As Italy's crisis deepens, an ugly exit for Berlusconi

Italians dismayed to be like Greece Silvio Berlusconi's fall from power over public debt is an unpleasant shock, an Italian reader says. Other letters topics: Britney, the Burj Khalifa, pandemics, and water prices.

Silvio Berlusconi's resignation marks the end of an era, readers say, for good or ill. Alessia Pierdomenico / Reuters
Powered by automated translation

This is in reference to your article Berlusconi to resign over debt crisis (November 9). Silvio Berlusconi is a media mogul who was somehow able to survive sex scandals, criminal allegations and corruption charges during his many years in public office.

But causing the euro zone's third-largest economy to sink under the weight of Europe's debt mess forced him to step aside for the good of the country.

Watching him fall, and observing his government's failure to revive Italy's stalled economy, was quite heartbreaking for citizens. Sure, we understood the sole purpose was to reassure the markets, but we Italians never thought that we would be the next Greece.

Didn't we rest on more solid fundamentals? Apparently not. Now we all have trouble sleeping at night these days.

Gabriela Lombardiame, Abu Dhabi

The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will be missed on the global political stage. For years he brought style, class and colour to his job.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Europe can't lose its manufacturing

Most European countries have exported their most valuable assets, including industry and manufacturing, to faraway lands. Perhaps this is why Britain's prime minister is so pessimistic (UK's Cameron says he doubts future of euro zone, November 12).

If Europe is to survive it needs to bring manufacturing to its backyard, returning jobs and capital to a region starved of both. If a country is not manufacturing what can it export? Only labour. It is this trend that is most dangerous to Europe's long-term future.

A Kianin, Dubai

Never too late for mosque at the top

After so much erroneous publicity about a mosque on the top floor of the Burj Khalifa (Tall tale of the mosque that never was, November 13) it is clear what must happen now: the developer should place a mosque where it was once assumed to have been.

This will not only earn them blessings but also help them by way of a great PR exercise. There must not be any compromise.

Amit Bhattacharji, Dubai

Beijing struggles with pollution

I was deeply and sadly struck by the news report Pollution on the tip of every tongue (November 12) about the crisis of air pollution in Beijing.

Human rights abuses, mine disasters and adulterated products are all bad enough, but what can you say about a government that has allowed the air to become poisoned so badly that people have to stay inside and buy purifiers just to be able to breathe? How can a regime like that claim to be serving the people?

Other countries have big cities and bad air, but by all accounts Beijing is the worst of them all.

The story gets worse when we learn that the top leaders have arranged to have air purifying machinery provided for their own personal use.

This is worse than the legendary "let them eat cake". The Chinese leaders are saying "let them not breathe".

Patrick Caron, Dubai

Britney dazzled those who stayed

I attended the Britney Spears show at Yas Island and must respond to claims by some fans that her set was too short and did not include top hits (Britney dazzles in F1 concert opener, November 12). Actually she did sing Baby One More Time, and her whole set list was a total of 21 songs, which is more than a lot of artists bother to perform.

I'm amazed at her energy and stamina, which allowed her to perform for an hour and a half. Some people left after she performed Womanizer, without realising that she had two encore performances still to go.

I guess some people missed it.

I really hope Britney comes to Dubai to perform soon.

Carla Corsino-Estrada, Dubai

Invest more to prevent pandemic

This is an excellent article (Next pandemic is 'not a matter of if', November 11).

The last scene of Contagion shows us why the pandemic started: because there are no veterinarians and there is no enforcement of biosecurity standards.

Nearly all pandemic diseases come from animals; a pandemic in humans is inevitable unless we make the effort to prevent it by disease control in animals. But in this regard we don't invest enough.

A report coming out soon estimates the spending required to bring developing countries veterinary and public health standards at some $3.3 billion per year, a fraction of the $100 billion spent annually to prevent terrorism. Name withheld by request