Editor Southern Europe
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Feb 3, 2012

Italy’s Monti suffers first defeat in parliament

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s technocrat government has suffered its first major defeat in parliament in a vote that revealed the strains and discontent in the political alliance sustaining Prime Minister Mario Monti as he combats a major economic crisis.

The chamber of deputies on Thursday night voted 264 to 211 to pass a legal amendment which will make it possible to bring civil suits directly against magistrates for trial errors.

Feb 1, 2012

Italy’s lawyers on war-footing against reform

ROME (Reuters) – Lawyers in Naples taped up their mouths and turned their backs on a government speaker at a solemn ceremony to mark the start of Italy’s judicial year.

Colleagues abandoned a similar ceremony in Venice last week, leaving their robes symbolically on their chairs. Italy’s hundreds of thousands of lawyers plan a strike and nationwide demonstrations on February 23-24 and have threatened to block all judicial activity.

Jan 27, 2012

Greek PM sees quick debt swap deal, end-game in sight

ATHENS, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Greece expects to clinch a
long-awaited bond swap deal within days, Prime Minister Lucas
Papademos told Reuters on Friday, promising the country would
avoid an unruly default feared by financial markets worldwide.

But in a sign that Greece’s troubles will be far from over
even with a deal, a report showed that the European Union and
IMF want Greece to push through more budget cuts and austerity
reforms before they sign off on a new bailout package.

Jan 5, 2012

Tax inspectors hit target in Italian ski resort

ROME (Reuters) – Italian officials combating a national plague of tax evasion hit the jackpot in a swoop on a posh ski resort, catching 42 drivers of Ferraris and other luxury cars who had declared incomes of less than 30,000 euros ($38,700) a year.

The technocrat government of Mario Monti is stepping up a war on tax evasion that robs the Italian exchequer of an estimated 120 billion euros a year, nearly four times the value of the prime minister’s new austerity budget.

Dec 14, 2011

Monti under pressure as Italy’s borrowing costs rise

ROME, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Italy’s borrowing costs rose
to a record on Wednesday as neither last week’s European summit
nor tough new austerity measures by the government of Mario
Monti succeeded in restoring market confidence.

Domestic opposition to Monti’s austerity programme is
increasing and markets are refusing to reduce the pressure on
Italy, whose fate is at the core of the euro zone crisis.

Dec 12, 2011

Italy cannot mould policy only to suit markets-formin

ROME, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Italy is sensitive to
financial market movements, but it cannot adjust policy every
time there is a negative reaction among investors, Foreign
Minister Giulio Terzi said on Monday.

He was reacting to the failure of a European summit deal
last week to restore market confidence, forcing the European
Central Bank on Monday to step in to hold down bond yields in
vulnerable countries such as Italy.

Dec 5, 2011

Monti keeps eye abroad as he presents austerity plan

ROME, Dec 5 (Reuters) – If any reminder was needed
that the fate of Italy lies outside the country, it was Prime
Minister Mario Monti’s decision to hold a highly unusual
separate news conference for foreign reporters on Monday to
explain his economic programme.

Monti, the respected head of a technocrat “Save Italy”
government, impressed investors with a 30-billion euro package
of painful and rigorous austerity measures unveiled on Sunday.

Nov 25, 2011

Bond market hammers Italy, Spain ponders outside help

ROME/MADRID (Reuters) – Italy’s borrowing costs soared to their highest levels since Rome joined the euro on Friday, piling pressure on the newly installed government of Mario Monti at the end of a week in which the euro zone crisis tainted even safe haven Germany.

A punishing bond sale, in which Italy was forced to pay a record 6.5 percent for six months paper, came after a disastrous German bond auction earlier in the week and the leaders of France, Germany and Italy failed to make headway in tackling the growing debt crisis.

Nov 25, 2011

Bad sale of Italian debt adds to Monti’s headaches

ROME, Nov 25 (Reuters) – A punishing sale of Italian
debt on Friday was not just bad news for the country’s finances
and the euro zone as a whole but increased political problems
for the new technocrat government of Mario Monti.

The sale, in which Italy was forced to pay a record 6.5
percent for six month paper, comes on top of early sniping by
politicians who were dragooned into accepting Monti a week ago
only because of Italy’s soaring borrowing costs.

Nov 21, 2011

Pressure for fast action after Spain election win

MADRID, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Spanish
Prime Minister elect Mariano Rajoy was under pressure
on Monday to give rapid details of his policies to overcome the
worst economic crisis for generations as his
overwhelming election victory did little to calm the nerves of
investors .

Rajoy’s conservative People’s Party (PP)
notched up the biggest election victory in 30 years on Sunday,
with angry voters savaging the outgoing Socialists for a crisis
that has pushed unemployment in Spain to more than 20 percent,
the highest in the European Union.

    • 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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