Indian culture, Literature and art reaches to maximum people,” said Alessandra Consolaro, Associate Professor of Hindi at the University of Turin.
“We had a chat with PM Modi, where we discussed the interests of students in the field of literature and culture (new and old both), Yoga, Bharatanatyam and other dance forms including Bollywood. We hope that the Indian government helps us in promoting and propagating it,” said Stefania Cavaliere, Associate professor of Hindi at the University of Naples.
“It was our first meeting, he met with us like a family. He talked with the Sikh community like his own family. He asked us about each and every community in all the provinces of Italy. We are very happy that he visited us and want him to come here often,” said Sukhdev Singh Kang of the Indian Sikh Community in Italy sharing his happiness on meeting PM Modi.

Italian PM, other EU leaders laud India’s achievements in COVID-19 vaccination

New Delhi [India]: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday said European Union leaders including Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s excellent progress on COVID-19 vaccination.
“EU leaders, as well as the Italian PM, congratulated PM Modi for India’s excellent progress on vaccination both in terms of the number of vaccines administered in our country and also in terms of percentage of people covered in the first dose,” Shringla said during the special briefing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Italy. Highlighting that the EU is one of India’s very important partners, Shringla said that in today’s meetings, the leaders reviewed India-EU cooperation covering political and security relations, trade and investment relations, as well as roadmap 2025 adopted for the India EU summit.
They also discussed developments around climate change, COVID-19 pandemic and contemporary global and regional developments of interest, he said, adding that Prime Minister highlighted India’s perspectives on climate change, Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific.
Shringla mentioned that during the visit, PM Modi paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s bust at Piazza Gandhi. This was in the presence of a large number of members of the Indian community who came there to greet the Prime Minister there. And it was all with great enthusiasm.
He further stated that PM Modi also met different cultural groups including members of the Sikh community. The PM paid respect to the Indian soldiers who fought valiantly in Italy during World War II.
Moreover, PM Modi also met his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi at Palazzo Chigi in Rome. This was their first in-person meeting. The Prime Minister has spoken on a number of occasions with Prime Minister Draghi including recently on August 27 when they discussed the issue of Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary said.
Regarding bilateral cooperation in renewable and clean energy, Shringla said that India and Italy issued a joint statement announcing a strategic partnership on energy transition, and agreed to explore partnerships in areas such as large size green corridor projects, smart grids, energy storage solutions, gas transportation, integrated waste management, deployment of green hydrogen and promotion of biofuels.
He added that India and Italy also signed an agreement of intent on textiles cooperation during the meeting.
Talking about the issue of vaccination certification, he said that “Issue of vaccination certificate was discussed especially with EU representatives. There was a conversation on mutual recognition of vaccines…a doable mechanism to facilitate easier international travel… Details to be worked out bilaterally.”
“Fact of the matter is that the point PM tried to make (on vaccine certification) has been received. Most countries are quite happy with the idea of facilitating smoother international travel…and feel that we need to collectively work on it,” he stated.
“A few EU countries have already responded to our proposal. We have proposed mutual recognition of vaccine certification even at the G20… Discussions are still on…,” Shringla added.

PM Modi likely to meet Pope Francis just hours ahead of G20 Summit

Rome [Italy] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to meet Pope Francis in the Vatican on the second day of his arrival in Rome, Italy for the G20 Summit. While there is no official confirmation on the date and time of this significant meet, PM Modi is expected to meet the head of the Catholic Church on October 30 at the Vatican, just hours ahead of the G20 Summit.
Sources are tight-lipped on the nature of the meet. Also, it is believed that the meet is expected to be seen as a gesture inspiring confidence and trust between the two countries.
The Vatican is a city-state surrounded by Rome and is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.
The PM is visiting Rome for the two-day G20 Summit, which is scheduled to take place on October 30 and 31.
PM Modi is scheduled to attend the 16th edition of the G20 summit in Rome, Italy and will attend the World Leaders’ Summit of the COP26 in Glasgow after the summit.
PM is expected to pitch for collective measures to deal with the situation in Afghanistan.
G20 is a global forum whose members account for more than 80 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent population. The theme of this G20 meet under the Italian Presidency is centred around ‘People, Planet and Prosperity.’
The summit is being attended by heads of state/ government of G20 member countries, the European Union and other invited countries and international organisations.
PM is expected to hold bilateral meetings including one with Italian PM Draghi.

Om Birla arrives at Italy senate for G-20 Parliamentary Speakers Summit

Rome [Italy]: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla arrived at the Palazzo Madama, the senate of Italy on Thursday, for the inaugural session of the seventh G-20 Parliamentary Speakers Summit.
Birla said he hopes to have fruitful and constructive discussions on issues of global importance during the summit. “Arrived at the Palazzo Madama, Senate of the Republic of Italy for the Inaugural Session of the 7th G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit #P20. Hope to have fruitful and constructive discussions on issues of global importance,” tweeted Birla.
An eight-member parliamentary delegation from India including Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh and Secretary Generals of both Houses of Parliament are set to participate in the summit.
Earlier sources from Parliament told ANI that the Summit is expected to discuss a variety of issues including response to the social and employment crisis caused by the COVID -19 pandemic.
Duarte Pacheco President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) will address the Summit in the opening session and Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi will be the keynote speaker.
“The seventh G-20 Parliamentary Speakers Summit will also discuss, rebooting economic growth in terms of social and economic environmental sustainability and ‘Sustainability and food Security after the COVID-19 pandemic’,” sources further said.

Jaishankar meets counterparts from Korea, Italy, Australia on UNGA sidelines

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday held meetings with his counterparts from Korea, Italy and Australia on the sidelines of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

New York [US], September 22 : Jaishankar met his South Korean counterpart Chung Eui-Yong and had wide-ranging conversations on different aspects of the bilateral relationships, including Southern Policy and India’s Act East Policy. “Pleased to meet FM Chung Eui-Yong of the Republic of Korea. A wide-ranging conversation on different aspects of our relationship. RoK’s New Southern Policy and India’s Act East Policy have strengthened our convergence in the Indo-Pacific,” tweeted Jaishankar.

While interacting with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio, he discussed challenges related to vaccine accessibility and smooth travel.
Foreign Minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio is the current G20 chair.
“Discussed challenges related to vaccine accessibility and smooth travel. Look forward to joining him at a discussion on Afghanistan tomorrow,” he tweeted.

Jaishankar also met his Australian counterpart Marise Payne and discussed recent developments in the Indo-Pacific.

Italy might reopen its mission to Afghanistan in Doha

Rome [Italy], September 4 : Italy may set up an embassy to Afghanistan in Qatar’s Doha, said Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Saturday.
“We and our partners are currently discussing where to locate our embassies. There are no security conditions to open them in Kabul, which is why we are becoming more and more settled on the idea to temporarily set them up in Doha,” Di Maio said during a visit to Uzbekistan, as quoted by Italian news agency Agenzia Nova, reported Sputnik. On Friday, Mohammad Naeem, the spokesman for the political office of the Taliban, tweeted that Italy had promised to reopen its embassy in the Central Asian country. Later, the tweet was deleted.
Earlier on Saturday, media reported, citing sources at the Italian prime minister’s office, said that the information about the country’s diplomatic mission returning to Kabul is groundless, reported Sputnik.
Afghanistan has entered a period of political and social turmoil in the wake of the Taliban capturing Kabul on August 15.
Earlier in August, the Turkish Embassy in Afghanistan was relocated back to its premises in Kabul after it was temporarily stationed at the Kabul airport.
Abdul Salam Hanafi, the deputy head of the Taliban political office in Qatar, held a telephonic conversation with Wu Jianghao, Deputy Foreign Minister of China and the latter informed that Bejing would maintain their embassy in Kabul.
But, despite assurances from the Taliban that foreign emissaries will not be harmed, many countries have been evacuation their citizens and diplomatic personnel, as well as Afghans who cooperated with them.

Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma declared player of the tournament at Euro 2020

Moscow, Jul 12: The goalkeeper of the Italian national team, Gianluigi Donnarumma, was declared Player of the Tournament at the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship.

The Azzurri won the Euro 2020 tournament for the second time on Sunday. The first time that the Italian national team won the continental title was in 1968. It played in the finals in 2000 and 2012, but lost to France and Spain, respectively.

Italy beat England 3:2 on penalties on Sunday, following the 1:1 draw after extra time at London’s Wembley Stadium. Donnarumma saved two hits in the penalty shootout.

Portugal national football team captain Cristiano Ronaldo became the top scorer of the 2020 European Championship, winning the Golden Boot award. Portugal lost to Belgium 0:1 during the round-of-16, but Ronaldo had already scored five goals in his team’s first four games.

This year, the UEFA European Football Championship was held across the continent for the first time in its 60-year history, with 11 host cities in all: London, St. Petersburg, Baku, Munich, Rome, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Seville.

Italy seal EURO 2020 title win by beating England 3-2 on penalties

London, Jul 12: Following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and extra time at the Wembley Stadium on Sunday night, Italy won the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship by beating England 3-2 on penalties.

This was the second time Azzurri won the Euro 2020 tournament. The first was in 1968. It competed in the finals in 2000 and 2012, but lost to France and Spain, respectively.

England took the lead with a Luke Shaw strike in the 2nd minute, the quickest ever goal in a Euro final.

Italy, unbeaten in 33 matches before this final, slowly edged their way back into the game and were level in the 67th minute when Leonardo Bonucci pounced after England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford turned Marco Verratti’s header onto a post.

From there on, England struggled to find their composure but managed to hold on to take the game to extra time and, after another nervous 30 minutes, penalties were needed to separate the two sides.

Marcos Rashford, Jaydon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed the vital penalties for England.

Harry Kane and Harry Maguire were on target for England while Pickford kept hopes alive with saves from Andrea Belotti and Jorginho while Domenico Berardi, Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi scored for Italy.

It was only the second European Championship final to be decided by spot-kicks and Italy who came out on top as England’s incredible run at the tournament fell just short.

The goalkeeper of the Italian national team, Gianluigi Donnarumma, was declared Player of the Tournament after he saved two hits in the penalty shootout.

The final at Wembley was the tournament’s most attended match with 67,173 fans present at the game.

This year, the UEFA European Football Championship was held across the continent for the first time in its 60-year history, with 11 host cities in all: London, St. Petersburg, Baku, Munich, Rome, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Seville.

Italy beat Spain on penalties, reach Euro 2020 final

Facing a wall of nervous blue-and-white clad Italy fans behind the goal, Jorginho took his trademark hop and skip before calmly stroking in the winning penalty.

So much for the pressure of a shootout in the European Championship semifinals.

A dash of Italian panache completed a 4-2 penalty-shootout win over Spain at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, setting up a title match against either England or Denmark back at the same stadium on Sunday.

The match finished 1-1 after extra time and provided Italy with its toughest test of the tournament, with Spain controlling possession for long periods. Federico Chiesa scored for Italy with a curling shot in the 60th minute but substitute Alvaro Morata equalized for Spain in the 80th.

Morata, dropped from the starting lineup for the first time in a tournament during which he has received verbal abuse and even death threats from his own fans, will go down as Spain’s scapegoat once again after having a penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma in the next-to-last kick of the shootout.

As he walked back to the centre circle with his head bowed, Jorginho made the opposite journey and didn’t make the same mistake.

The Chelsea midfielder has his own style when it comes to taking penalties and he didn’t abandon it when it mattered most, sparking a throng of celebrations as Italy’s players sprinted from the halfway line.

Jorginho was mobbed. Italy coach Roberto Mancini was hugged by the rest of the coaching staff. The players lined up on the edge of the area and ran together, holding hands, toward the fans.

Leonardo Bonucci went further, leaping over the advertising hoardings to get even closer to the crazed supporters whose loud cheering had lifted the team in their most difficult moments.

“We’re delighted we could provide this wonderful entertainment to the Italian people,” Mancini said. “One game to go.”

Riding a national record unbeaten run of 33 games, Italy will play in its fourth European final and look to win the title for a second time, after 1968.

It’s quite the redemption story for a country that failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

“This group is amazing,” Mancini said. “Everyone wants to win, but this group of players wanted to do something special.”

They have had the aura of champions since Day 1 of the tournament and they’ll be sticking around until the last day, too. But it’s at the home of English soccer where the team has had its toughest matches.

Against Austria in the round of 16, the Italians were taken to extra time at Wembley and they had to go the distance, too, against Spain.

Spain’s striker-free formation initially flummoxed the Azzurri, who have become a more progressive team under Mancini but were given a clinic at times in ball possession and movement in midfield.

Experienced centre backs Giorgio Chiellini and Bonucci looked uncertain at times, not knowing whether to drop back or follow deep-lying forward Dani Olmo — who started ahead of Morata — into the centre of midfield.

Spain’s pressing also drew some rash clearances from the back of Italy. That created the team’s best chance in the first half with Ferran Torres’ shot requiring a low save from Donnarumma.

The Italians had even more problems when Morata came on as a substitute but, by then, Chiesa had put them ahead after latching onto a loose ball, cutting inside and curling a shot into the far corner. It was his second goal at Wembley in this tournament, having scored just as impressively against Austria.

Morata’s movement stretched Italy’s defence to set up chances for Mikel Oyarzabal and Olmo. Then he scored for the third time at Euro 2020.

For a player often accused of wasting chances when he has too much time in front of goal, Morata showed calmness to sidefoot in a left-footed shot after exchanging passes with Olmo at the edge of the area.

Morata grabbed a camera behind the goal and thrust his face into it. But he had nowhere to hide after becoming the second Spain player to miss in the shootout — after Olmo — following 30 minutes of extra time.

“He really has a lot of personality,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said of Morata. “He wanted to take a penalty even though he’s been through some tough times in this competition.”

Italy started the shootout with Manuel Locatelli’s shot saved by Unai Simon, but Andrea Belotti, Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi all scored before Jorginho.

Spain, a three-time European champion, beat Switzerland in a penalty shootout just to get to Wembley. Having also been taken to extra time by Croatia in the last 16, the Spanish certainly took the long route to the semifinals but their journey ended there.

“Everyone made Italy big favorites,” Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets said, “but we demonstrated we were superior to them.”

Restaurants And Hotels In Italy, Can’t Find Staff

Emerging recruitment difficulties, echoing reports of chronic labour shortages in the U.S., British and Australian hospitality industries, could hamper prospects for recovery in Italy and the wider euro zone.

Italy has eased coronavirus curbs and tourists have started visiting the country but restaurants and hotels are facing an unexpected problem since they can’t find the staff.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s unity government is counting on a robust rebound from last year’s recession, Italy’s deepest since World War Two, and is looking to tourism — aided by the EU’s new COVID-19 pass — to lead the way this summer.

But emerging recruitment difficulties, echoing reports of chronic labour shortages in the U.S., British and Australian hospitality industries, could hamper prospects for recovery in Italy and the wider euro zone.

“We are in trouble,” said Stefano Giuliodori, who is struggling to hire 12 waiters and chambermaids for his hotel in the Adriatic resort of Riccione.

“We are expecting a lot of visitors and we absolutely need staff, but it has become really difficult to find anyone.”

Alessandro Massimo Nucara, general director of hotel lobby group Federalberghi, estimates the labour shortage in the sector at around 10%, or 50,000 workers.

Employment data suggests young Italians should be desperate to work. In April, 33.7% of jobseekers aged between 15 and 24 were unemployed, one of the highest rates in the European Union.

Moreover, more than 23% of Italians between 15 and 29 are neither in employment, education or training — almost double the EU average for “NEETs” and easily the highest in the 27-nation bloc.

Giuliodori, who is offering net monthly salaries of around 1,200 euros ($1,430), believes part of the problem lies with welfare benefits, some introduced before the arrival of COVID-19 in an effort to prevent families from falling into deep poverty.

“With all these subsidies, people prefer not to leave their home town, not to pay a rent and remain with their families doing some odd jobs,” said Giuliodori.

Most of Riccione’s seasonal workers come from outside the region, meaning they have to find board and lodging, eating into earnings that may fall far short of the roughly 20,000 euros a year Eurostat says is average for a single, childless Italian.


A basic income welfare scheme introduced in 2019 pays job seekers around 500 euros a month. A separate emergency scheme for people hard-hit by the pandemic but who did not qualify for so-called “citizens’ salary” pays up to 840 euros per family.

Official statistics show that in March 2021 2.99 million people were receiving the citizens’ salary, while 628,242 families were benefiting from the emergency scheme, which lasts until at least September.

“The citizen’s salary is stopping young people from getting a job,” former centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Twitter last week, calling for the money to be diverted to lower corporate taxes and the cost of hiring.

However, many say the reason for the worker shortage is not welfare benefits but bad pay and working conditions.

The tourism industry, which accounts for around 13% of Italian GDP, has a particularly poor reputation.

Employees complain they are often paid off the books, without the formal employment status needed to qualify for ordinary social security benefits and COVID-19 specific schemes they might need if infections rise again.

Giuseppe, from Catania in Sicily, who did not want to give his surname, said he had worked for the past 10 years in pizzerias, but was fed up of never having a proper contract.

“Everything was cash in hand. Thirty euros for working from the early afternoon until late at night,” he said. “If they want to find more workers, they will have to offer regular contracts.”

Roberto Sabato, who leads a rights group for seasonal workers called “Oltre la piazza” (Beyond the Square), says the pandemic has led workers like him to reassess their lives.

“People now think: The pandemic means I can die tomorrow, and I have spent my whole life as a slave. I don’t want to do this anymore,” Sabato told Reuters.


Businesses have also sounded the alarm over labour scarcity in other European nations including Germany and tourism-reliant Greece.

“There has been a (labour) shortage, which is pretty weird, after seven months of lockdown,” Greek restaurants federation head George Kavvathas said, adding that a government workers’ support scheme was part of the problem.

In Germany, some 30% of thousands of hospitality-sector businesses that have not reopened in June after lockdowns eased cited staff shortages as the reason, the German Hotel and Restaurant Association said.

In Italy, the coronavirus forced months-long closures for bars, restaurants and hotels, with one in four jobs in the sector lost in 2020, according to hotel and hospitality associations. There is now a fear some workers may never return.

“Many of those who used to work in tourism have found another kind of work,” said Marco Fontanari, a restaurant owner and deputy head of business lobby Confcommercio in the northern province of Trentino.

A survey in Germany showed some 42% of hotels and restaurants have seen their staff move into other sectors like retail, logistics or hospital canteens.

With COVID-19 variants circulating, Fontanari said fear of future lockdowns was making people reluctant to return.

“They say that rather than give up the stability of the social security schemes, they prefer to wait and see what happens.”

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