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May 30, 2012

Pope attacks leaks scandal coverage, backs aides

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict on Wednesday angrily denounced what he called false media coverage of a leaks scandal shaking the Vatican and expressed full trust in close aides under fire over the worst crisis in his papacy.

In unusually blunt remarks at the end of a general audience in St Peter’s Square where he repeatedly referred to personal suffering, the 85-year-old pontiff said recent events had caused sadness in his heart.

May 24, 2012

Why are Greek and Italian politicians so bad?

ROME (Reuters) – In Greece, conservative leader Antonio Samaras insisted on calling an election earlier this month that slashed his own party’s share of the vote and set the country down a path that could see it crashing out of the euro.

In Italy, politicians led by scandal-plagued premier Silvio Berlusconi were forced to admit they could not handle a crisis that brought the country close to financial catastrophe last year and handed over to technocrat Mario Monti to save the day.

May 9, 2012

Leftist fails to form Greek government, elections loom

ATHENS (Reuters) – Leftist leader Alexis Tsipras gave up his attempt to form a new government on Wednesday, pushing Greece closer to its second election in a few weeks, after voter rejection of an EU/IMF bailout plunged the country into crisis.

Last Sunday’s election, in which voters vented rage against mainstream parties over debt cutting measures imposed in exchange for the bailout, has caused deep political deadlock and brought European threats to eject Greece from the euro.

May 9, 2012

Leftist fails to form Greek govt, elections loom

ATHENS (Reuters) – Leftist leader Alexis Tsipras gave up his attempt to form a new government on Wednesday, pushing Greece closer to its second election in a few weeks, after voter rejection of an EU/IMF bailout plunged the country into crisis.

Last Sunday’s election, in which voters vented rage against mainstream parties over debt cutting measures imposed in exchange for the bailout, has caused deep political deadlock and brought European threats to eject Greece from the euro.

May 8, 2012

Greece sinks deeper into crisis, chance of government fades

By Barry Moody and Mike Peacock

(Reuters) – Greece sank deeper into crisis on Tuesday when the Leftist candidate for prime minister set conditions for a new coalition which the biggest party said would destroy the country.

Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy party which finished first in Sunday’s election, said Leftist Alexis Tsipras would drive Greece out of the euro with his demand that pledges made in exchange for an EU/IMF bailout be torn up.

May 8, 2012

Greece sinks deeper into crisis, chance of govt fades

By Barry Moody and Mike Peacock

(Reuters) – Greece sank deeper into crisis on Tuesday when the Leftist candidate for prime minister set conditions for a new coalition which the biggest party said would destroy the country.

Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy party which finished first in Sunday’s election, said Leftist Alexis Tsipras would drive Greece out of the euro with his demand that pledges made in exchange for an EU/IMF bailout be torn up.

Apr 16, 2012

New verdict deepens mystery on Italy bombings

ROME (Reuters) – The acquittal of four people for a bombing 38 years ago has left yet another atrocity from Italy’s “Years of Lead” unsolved and underlined the failures of a chaotic justice system.

An appeal court in the northern city of Brescia at the weekend confirmed the acquittal of two neo-fascists, an informer for the secret services and a former police general for a bombing that killed eight people and wounded 103 at an anti-fascist demonstration in the centre of the city in 1974.

Apr 5, 2012

Overloaded justice system ties Italy in knots

ROME (Reuters) – Falsifying a one euro bus ticket in Italy is a criminal offence eligible for a full trial and two appeals that would cost the state many thousands of euros.

The U.S Supreme Court reviews around 100 appeals per year. The number for Italy’s top appeal court, serving a population a fifth the size? More than 80,000.

Apr 5, 2012

Insight: Overloaded justice system ties Italy in knots

ROME (Reuters) – Falsifying a one euro ($1.33) bus ticket in Italy is a criminal offence eligible for a full trial and two appeals that would cost the state many thousands of euros.

The U.S. Supreme Court reviews around 100 appeals per year. The number for Italy’s top appeal court, serving a population a fifth the size? More than 80,000.

Apr 2, 2012

Resistance to austerity stirs in southern Europe

ROME/MADRID (Reuters) – Most of the people of southern Europe have stayed surprisingly stoical up to now in the face of some of the most painful budget cuts in living memory, but signs are stirring that patience may soon run out.

An unexpectedly broad general strike in Spain on Thursday and mounting opposition to Prime Minister Mario Monti in Italy are among indicators that resistance is growing in a region at the centre of concerns about a resurgence of the euro zone debt crisis.

    • About Barry

      "I am the Editor or cluster chief in charge of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. I have previously worked all over the world in a long career with Reuters which has taken me from Asia to the United States. My positions have included Americas production editor, World Desk editor, Middle East Editor and Africa editor. I recently planned our multi-media coverage of the soccer World Cup in South Africa and reported extensively on the tournament and its impact on the continent. I will be based in Rome from November"
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