Editor Southern Europe
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Nov 8, 2011

Italy, Greece on the brink as markets hold breath

ROME/ATHENS (Reuters) – Financial markets held their breath on Tuesday as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s reform-shy government teetered on the brink and debt-crippled Greece’s leaders struggled to put together a national unity government.

Berlusconi’s closest coalition ally, Umberto Bossi, head of the populist Northern League, told the 75-year-old billionaire media magnate to resign in what could be a mortal blow. But Berlusconi clung to office before a crunch vote in parliament.

Nov 8, 2011

Berlusconi’s top ally tells him to resign

ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi’s closest coalition ally Umberto Bossi told him to resign on Tuesday in what could be a mortal blow to the Italian prime minister.

Bossi, head of the devolutionist Northern League, said the 75-year-old media magnate should be replaced by Angelino Alfano, secretary of the premier’s PDL party.

Nov 7, 2011

Berlusconi plays last cards, denies will resign

ROME, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi, under huge pressure from international markets and
rebels in his party, tried to play his last cards on Monday to
hang on to power and denied reports that he could resign within
hours.

Reports of a possible resignation had an immediate impact,
boosting stock and government bond markets dismayed with the
political disarray in Italy, which has dramatically worsened the
euro zone debt crisis.

Nov 5, 2011

Italy government hangs by thread as coalition crumbles

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi refused to step down on Friday despite a party rebellion that has brought his center-right coalition to the brink of collapse in the face of a growing economic crisis.

Berlusconi is widely believed to have already lost the numbers he needs to survive in parliament but he told reporters at a G20 summit in France: “We have a majority which I continue to believe is solid and so we will continue to govern.”

Nov 4, 2011

Italy govt hangs by thread as coalition crumbles

ROME, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi’s fate hung by a thread on Friday and desertions from
his crumbling centre-right coalition may have already robbed him
of the parliamentary numbers he needs to survive.

Berlusconi, caught in the crossfire from European powers and
a party revolt at home, agreed at a G20 summit in France to IMF
monitoring of economic reforms which he has long promised but
failed to implement.

Nov 2, 2011

Italy’s president steps into breach in crisis

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s octogenarian president has stepped into the breach at a moment of national peril, calling Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to order as the euro zone’s financial crisis threatens Rome.

Despite holding what is supposed to be a largely ceremonial role, former communist Giorgio Napolitano has made increasingly urgent appeals to Berlusconi and politicians of all parties to take decisive action.

Nov 2, 2011

Analysis: Italy’s president steps into breach in crisis

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s octogenarian president has stepped into the breach at a moment of national peril, calling Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to order as the euro zone’s financial crisis threatens Rome.

Despite holding what is supposed to be a largely ceremonial role, former communist Giorgio Napolitano has made increasingly urgent appeals to Berlusconi and politicians of all parties to take decisive action.

Oct 27, 2011

Smile or smirk? Germans deny apologising to Berlusconi

ROME, Oct 27 (Reuters) – A smile exchanged by French and
German leaders about Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
brought more frowns on Thursday, with Berlin denying his claim
that Chancellor Angela Merkel had apologised.

Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy swapped a smile
when a questioner asked them at a news conference at a European
summit on Sunday if they were reassured by Berlusconi’s promises
of action to address Italy’s deep economic crisis.

Oct 26, 2011

Struggling Berlusconi can give summit only minimum promise

ROME, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi, in serious political trouble at home, is expected to
give a European summit on Wednesday only vague promises of
economic reform instead of the concrete undertakings demanded by
European leaders.

Berlusconi has been caught between a tough ultimatum by euro
zone leaders and the adamant refusal of his Northern League
partners in a centre-right coalition to make more than slight
concessions on pensions — a key plank of the reform programme.

Oct 26, 2011

Berlusconi to give summit minimum reform promise

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is expected to give a European summit Wednesday only vague promises of economic reform instead of the firm undertakings demanded by European leaders.

Berlusconi has been caught between a tough ultimatum by euro zone leaders and the adamant refusal of his Northern League partners in a center-right coalition to make more than slight concessions on pensions — a key plank of the reform program.

    • 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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