Italy expects no troubles from millenium bug (nor does anyone else) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Italy Expects No Troubles From Millennium Bug

Story Filed: Monday, November 22, 1999 3:02 PM EST

ROME (Nov. 22) XINHUA - Italian Treasury Minister Giuliano Amato said Monday that he expected Italian banks and financial institutions to sail through the New Year without trouble from the Millennium Bug.

Pun-adapted computers denoted as "00" in two-digit fosaid. In any case, now that banks and financial operators have completed software adaptation program the problem is "more psychological than real," he added.

Amato said the only real risk was an overloading of the system as investors and traders tried to complete operations early in order to avoid possible coZCZC M09-B22-0249 11-22 19:10 mplieeee cations at New Year.

The Italian bourse is expected to close a day early in the week leading up to December 31 as a precaution against Millennium Bug risks.

In related developments, an inquiry by the Wall Street Journal said Monday that there was a riskder Hachani, the third-ranking leader of Algeria's of disruption at Italy's ion Front (FIS). airports on January 1 because part of their computer systemional s had been made "big proof."

-- Homer Beanfang (, November 23, 1999


We in Italia are finished. I will live on wine and pasta forever. I hope it doesn't effect the soccer schedule though.

-- Ron Pino (, November 23, 1999.

LOL. I guess their Y2K czar was wrong when he said, "We are going to be crucified." Does somebody have a lik to this quote so that newcomers can appreciate the global nature of the spin machine.

-- Dave (, November 23, 1999.


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

May 14 1999 EUROPE

Tardy nation invites chaos at millennium celebrations


OFFICIALS given the task of ridding Italy of the millennium bug issued a warning yesterday that, with just over seven months to the deadline, a promised #2 million budget had yet to be approved by parliament - and they still had no powers to force companies and government departments to comply.

"Italy is going to crash, and we are going to be crucified," Romano Oneda, the education expert on Italy's Year 2000 Committee, said. "We are supposed to make things go so smoothly that nobody would realise there was ever a problem. Instead we will be the scapegoats. We have only consultative powers, and no one is listening to us."

Roberto Di Martino, a computer software expert on the committee, said "even now no executive wants to tell his company they have to spend both time and money on this". Augusto Leggio, whose task is to persuade the transport and telecommunications sectors to face up to Y2K, said the problem was "so vast there is no point in getting hysterical". He said the Interior Ministry, which controls police and immigration services, hoped to guarantee most essential services by the end of this year, but would not be fully compliant until July 2000. "I don't think they have quite grasped what this is all about," one official said.

Planners in Italy and Vatican City are only now beginning to realise that they face a nightmare. The tourist industry is losing millions of pounds because of the Balkans war, and it is feared that many planning to see in the Holy Year in the Eternal City will go elsewhere because of Y2K.

"Imagine the dawn of the new millennium", said Il Messaggero, the Rome daily. "Twenty six million people have come to the Eternal City. But traffic lights and automatic banking machines are out of order, the airport is in chaos, food and water are running out. There could be panic and disorder." The Government has, belatedly, begun broadcasting radio advertisements explaining that the bug affects any system storing the year as two digits rather than four.

According to one survey, only 2 per cent of Italians have heard of the problem. The Y2K campaign has been put in the hands of Professor Ernesto Bettinelli, an energetic former junior Minister for Public Administration. But he continues to teach constitutional law at Padua University while running the committee, which started work in February. It has been allotted Ministry of Tourism rooms, with a staff of six, three telephones and one secretary, and draws on the unpaid services of 22 experts in such fields as banking, traffic control and food distribution.

Professor Bettinelli said: "It is rather like Italy's experience with qualifying for the euro. Italy often starts late and then makes up for lost time with bursts of acceleration." Others are less sanguine. "If you have to choose a day to be ill, fly on an airplane or get in a lift, avoid Italy on December 31," said La Repubblica. General Natalino Lecca, the professor's right-hand man, admits the country was a "relatively late starter" in computerising offices and services. "But this could be an advantage; it means we have fewer older-generation computers infected by the bug." He also sees an advantage in Italy's family-owned food stores, which mostly "still do everything by hand".

But Valeria Severini, an economist, said the dangers were being underestimated. "Fiat's computer system went down for six days recently, even though they had spent #50 million on a debugging programme." She predicted a big fall in industrial production next year.

The bureaucracy is grinding to a halt, social security and pension payments being made by hand. Many hospitals have taken little or no action. But some point out that Italian life is already "organised chaos", so if urban support systems collapse, no one will notice. Said Beppe Severgnini of Corriere della Sera: "We have a gift for transforming any crisis into one big party."


-- Linkmeister (, November 23, 1999.

If the current century is "il novecento" to Italians. (the 900) Will the next century be "il zerocento" or....?

-- Slobby Don (, November 23, 1999.

It's like I said last month--if we'd have kept the old Roman Numerals, instead of Fibonnaci introducing the Arabic-Indian numeral system into Europe early in this Millennium, then all we'd have is a Y2M problem instead of a Y2K one. MM=2000 But Roman Numerals aren't too abacus-friendly, so it's just as well, as the abacus will be the "supercomputer" of the 21st century.

-- profit of doom (, November 23, 1999.

Right. No will have any problem. Now get out of in front of the rice and spam...I'm coming through!

-- Mad Monk (, November 24, 1999.


-- Me (, December 22, 1999.


-- Me (, December 22, 1999.

Pottasium Iodine for nuclear war

-- Me (, December 22, 1999.

In the beginning there was only Gary North sounding the alarm.

-- Me (, December 22, 1999.

But as time went by, even the Chicago Board of Options joined in the chorus.

Yes, I'm practicing!

-- Me (, December 22, 1999.

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