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La Gazzetta di Messelia


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La Gazzetta di Messelia is one of the most trusted and circulated newspapers in the Messelia-Verale Historical Region. It was founded in 1974, with the merger its predecessors, La Gazzetta and Il Giornale di Messelia, part of a realignment of newspapers that reduced the total number of major newspapers by half and consolidated their ownership. La Gazzetta is currently owned by the Pellegrino Group, a business conglomerate with interest in the written media, wine and banking industries.

La Gazzetta is widely held as one of the newspapers of record in Sartoria, and through the years has won several awards for its integrity, accuracy and responsibility when reporting the news, particularly its ability to break stories of national interest. In particular, it has won the Fulvio Award -the top journalism award in Sartoria- in the category of Best Investigative Reporting seven years in a row, and its senior correspondents have all won various Fulvio categories.

Usually published in Sartorian, La Gazzetta also publishes an international edition, which regularly conveys news from Sartoria for a foreign audience. These articles are taken from said international edition.

Published Articles


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Future of Valerio Government Hangs in the Balance
Marta Pezzaloni

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Senators at the Judiciary Committee passed the confidence motion on July 09

Messelia. There will be little rest for First Councillor Marco Valerio this weekend, as he tries to rally support against an impending confidence vote in the Senate, amid a flurry of speculation that the Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASS) is no longer willing to support his government, and despite repeated calls for him to step down.

A month after the hostage crisis that resulted in dozens of children dead and increased secretism on the part of the intelligence services, the embattled First Councillor has faced increasing challenges to his government, but it may all come to a head on Monday, when the Senate consider on a confidence vote motioned by Marcio Salucci (ADM-BC), a leading opposition voice and an unlikely ally of detractors of the First Councillor from within the ASS, which is still officially part of the governing coalition.

To his opponents, the First Councillor failed to ensure adequate security and as overly secretive in his handling of the aftermath of the hostage crisis, refusing to disclose key information about the group involved in the crisis and the operation that resulted in the liberation of the hostages. Sources close to the Senate Intelligence Committee indicate that members from both the Coalition and the Opposition have been very displeased with the lack of information volunteered by Mr Valerio, and had to resort to obscure legal provisions to obtain that information.

Senator Salucci, Speaker of the Merchant Rights Association (ADM), introduced the confidence motion on July 07, shortly before a midyear recess. While many experts say the intent was to begin rallying support and warming senators up to the idea that such a motion could be viable, support was much higher than expected, particularly among backbenchers in the ASS. With mixed support, the motion passed 214-194, and a confidence vote on the First Councillor was scheduled for August 07.

Mr Valerio has faced intense pressure from all parties to step down, since it is widely believed that, without support from the ASS, he will not have enough votes to remain in office, yet he has so far refused and instead publicly announced his intention to face the confidence vote. This will force the ASS to vote against its own Coalition, a highly destabilising move, though party leadership says that it remains committed to working with the Coalition, regardless of who is First Councillor.


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Cattaneo and Marelli Lead Latest Approval Poll
Marta Pezzaloni

Messelia. A recent Chierana University poll has former Energy Councillor Vincenzo Cattaneo and incumbent Foreign Councillor Grazia Marelli virtually tied for highest approval ratings, among those seen as most likely to succeed First Councillor Marco Valerio.

Conducted on August 14-15, the poll shows Mr Cattaneo and Ms Marelli in a virtual tie for the first place among those considered electable, with 78% and 76%, respectively, followed by Liliana Nisi, Terzo Ferraro and Guido Alderisi. Ms Nisi and Mr Ferraro have academic backgrounds, and are well-reputed professors and researchers, whereas Mr Alderisi is known for his military service and subsequent service in prominent research centres, where he has focused on game theory and peace and conflict studies.

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In light green are the Privy Councillors regarded as electable

Mr Cattaneo, who served as Energy Councillor under First Councillor Mariano Albani, is widely seen as the runner up in the race to court the Green Coalition, following the 2012 Senate Election. Eventually the Coalition gave its backing to a less known candidate, Junior Councillor for International Cooperation Marco Valerio, who went on to win reelection three years later with an increased majority. It is an open secret that Mr Cattaneo still hopes to become the Duke of Messelia.

Unlike Mr Cattaneo, Foreign Councillor Marelli has expressed no ambition for a higher office, and has insisted as recently as her press conference this morning that she intends to discharge her duties without distraction until the last day of the Valerio Council. Sources close to the Senate, however, say that Ms Marelli has held tentative meetings with a number of key senators from the Alliance for Sustainable Development, the largest party and the one that holds the keys to the office, in an effort to keep their support for a prospective coalition.

Ms Nisi and Mr Alderisi were also contenders in 2012, though they were ruled out early in the race. Since then Ms Nisi has served one year as Chair of the Education Advisory Council and Mr Alderisi has been a Senior Fellow at the Rizzo Institute. Mr Ferrero, like the Foreign Councillor, has never been a contender for First Councillor, instead focusing on his role as Dean of the Laganà University School of Law. However, visitor books confirm that Mr Ferrero has also been holding meetings with key senators from the Eastern and Central Realms, particularly from the Alliance for Sustainable Development and the Merchant Rights Association.

While there is no set timeframe for the selection of a new First Councillor, all selections since 1973 have lasted no more than two weeks, after which a Privy Councillor informs the Prince that they have enough votes in the Senate to form a government. If this trend continues, there could be a new First Councillor by the end of this month.


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ADM Coalition Leads First Senate Vote
Marta Pezzaloni

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Senator Salucci is the Speaker of the Merchant Rights Association

Messelia. A coalition led by the Merchant Rights Association (ADM) placed first in the vote held today by the Senate in search of a majority, though it did not have enough votes to claim the right to select a First Councillor.

Held shortly before noon, the vote resulted in a four-way split that cast doubts into the initial expectation that the incumbent coalition would maintain its unity. Instead, the Alliance for Sustainable Development came in second place with 122 votes, its 90 votes having received the backing of the Liberal Party, with 32 votes. In third place came the Social Progress Party and the Youth Movement, whose combined 114 votes were not enough to keep it sufficiently competitive. There was a tense mood in the chamber as ASS and PPS/MG votes were cast, particularly when it became evident that the coalition would not stand.

In turn, the ADM received the 18 votes of the far-right Forward Party and the 26 votes of the Movement for National Renewal, for a combined total of 131 votes. While considerably short of the 205 needed to form a majority, Senator Mario Salucci, who is widely expected to become Second Councillor, who his coalition obtain a majority, expressed confidence in the initial vote, and said that subsequent votes would confirm the upwards trend. "As we better explain our platform, I am sure that more parties will grant us the opportunity to work together as a majority", he said.

In fourth place came the Socialist Party, with 41 votes, which was widely expected to run its traditional standalone ticket on the first vote. It is unclear how it will swing in subsequent votes. It remained in opposition this past government, having deemed it too centrist, though it has supported the Social Progress Party and the Youth Movement in the past.

A second vote is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, following what are expected to be extensive negotiations between all parties in the Senate.


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ASS Expected to Lead Senate Coalition
Marta Pezzaloni

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Senators have held three votes on the formation of a Coalition

Messelia. Following a Senate vote last Friday, the Alliance for Sustainable Development is widely expected to lead a new governing coalition, once the Senate votes a fourth time on Monday.

On Friday, the Senate voted for the third time on the formation of a Coalition. While the previous two votes had the Merchant Rights Association (ADM) in the lead position, for this vote the ASS received the backing of the Socialist Party. With 163 votes, it surpassed the 133 votes of the ADM Coalition and the 114 votes of the Social Progress Party/Youth Movement (PPS/MG). While there is still major resentment among the PPS/MG over the role of the ASS in the dismissal of First Councillor Marco Valerio, most sources from inside the Senate are certain that both parties will give their backing to the ASS, their former coalition partner, to ensure a stable majority.

As a possible sign of this, Terzo Ferraro, one of the leading candidates for First Councillor, has withdrawn himself from consideration, according to a high official within the Senate, as has Liliana Nisi, who released a public statement this morning, saying that she intends to continue serving in the Education Advisory Council. Perhaps most telling are the increasing rumours, started by Byzantium Herald Sartoria Correspondent Claudio Stovale, that Foreign Councillor Marelli will announce her withdrawal from the race on Monday, shortly before holds its vote. Mr Stovale wrote that "Councillor Marelli is reportedly unwilling to head a government under a ASS-led majority, being a supporter of the Social Progress Party herself".

If true, that would lead Vincenzo Cattaneo and Guido Alderisi as the sole contenders, though some voices are already being heard that urge Eliana D'Ambrosio, the highest approved Privy Councillor, to consent to a possible appointment as First Councillor. Ms D'Ambrosio has shown no intention of seeking the office, and indeed has historically kept a low political profile in her years on the Privy Council. Should she decide to refrain from seeking the office, it is expected that Mr Cattaneo will attempt to reach an agreement with the ASS and PPS/MG to form a government until the 2018 Senate Election.


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D’Ambrosio Emerges as Compromise Candidate
Marta Pezzaloni

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Senators have will vote tomorrow on the candidacies of Vincenzo Cattaneo and Guido Alderisi

Messelia. Privy Councillor Elena D’Ambrosio has gained strength as a possible compromise candidate for the position of First Councillor, as frontrunners Vincenzo Cattaneo and Guido Alderisi have failed to garner enough support within the Green Coalition.

Last Monday the Senate formed a majority coalition, led by the Alliance for Sustainable Development and comprised of the Social Progress Party, the Youth Movement, the Liberal Party and the Socialist Party. Called the Green Coalition, it has an increased share of the vote, compared to the previous one, and a clear mandate to tackle national security and implement environmental and business reforms.

While the various agreements necessary to form the coalition were being drafted and signed, party leaders met on Wednesday to discuss the confidence vote for a First Councillor. While no details of that meeting were officially released, sources close to the Leader of the Youth Senate Party indicate that neither Mr Cattaneo nor Mr Alderisi enjoyed the confidence of those in attendance. Mr Cattaneo was seen as too overly political and career driven, while Mr Alderisi was considered to lack the necessary public sector credentials to effectively lead the government.

Sources close to the leadership of the Social Progress Party and the Liberal Party indicate that Privy Councillor Eliana D’Ambrosio, the widely popular Director of the Royal Institute of Neurological Research, is being discussed as a possible compromise.

Ms D’Ambrosio has not expressed any interest in the position, and her national security credentials are scant, but she is one of the most trusted public officials, according to a survey by Chierana University that placed her trust at 82%. She has received much credit for the various, and at times politically challenging, reforms she implemented during her time as Health Councillor under Marco Valerio, which might work to her benefit, portraying her as an able administrator with the necessary skills to navigate the political scene.

It is expected that the Senate will vote on the candidacies of Mr Cattaneo and Mr Alderisi on Wednesday, as well as that of Giacomo Bertucci, the symbolic candidate from the Opposition. If they both fail to garner the required majority, the Senate will again accept nominations from its members. It is expected that Ms D’Ambrosio, who would obtain the required minimum of 25 nominations to be added to the candidates list, might be the sole candidate for the Green Coalition, and would receive enough votes to obtain the confidence of the Senate.


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Alderisi Withdraws Amid Increased Calls to Draft D’Ambrosio
Marta Pezzaloni

Messelia. Guido Alderisi has withdrawn from the contest to succeed First Councillor Marco Valerio after a Senate vote, this morning, placed in third place, after Vincenzo Cattaneo and Giacomo Bertucci, the latter being the symbolic candidate put forward by a sector of the Opposition.

Mr Alderisi delivered a press conference yesterday shortly after 11AM at the Rizzi Institute, where he participates as a Senior Fellow, to announce that the Senate had sent a “clear message” about its confidence in his ability to lead and that he would “graciously and willingly” act on it. He wished good luck to the two remaining candidates, and while he stopped short of formally endorsing Elena D’Ambrosio, he did emphasise that the First Councillor needed the full confidence of the Senate, and expressed doubts that the incumbent candidates would obtain it.

This leaves Mr Cattaneo and Mr Bertucci as the sole remaining candidates for First Councillor. Mr Cattaneo remains in first place, having received 162 votes from a variety of parties, ranging from the Social Progress Party to the Merchant Rights Association, though all from the Southern and Eastern Realms. Mr Alderisi, in turn, received 23 votes from the Social Progress Party and the Alliance for Sustainable Development, all from the more progressive and millennial-dominated Northern and Central Realms.

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Votes obtained by each candidate in the latest Senate vote

Mr Bertucci placed in second place, though distant from Mr Cattaneo. He received 27 votes, from Forward and the Merchant Rights Association, in the latter case only from senators representing the Eastern Realms. In spite of his vote count, and the fact that he did not manage to unify the Opposition, he has refused to step aside, and vowed to keep contesting the election.

Senator Mario Salucci, widely seen as the main Opposition figure in the Senate explained his vote against all candidates by saying that “Sartoria needs a candidate with integrity, a fresh face and the ability to navigate through the political scene” and admitting that he failed to see such characteristics in any of the three candidates. In addition to Mr Salucci, 195 other senators from both the Green Coalition and the Opposition, voted against all three candidates.

Senator Salucci is one of a number of senators from various parties who are said to support the potential candidacy of Elena D’Ambrosio. According to sources close to his office, Senator Salucci has already met with Ms D’Ambrosio, along with other senators, and urged her to oversee the transition until the 2018 Senate Election, where a new majority coalition could be formed.


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Monti Calls for Draft
Marta Pezzaloni

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Sartorian Army marching during the 2017 Eliseo Day celebrations

Regù. Umberto Monti, Leader of Avanti, suggested today that First Councillor Elena D'Ambrosio should bolster military presence in Tavoletro and call a draft, to fight the increasing clashes with Sacuri groups.

While speaking before the Eastern Regional Conservative Parties Conference, Umberto Monti discussed the response of the Sartorian Government in the face of rising Sacuri groups, and suggested that a military response was in order. In that sense, he stressed his belief that First Councillor D'Ambrosio should deploy the Sartorian Army to directly fight certain groups. In the past months, certain members from the Merchant Rights Association have suggested a limited military response, but most of the political establishment, including the First Councillor, has been reticent to deploy the military, citing a desire to let the Finestreri and Carabinieri cooperate to contain the situation.

In addition, Mr Monti proposed that the draft be reinstituted, on a limited basis, to help create a culture of service. The Leader of Avanti argued that Sacuri sentiment is rising because of a failure by the Sartorian and Tavoletri Governments to create a sense of national pride, which he claimed to have been decreasing since the restoration of voluntary military service in 1956. This is the first time a national political figure has proposed a draft, a mostly unpopular position that, while appealing to Avanti's conservative base, does not bode well with other demographics, particularly those 19-36 years old. A recent study by Chierana University indicates that 87% of those in the 19-36 demographic oppose a restoration of the draft, and believe that military service should remain voluntary.

The reticence for an increase militarisation of the conflict can be attributed, in part, to the fear that this would lead to a Fourth Sacuri War. In a press conference yesterday, Military Councillor Mario Alamanni dismissed the possibility that the Sartorian Army could become involved in operations against Sacuri groups, and threw his support behind law enforcement agencies, which he said were sufficiently capable of containing the threat. This sentiment was shared by Carla Forlani, Vice Chair of the Alliance for Sustainable Development in Tavoletro, who said that she "trusted the Finestreri to stay faithful to their mission to keep law and order in the realm".

[07 December 2017]


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Soriano Equivocates on Parthenopean Crisis
Marta Pezzaloni

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Foreign Councillor Soriano testified today before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee

Messelia. Foreign Councillor Lidia Soriano faced concerns about equivocation when she testified today before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the evolving Parthenopean Crisis.

Senators questioned the Foreign Councillor for two hours regarding a variety of topics, including the collective response of the Artemian Union to the Arctic Crisis, but they seemed unsatisfied with the Soriano's reticence to confirm the Privy Council's stance on the dissolution of the Presicen and the Assembly of Cities by Parthenopean Emperor Alexander II. When asked, the Foreign Councillor indicated that "it is more important to monitor the situation as it evolves, rather than advance a position without all the proper information available".

While this seemed sufficient for senators from the Green Coalition, Senator Perla Landi, from the Merchant Rights Association, expressed concern over the lack of a definite position on the part of the D'Ambrosio Council, indicating that she found it "hard to believe that the Government would not know how to respond to a severe constitutional crisis in one of our closest allies". This sentiment was shared by Senator Gaspare Capello, from Avanti, who said that "the Government seems more interested in avoiding fights than in actually executing a responsible foreign policy". Various senators from opposition parties cited the massive protests in Parthenopias, and the statements from former Parthenopean Defence Minister Accaciol, who considers the crisis to be a coup, as compelling reasons for the Government to take a position.

The Foreign Councillor defended the Government's position by arguing that the Privy Council is acting responsibly by assessing all the available information, rather than acting rashly. She further indicated that First Councillor D'Ambrosio remained in constant communication with Emperor Alexander II and various opposition leaders, as part of the Government's effort to evaluate the crisis. Soriano expressed hope that a position would be taken "in due course".

Opposition Suggests Resolution

Following the Foreign Councillor's testimony, senators Mario Salucci and Gaspare Capello, senior members of their respective parties in the Foreign Affairs Committee, held a press conference to express their disappointment at what they called "a clear avoidance of leadership in the face of serious instability in an ally" and to call on the D'Ambrosio Council to take a definitive stance on the Parthenopean Crisis, stating their belief that the Artemian Union requires predictability and leadership from its members, and that Parthenopias would benefit from knowing the stance of its western neighbour.

Salucci and Capello indicated that the Foreign Affairs Committee would continue to discuss the matter, and suggested the possibility of a resolution expressing the Sense of the Senate on the Parthenopean Crisis, as a way of forcing the Government to take a position. They did not indicate what that Sense would be. However, both the Merchant Rights Association and Avanti would be likely to favour the Emperor, given their stances regarding fiscal responsibility and the role of the executive over the legislative branch.

Senator Elena Martina, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee and senior member from the Social Progress Party, disagreed with the Opposition, saying that a Sense of the Senate resolution would encroach on the Government's ability to conduct an "independent and responsible foreign policy". While she acknowledged that she wanted the Government to state its policy sooner rather than later, she expressed confidence in the Foreign Councillor, and said that she preferred a government that took its time to assess a situation, rather than respond rashly to it. Martina indicated that, contrary to what the Opposition claimed, "Parthenopias needs an ally that waits until it has all the facts, rather than one who hurries to be the first to make headlines".

[07 January 2018]


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Parthenopean Space Minister Wraps Up Working Visit
Marta Pezzaloni

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Launch of the Cavallo IV

Suderia. Giulia Ardon, Minister for Technology and Space from Parthenopias, finished a comprehensive working visit to Sartoria, which culminated with a set of meetings in the Suderia Space Centre.

Minister Ardon, who has served in the position since 2000, started her visit in Messelia by holding meetings with Space Councillor Caruso and Military Councillor Alamanni, with the goal of discussing the current state of science cooperation between Sartoria and Parthenopias, and considering possible steps to bolster it in the near future. She also held a meeting with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Senate Science and Technology Committee, who presented her with a Distinguished Service Medal for her long career in the field of science and technology.

She then traveled to Chierana University, where she attended the keynote speech of Space Councillor Caruso as part of the 2018 Lecture Series. She then joined the Councillor on the stage, where they took questions from the audience regarding space policy. Ms. Ardon then visited the Claudio Rossi Observatory, where she signed an agreement that allows for the exchange of Sartorian and Parthenopean astronomers at the Rossi Observatory, and at similar facilities managed by the Space Office. Councillor Caruso hailed it as "an agreement that has fantastic implications for our continued scientific development".

Ms Ardon finished her visit at the Suderia Space Centre, where she was given a tour of the facilities, and attended the launch of the Cavallo IV, a solar orbiter that will study the heliosphere. A joint project between the Space Office and the Parthenopean Ministry for Technology and Space, the initial mission is expected to last a year, with the possibility of extensions, depending on the evolving conditions of the orbiter. Ms Ardon indicated that "this probe shows that the friendship between our two nations reaches, quite literally, all the way to the stars".

[30 January 2018]

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