From 9 to 12 February in Modica Bassa is the Flavours of the Piazza festival – a 3 days tour of typical local food, mixed up with the Carnival, live music and so on. Its a privately funded initiative, and will take place at the top of Via Medaglie d’Oro at piazza Corrado Rizzone. You can download the programme here: http://www.saporiesaperidipiazza.it
The classical theatre season in the Greek Theatre at Siracusa runs from 11 May to 23 June, and the three plays this year are Antigone and Oedipux Rex by Sophocles and Ecclesiazusae (Women in Parliament) by Aristophanes
Info in english here
29 April 2013 sees the first Ryanair flight into Catania airport. Ryanair have apparently enquired about 28 routes, but the first to take off is Catania/Bergamo. The fact that Ryanair is now landing at Catania will undoubtedly have knock on effects for Comiso, whether Ryanair will also/instead use this airport we dont know, but even if they don’t the other low cost carriers are interested. The opening of Comiso is still on the cards for early April – the companies have been visiting this week so we now wait and see if one of them will insert a Comiso flight into its summer schedule.
The political wheels continue to grind slowly. This week there are representative of various airlines coming to Comiso, and necessary works to facilitat the opening of the airport by the spring are continuing, despite the political terrorism of various ‘interested’ parties who are doing everything in their power to stop the airport opening.
Ryanair at the moment seems not to be on the list of possible operators in the short term – allegedly they want paying to use the airport, and Ragusa cannot provide the amount of money needed. However, it seems that Ryanair have asked Catania airport about the possiblity of running 27 routes from Catania. Whether this is a ploy to force the opening of Comiso or something else, nobody seems to know. At the moment it is AirOne who are interested in Comiso as well as some routes to Northern and eastern Europe. We are promised that all will become clearer over the next 10 days or so.
The installation of the high frequency satellite communication system at Niscemi grinds on. Despite the position taken by the Sicilian parliament which has ordered an immediate stop to the works, central government has announced that it is a site of strategic importance and the work must continue. the NoMuos group are trying to block the arrival of lorries and cranes to continue the installation, but are being beaten back by an impressive police presence.
The Muos system is an American intelligence/defence system, which allows communications via four satellite earthbound stations and various satellites. The earth stations are to be found in the desert of Australia, an uninhabited island of Hawaii and the desert of North America. The European site chosen by the American defence department is in the protected SSI site of the ancient cork forests of Niscemi, on an island of 6 million inhabitants.
There is widespread concern about the effects of high frequency electromagnetic radiation which neither the government or the US defence system have done anything to allay. It is reported that the area affected will be a radius of at least 75km from the station, which takes in over half of Sicily and a population of over 2.5 million people. The reported effects of such radiation are a high incidence of leukemia, reproductive problems as well as interference with everything from pacemakers to air traffic control stations.
The American refusal to have the satellites installed at the NATO station at Sigonella seems to have been founded on the proximity to Catania and the airport there. At Niscemi the interference will almost certainly mean that the airport at Comiso will not be able to operate safely. All of the technology will also aid the operation of drone aircraft, which are apparently being stationed at Trapani Birgi.
Sicily which prides itself on its status as a ‘country of peace’ is being drawn into global conflicts over which it has no control and is becoming a target in its own right, something which the Sicilian parliament has vetoed.
There has been no public consultation, government funded study or independent observer. In effect the Italian government has given a huge area of land to America which will fall under American control and the Sicilians will have no power to intervene. If Niscemi is to become the 51st state of the USA it is only right that the italian have some say in the decision. It also appears that the American desire to build the plant has led to the ‘non-necessity’ of antimafia legislation for contractors. The national media has remained resolutely silent on the matter, which bodes ill.
Already with the existent antenna there is an eerie silence in the area around Niscemi, no birds or animals seem to live there anymore. It also seems to interfere with migration patterns.
It is incumbent on the Italian government to defer to the Sicilian parliament as regards interventions on Sicilian soil, and to the Italian people as to giving a foreign state Italian land to do what it likes. This is not a NATO structure, but an American structure – and while the Sicilians are anything but antiAmerican, the high handed approach of the government is threatening to create another Comiso – the Italian version of ‘Greenham Common’ – and there was a battle to have the cruise missiles removed.
The NoMuos movement is trying to raise awareness of this situation, but at the moment is operative only in Italian. The effects of the Muos on eastern Sicily will be devastating in the long term. Please raise awareness of the MUOS – you can find information on Wikipedia and various sites.