Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sicily blocks US satellite project

Amidst protests and confrontation, the President of the Sicilian Region, taking (as promised) a position different from that of his predecessors, has - at least for the moment - blocked further development of an American military satellite dish construction project near Niscemi in east-central Sicily. The health and environmental concerns of local residents were cited as a reason for the intervention, which will pit Sicily's regional government against Italy's national government and this NATO nation's defence ministry.

This is one of four MUOS (mobile user objective system) bases under development. The others are in more remote, less populated areas of Hawaii, Virginia and Australia. The main problem with the project is not political, nor is it a question of anti-Americanism.

Who would want such an installation next to her house?

There is, however, a very real "social" side to this issue. Specifically, Sicilian politicians have "sold" Sicily and the Sicilians for decades, in the process pocketing handsome pay-offs much of the time. This is corruption, plain and simple. For example, it was also reported today that a public contract involving administration of archaeological sites was "won" by the son of a recently-appointed regional administrator - who declined it in the wake of highly public "conflict of interest" commentary that made its way into the newspapers.

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