The latest news about Italy – 15.03.2024

INPS Introduces Simplified Procedure for Early Retirement Applications in 2024

The National Social Security Institute of Italy (INPS) has announced a new simplified procedure for submitting applications for early retirement in 2024. This decision aims to streamline the process of obtaining advance pension benefits for individuals who have reached a certain age and contribution length.


According to communication number 1041/2024 from INPS, titled “Ordinary Early Retirement. Simplification of Electronic Applications,” the presented application process provides more accessible and efficient methods for those meeting the established criteria: 42 years and ten months of contributions for men, and 41 years and ten months for women.

Individuals eligible for early retirement can take advantage of the simplified procedure through the official INPS website. By authenticating through the Spid system or using the national service card or electronic identity card 3.0, they can select the “Pensions and Social Security” section and then “Access to thematic pension benefits.” Here, under the subsection “Application for pension receipt, restoration, calculation, certification, social APE, and early benefit,” the process of completing and submitting an application for “Early Retirement” will be facilitated.

INPS General Director, Vincenzo Caridi, emphasizes that besides online applications, requests can also be submitted through patronage institutions or by contacting the contact center at toll-free number 803164 or +39 06 164164 for additional assistance.

The simplified application submission system was already introduced in February 2024, in accordance with changes outlined in the 2024 Budget Law concerning flexible early retirement and the female option. Applying for flexible early retirement follows a similar procedure, taking into account the specific criteria provided by this law.

These changes are intended to ease access to pension benefits and ensure a swift response to requests from citizens seeking support during the transition period between employment and retirement age


Christopher Columbus’ House in Genoa: A Bridge Between Past and Present

Christopher Columbus, known as the great navigator and explorer who undertook four voyages to the New World, has left an indelible mark on human history. However, beyond his famous expeditions, little is known about Columbus’ house in Genoa, the city that claims to be his birthplace


Storm of Rescue: Tragedy and Hope in the Mediterranean Sea

Once again, the Mediterranean Sea witnessed tragedy as a shipwreck claimed the lives of at least 60 migrants, leaving dozens more on the brink of life and death. This tragic tale unfolded in the waters off the coast of Libya, where a drifting boat, overcrowded with people, found itself without water and food, plunged into a hopeless state.


Rescue came in the form of the crew of the SOS Mediterranee Ocean Viking vessel, which discovered the boat in perilous condition and immediately initiated a rescue operation. Out of the 25 survivors brought to safety, many suffered fuel burns and symptoms of hypothermia. For two of them, in critical condition, emergency evacuation by helicopter was required.

However, this tragedy is not isolated. On Wednesday, at the same time as Ocean Viking was rescuing survivors, another rescue operation took place, leading to the salvation of 110 people on a wooden boat, seeking safety.

The death and suffering of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea have become a grim norm, reminding us of the necessity for a more humane and effective approach to managing migration and ensuring safe routes for those seeking refuge and a better life.

While many of us observe these events from afar, they serve as a reminder of our shared human duty to aid those in distress and strive for the creation of a world of peace and stability, where every person can live without fear and want.


Nitrosamines in Food: Hazards and Protection Measures

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has raised concerns about the link between nitrosamines and cancer, warning of potential health risks to consumers. Nitrosamines, chemical compounds formed in food after preparation and processing, can be carcinogenic and genotoxic, meaning they can damage DNA


These substances are found in various products, particularly in processed meat products, fish, cocoa, beer, and alcoholic beverages. They may also be present in processed vegetables, dairy products, and cosmetic products. However, further research is needed to fully understand their distribution.

To protect oneself from the potential harmful effects of nitrosamines, it is recommended to limit the consumption of processed meat, especially when prepared at high temperatures. Introducing a diverse and balanced diet can also help reduce the risk. Some products, such as ascorbic acid, garlic, onions, and strawberries, may help decrease the formation of nitrosamines in food products.

EFSA continues to monitor the impact of nitrosamines on human health and collaborates with the European Commission and member states to develop legislative initiatives aimed at addressing this issue.


Italy Without Snow: Trends and Impact on Mountain Tourism

The absence of snow, which is increasingly felt in the Apennines, does not hinder traditional ski weeks and weekend skiing, snowshoeing, and enjoying delicious food in mountain shelters.


In fact, according to a report by Federalberghi prepared by Tecnè, 8.9 million Italians spent their holidays in the mountains from January to March. Of these, 6.5 million went on skiing holidays, while 2.4 million opted for a short break on weekends.

The turnover will amount to 6.1 billion euros, of which 4.3 billion will be spent on ski weeks. As for the destinations for weekly vacations, 95.5% remain in Italy, with 72.6% heading to the northern regions and only 22.9% to the central-southern regions, partly due to the lack of snowfall in the Apennines. On weekends, 38.6% choose the central-southern regions, while 61.4% opt for the north.

“For us,” comments Federalberghi president Bernabo Bocca, “this is a good sign that comes closer to Easter, and it gives us hope. We had moments of difficulty, fearing that winter tourism could be penalized in terms of performance by the poorer segments of the population.”

Ministry of Tourism also addresses the issue of lack of snow. “This report,” says Tourism Minister Daniela Santanche, “confirms the central role of Italian mountains for the tourism sector, including due to the significant turnover they generate. At the same time, considering the braking effect caused by the lack of snow in the Apennines, we are already working, starting with activating a working group with associations and operators in this sector, on developing new ways to experience the mountains to maximize the potential of these territories.”

Staying in a hotel remains the favorite option during the ski holiday period, “a breath of fresh air for our business,” comments Bocca, who, however, emphasizes: “All this is excellent foreshadowing, but it contradicts the perspective of a holiday, whatever it may be. During the period we want to talk about, unfortunately, this has an impact on lower purchasing power. According to our survey, 7 out of 10 Italians have faced rising prices, otherwise orienting their choice. And for us, this,” he concludes, “will never be able to be good news.”

Assoturismo also sounds the alarm about rising prices, which are driving compatriots away from the mountains: “Compared to last year, a whopping 3 million Italians were forced to forgo skiing holidays from January to March, with losses in turnover in this sector amounting to up to 3.5 billion euros by 2023.” The classic ski week, according to the association, is becoming increasingly exhausting due to the avalanche-like rise in prices that has hit the entire mountain sector. “The cost of ski passes,” reports president Gabriele Melluzo, “rose by +8.1% in the Dolomites in 2024, by +6.5% in Courmayeur, by 7.7% in Bormio, and by 7.6% in Livigno, and compared to 2021, the number of daily tickets increases. the number of ski passes even reached +22.1% in Livigno, +21.7% in Bormio, +19.4% in the Dolomites, +16% in Courmayeur.”

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