Italy Gets To Grip With The Millennium Bug, Finally : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government finally set up a trouble-shooting committee Thursday to deal with the so-called millennium bug and apologized for dragging its heels.

``I'm afraid we're starting this a little late,'' a chastened Cabinet undersecretary Franco Bassanini told a news conference to launch the Committee for the Year 2000.

``The government crisis in the autumn exacerbated the delay in dealing with this problem, which all developed countries have been looking at for a while.''

But, recalling Italy's Herculean efforts to put its public finances in order to qualify for the launch of the euro, Bassanini said he was confident Italy would beat the clock and combat the glitch when it kicks in at the end of the year.

``Italy often starts late -- just as we did with Maastricht -- and then, with bursts of acceleration, we make up lost time,'' he said.

Millions of computers are expected to misinterpret the two zeros in the date 2000 as meaning 1900 when clocks change at the end of 1999.

The Gartner Group, a U.S. information technology firm, has estimated the bug could cost the world between $300 billion and$600 billion to fix.

Italy's Agency for Information in Public Administration (AIPA) says the country will have to spend around $590 million to beat the bug.

``We have 11 months to put Italy in shape and ensure the date change doesn't have negative effects,'' Bassanini said. ''We're not starting from zero although it would appear we have a long way to go.''


The writing is on the wall.

-- a (a@a.a), January 15, 1999


It's okay because Italians have, uh .... bursts of acceleration. Hmmm. Nah, not going to touch that one further.

-- BigDog (, January 15, 1999.

It's okay because they have that really strong Espresso.

-- (@@@.@), January 15, 1999.

Things in Italy aren't nearly as complex as they are here. For example, their tanks only have one gear.........reverse.

-- Craig (, January 15, 1999.

"Their Tanks only have one gear ......... reverse..."

I needed a good laugh... How oh so true.... Did you know that the son of the head of fiat fought (pretended too) for germany in WWII in a tank batallion on the eastern front. When Italy was closed to captured, he deserted and fought in an american tank batallion in northern italy.... LOL... Talk about duplicity...

yeah.. they know how to run reverse...

-- STFrancis (, January 15, 1999.

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