Posts Tagged ‘italy’

Italy gives Google 18 month privacy deadline

July 24th, 2014 No Comments By Lucy Sweet

google Italy gives Google 18 month privacy deadline The way Google handles data is under fire from Italy, who have given them 18 months to change their ways and improve user privacy.

France have already fined Google £150,000 because they failed to co-operate with its laws on tracking and storing information, and it looks like Italy might be next to hit the company with a piffling fine that wouldn’t even make a dent in the average Google CEO’s lunch bill.

The Italian data protection Authority have told Google that they must ask its users for permission to use their personal information before they go spreading it around Facebook in the form of targeted ads about Fitflops and belly fat.

They also said they must honour customer requests to delete data within two months. Or else.
Google are co-operating so far, perhaps fearing reprisals from burly, well-connected Sardinian men called Beppe.

They said: “We’ve engaged fully with the Italian DPA throughout this process to explain our privacy policy and how it allows us to create simpler, more effective services, and we’ll continue to do so. We’ll be reading their report closely to determine next steps.”

How about you stop selling our data to advertisers without our permission, Google? That would be logical ‘next step.’

As they say in Italy – VAFFANCULO.

new food labelling 300x105 Our EU chums are getting shirty over our traffic light labelling on foodEveryone knows that if you constantly eat crap, you end up a pale and unhealthy glutinous mass. Of course, everyone is free to choose what they eat, but as part of a drive to help people make informed choices, UK food retailers largely conform to the voluntary traffic light food labelling system, which tells you whether the amount of fat and sugar you are about to cram in your gob is good (green) or less good (red).

Now, however, some of our European chums have decided that, far from being helpful and informative, this traffic light labelling is in fact discriminatory and rude, and have run off to the European Commission to tell tales. The group, led by Italy, is concerned that, as their national produce such as prosciutto and Parmesan might end up with red labels, we are clearly trying to stealthily stop all UK people eating foreign muck.

Italy accused the UK’s labelling system of ‘clearly influencing customer choice’ and got its mates, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, Romania, Portugal together with France just for good measure, to back it up. They all stood around huffily in the EC until the Commission agreed to investigate. Their challenge is supported by UK local retailer the Co-operative who undertook a survey which found that 40% of women and 30% of men had decided against buying a product owing to its red traffic light labelling.

The Commission’s findings are expected in a few weeks, but its investigation will consider whether the labelling infringes basic EU tenets of the free market within Europe.

However, Glenis Willmott, UK MEP Health Spokesperson condemned the challenge, describing the case as “spurious” and claiming EU legislation was clear in permitting voluntary informational labelling on products. If the EU finds against the UK, and the UK refuses to withdraw the labelling, we could be landed with a heavy fine.

It seems the irony of us pasty Britishers hankering after a more Mediterranean diet is lost on our near neighbours.

Bad news if you’re going to Europe with BA, Ryanair or Easyjet– Italian and Portuguese air traffic controllers are downing tools, leaving you stranded on the tarmac in a big orange glorified bus with wings.

easyjet 300x170 Air traffic controllers to strike today and tomorrow

Easyjet have warned of ‘significant impact’ to their flights, and Ryanair have cancelled 80 flights from today – but only 4 of them are in and out of the UK.

But the air traffic controllers are at least trying to be a bit democratic about their strike this time, and have drawn up a very helpful schedule. Italian air traffic control are on strike between 1pm and 5 pm local time, while Portuguese air traffic control are on strike between 7am and 9am and 2pm until 4pm local time. (Gives them a bit of time to go to the shops and have a coffee, etc.)

On their website, Easyjet has promised to let you know flight developments via email, and customers can check their online Flight Tracker. Some flights to Lisbon and Milan Malpensa have been re-scheduled to avoid the strike times.

Meanwhile, BA said: ‘We have re-timed a number of flights and are using larger aircraft where possible to help more customers from cancelled flights fly to where they need to be. We are advising customers on short-haul services to keep checking the very latest information on our website as the nature of the industrial action may change throughout the day.’

Anyway, if you’re Italy or Portugal-bound today or tomorrow, good luck, and don’t forget to bring your bumper book of Sudoku for the long wait.

Italians drink like Scottish tramps

March 27th, 2013 12 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Italy! A place of sunshine, fine wines and rich food! A country with fashion houses, tailored suits and sexual potency! However, Italians aren’t all great. Aside from the whole ‘fascism thing’, they also don’t know the first thing about good beer.

This is neatly underlined by an establishment called ‘Old Bear’ which, on the chalkboard, prioritises Tennent’s Super on the beer list! Not only that, they have TWO TYPES of Tennent’s, which is just magnificent. Perfect if your bar wants to attract Rab C. Nesbitt or Stuart McCall.

tennents super 375x500 Italians drink like Scottish tramps


Commercial Break: Life with the Bowies

September 1st, 2011 6 Comments By Andy Dawson

Let’s all imagine that David Bowie has done something noteworthy lately, so that we can bring an air of topicality to today’s Commercial Break. Of course, he hasn’t – it’s been about eight years since he released his last album and rumours that he’s packed it in for good have been swirling around for ages.

So let’s just forget about the topicality stuff and enjoy this Italian ad for Vittel water, also made about eight years ago, in which the great man shares a house with some of his more notable alter-egos. Come back Mr Bowie. Make some more records please. Not ones like Tin Machine though.

If you see George Clooney turning up at a film premiere and awards ceremony and looking slightly unusual in the near future, don’t be alarmed. He might turn up dressed as a member of Insane Clown Posse, or maybe he’ll be in the guise of Shirley Temple.

One thing you can be sure of is that there’ll be some kind of lackey, wandering a few feet in front of Clooney, spraying dollar bills in the path of the actor from out of a leaf blower. Who knows, Clooney might drop to his knees and roll around in the cash. Like someone who is quite happy to make themselves look like an utter twat for money.

Here’s George in a new Italian mobile phone ad.

VYBZE 499x375 Why stand up seats wont be on your next flight, part 17

One more reason we won’t see the likes of Ryanair fitting those Italian stand-up seats anytime soon – apart from the fact aviation authorities would never allow them in the air. Or maybe that’s the plan – irrefutable proof that fatties need taxing out the sky?


Sky Marshall Michael O’Leary, your dreams are about to come true. The Ryanair boss has long spouted off about passengers standing on flights so he can pack more of them in. Simply banging on about the fact has generated hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of PR for the airline, which was no doubt the point. But now an Italian engineering firm is the process of manufacturing stand-up airline seats.

Bitterwallet Aviointeriors Ryanair standing seats Italians look to make standing room on flights a reality
According to Travolution, the company, called Aviointeriors are going ahead with its high density seating, known as SkyRider.

“This posture permits that the overall longitudinal space occupied by the seat with the seated passenger is far less than that of a conventional, very high density 28-inch economy class seat.”

“The SkyRider is intended as a new basic class. The passenger’s seating position is similar to that of a touring motor-scooter rider.

Similar, except scooters don’t travel at 500 miles per hour. Unless they’re driven by an Italian. Not that the aviation authorities are likely to allow standing without substantial proof that legs won’t be broken during a bad landing, but why don’t airlines skip standing and demand passengers are stacked in cardboard boxes during flights.

OLeary 300x276 Italians slap £2.5m fine on Ryanair for ash cloud conduct

Up your breakfast

Ryanair have been hit with a hefty fine by the Italian civil aviation authority following their recent conduct during the ash cloud crisis.

The Sky Marshall and his gang are €3 million (£2.5m) lighter in the pocket after the Italians decided that they failed to help passengers by offering them mandatory assistance after cancelling flights during Ash Cloud Week in April. The air agency, Enac, found that Ryanair neglected to provide passengers at Rome’s Ciampino airport with drinks, foods and accommodation as required by European law.

At the time, the Sky Marshall noisily parped: “There’s no legislation designed that says any airline getting a fare of €30 should be reimbursing passengers many thousands of euros for hotel accommodation. It’s absurd. I don’t have a problem with everything being grounded for a day or two but there should have been a much faster response by the governments and transport ministers and by the regulators. This is one of these issues we want addressed – why exactly are the airlines expected to be reimbursing people’s hotels, meals and everything else when the governments are the ones who made a balls of this?”

Ryanair have described Enac’s allegation as “complete rubbish.”

Mullets are on the menu at Italian restauarant

August 30th, 2009 8 Comments By Paul Smith

Using the likes of Babelfish is all well and good when you want a foreign phrase translating into a string of English words that make less sense. It’s a universal problem – Bitterwallet reader Jason visited a restaurant in San Remo where the Italian owners attempted to satisfy their English patrons but made a orecchio di un maiale of it:

Even after seeing the menu we decided to try and eat there. After 45 minutes of crap service we walked out. Just as well, because I didn’t really fancy bone holing the Milanese.

p1050539 Mullets are on the menu at Italian restauarant

p1050538 Mullets are on the menu at Italian restauarant

Barclays Fat Cats Keep Noses Firmly In Trough

October 10th, 2008 No Comments By Andy Dawson

barclays fat cat Barclays Fat Cats Keep Noses Firmly In Trough

Yes, we know it’s pigs that eat out of troughs but we liked the cat picture. Okay?

Anyway, as the government’s massive bail-out starts pumping into the banks’ cashstreams, it’s good to see that Barclays aren’t wasting any of it. Oh hang on, yes they f***ing are!

The Sun has tracked down some bankers from Barclays Wealth enjoying an all-expenses trip to Lake Como in Italy. They’re there for a dash of conferencing mixed in with lots and lots of swimming, sailing, shopping, and (probably) shagging.

The paper reports that the theme of the conference was “End of the World or Opportunity of a Lifetime?” – telling clients how they can profit from the current financial misery. Sweet. Something springs to mind at this point about leopards and spots but I’m so rage-fuelled that I’m not sure what it is.

It’s unbelievably ill-advised stuff. But, as taxpayers, we now own a portion of the banks, so I’m off down to my local branch of Barclays to help myself to whatever’s in the staff room fridge.