Italian MPs nominate Afghan women's cycling team for Nobel

(AGI) Rome, Jan 29 - A group of 118 Italian cross-party MPs have signed a petition nominating the Afghan Cycling Federation women's team for the Nobel Peace Prize. Ermete Realacci an MP of the leftist Democratic Party (PD) and president of the Environmental Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, organised the collection of the signatures with Paolo Gandolfi (PD), Mirko Busto of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), Giuseppina Castiello of the centre-right Forward Italy party (FI), Diego De Lorenzis (M5S), Vincenzo Garofalo of the centre-left Popular Area party (AP), Gabriella Giammanco (FI), Lia Quartapelle (PD), Serena Pellegrino of the Left Ecology Freedom party (SI_SEL) and Valentina Vezzali of the centrist and liberal Civic Choice for Italy party (SCpI), along with Senate Vice-Presidents Valeria Fedeli and Linda Lanzillotta. The petition was presented at a press conference at Montecitorio, attended by the first signatories and Massimo Cirri of Radio Rai who launched the BikeThe Nobel campaign. He said: "Bikes are the most ecological method of transport there is. It is not just sustainable but also economical and accessible and therefore 'democratic', which makes the bicycle a symbol of lifestyles and consumer tastes on a more human scale. It is a protagonist of the new mobility needs of so many citizens, an important instrument for change in our big cities and a good ally for civic engagement campaigns. At a time when smog alerts are being sounded in many of our larger municipalities, it is worth remembering that wider bicycle use and greater provision of urban cycle paths are a homeopathic cure for pollution. A serious plan for mobility on two wheels should be part of strategic policies for combating smog, as Minister Delrio recently said during a hearing of the Environment Committee in the Chamber of Deputies. For all these reasons I welcomed the proposal from Rai's Caterpillar programme to put forward the bicycle, or rather a particularly significant instance of the use of bicycles, for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. The decision was made to nominate the Afghan Cycling Federation's women's team for the Nobel Peace Prize and to promote it among the members of parliament, who are responsible for presenting the nominations." After cycling from Milan, Paola Gianotti arrived in Oslo on Thursday to hand in the petition, containing 10,000 signatures, to the Italian Ambassador in Oslo Giorgio Novelli. It is due be sent to the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo on Friday. (AGI).