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Looking East

Trenitalia is Italy’s national train system. Being national, it is open to political interference in the form of over-manning. Other things being equal, this is good for passengers and employees.

Ireland can have nothing to say about this situation. Irish citizens, likewise, must confine their reflections on Italian train travel to their memoirs.

The USA also has a bloated and inflated industry; its prison system. There are 758 prisoners per 100,000 of population there. This is not the stuff for memoirs; this is unjustifiable and properly open to international criticism. (Black people are more likely to be in a US prison than white people).

However, excepting action at the level of the United Nations, Ireland has no opportunity to address such a situation and why should it?

That’s not the case in the European Union.

Under the European Arrest Warrant system, each member state of the EU is obliged to extradite “wanted” persons to the other member states on request.

The possibilities of Ireland avoiding this obligation are very slim; approximately 97%-98% of persons arrested are extradited to the requesting country.

The available statistics on crime etc. in the EU show some interesting (and odd) facts.

Poland and eastern Europe generally likes to lock people up. Estonia (302 prisoners per 100 000 inhabitants), Latvia (293), Lithuania (232), Poland (228) and the Czech Republic (185).  Same goes for the UK (146 in England & Wales), (compared to Germany or France, say).

Why should Ireland help to promote and feed the Polish prison industry? How many Polish deaf-signer-nephews-of-politicians are working in that system?

Oddity; did it really happen that Italy had 324,339 police persons in 2006 and only 106,728 in 2007? A case for Inspector Montalbano?

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