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Italy 'deeply embarrassed' by Captain Schettino

Italy has been utterly gripped by the drama of the past week: the sinking of the Costa Concordia, the great bravery of some of the passengers and the extraordinary behaviour of its captain.

Annalisa Piras, London correspondent of the Italian news magazine L'espresso, says Italy is "deeply disturbed" and "embarrassed" by Captain Schettino's handling of the Costa Concordia disaster. The national pastime is "how to kill Captain Schettino" she jokes. But the incredible acts of heroism by certain members of the crew are not being talked about enough in Britain, she points out.

Beppe Severgnini, Italian writer and political commentator, says that Italians need a "positive figure". The coast guard Captain De Falco who told Captain Schettino to get back on board the ship has become a "celebrity" in Italy, he explains, as he represents a "perfect metaphor" for where Italy stands as a country.

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