domenica 27 aprile 2008

Italy and Germany Overview

I've received the email below after my reservations for Europe (Germany and Italy).

Security Overview
Germany has a stable socio-political climate and a highly advanced travel infrastructure. The country has modest security problems. The most significant risk to travelers is petty crime, which can be avoided through common sense precautions. Few visitors to Germany report problems, and the country remains a leading business and vacation travel destination in Europe. Law enforcement tends to be efficient and friendly to foreigners. Protests and crime rarely affect travelers.
The main concern for security officials is potential terrorist activity by Middle Eastern organizations, including Al Qaida, with German, American, and Jewish/Israeli interests considered at greatest risk. Germany has increased its security efforts in light of threats from Al Qaida affiliates and jihadist groups in the past few months. The United States has followed suit, increasing its protection of US interests in the country. Potential targets include tourist sites, government buildings (including embassies and consulates), and transport infrastructure.
Authorities are also concerned over a rise in extreme-right activities. Far-right groups tend to hold more influence in the former East Germany, where the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) holds seats in several state legislatures, although its influence is growing and spreading into the west as the "civil" extreme-right taps into populist sentiment and co-opts other organizations. Counter-demonstrators from the left sometimes clash with police and skinheads at neo-Nazi rallies.
Health and Medical Guidance
Germany has an excellent healthcare system, though various medical facilities in smaller towns in the area encompassing the former East Germany are still using some outdated equipment. Emergency health care is of a high standard, and most major urban medical facilities have multi-lingual staff on call.

Security Overview
The Italian crime rate is generally low. The police force is quite competent, although police may not take crimes such as theft as seriously as they do more violent crimes, which are rarer. The country remains a very popular tourist destination, and areas with high concentrations of tourists-such as the Centro Storico in Rome, resorts, and major transportation hubs-also have higher concentrations of petty crime.
Corruption and organized crime remain problematic in Italy, despite numerous crackdowns over the past few years. Organized crime will often involve local politicians, businesses, and judicial officials, and the domestic groups generally operate quietly but ruthlessly. The problem seems to be more endemic in southern Italy, although the syndicates also operate in the northern regions as well as internationally. Immigrant gangs are a growing problem in some cities.
Italy remains one of the most prominent targets of the global jihadist network. It has been specifically named as a target by terrorist groups, who point to the country's involvement in the war in Iraq, and many analysts believe that it is only a matter of time before Italy is attacked. Following the July 2005 attacks in London, the Italian government pushed through an anti-terror package that included stepped up border controls and transportation security measures, as well as more controversial proposals involving the detention of suspects and other issues. The government has also engaged in large-scale sweeps of people with alleged terrorist links. However, there is no guarantee that these measures will prevent an attack, and they must also be observed in the context of Italy's fractious politics. Travelers should also keep in mind that the likelihood of being killed or injured in a terrorist attack is extremely low. All in all, common sense, rather than paranoia, is t! he best tool for traveling in Italy.
Health and Medical Guidance
Italy has excellent medical services and there are no major health threats for travelers. Most large cities are equipped with state-of-the-art emergency and trauma centers. In general, travelers should take the same precautions, such as ensuring that their vaccinations are up-to-date, that they might for visiting the United States. Travelers should be aware that Italy is prone to seismic activity, especially in southern regions, and has several active volcanoes (most prominently Mt. Etna in Sicily, as well as Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily).


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Tutti i commenti sono accettati, se non violano le leggi americane o italiane. Tutto cio' che non e' un commento (spam, offese, richieste, etc) oppure mi infastidisce verra' cancellato.