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Oct 26, 2011

Berlusconi heads to summit with minimum reform promise

ROME, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi is expected to give a European summit on 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 centre-right coalition to make more than slight
concessions on pensions — a key plank of the reform programme.

Oct 19, 2011

Italy’s president attacks Berlusconi over delays

ROME (Reuters) – President Giorgio Napolitano expressed “anguish” on Wednesday about the lack of effective government action to combat Italy’s painfully slow growth, joining a chorus of criticism of delays by the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Despite pressure from Italian business and the European Central Bank, Berlusconi has repeatedly delayed announcing measures to stimulate growth in an economy that has been stagnant for more than a decade.

Oct 18, 2011

Italy plans tough new measures against rioters

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s interior minister, under fire for failing to prevent the worst riots in Rome for years, is to propose reviving a law from the country’s bloody “years of lead” to combat violent protests.

Roberto Maroni was due to address parliament later on Tuesday to give details of his response to Saturday’s riots, which have led to much national handwringing over why Italy was the only country where a global “day of rage” against the financial system turned violent.

Oct 17, 2011

Italy interior minister under fire over riots

ROME (Reuters) – A political storm erupted on Monday over the worst riots in Rome for years, with the government accused of failing to prevent well organized and violent groups infiltrating one of many global protests against the financial system.

While politicians from the fragile government of Silvio Berlusconi used the riots as a stick with which to beat the center-left opposition, accusing them of fomenting discontent, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni came under fire from all sides

Oct 13, 2011

Berlusconi’s long survival more surprising than decline

Rome (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi finally seems close to being kicked out of power after an extraordinary 17-year political career but his demise, when it comes, will be a lot less surprising than how long he has lasted.

The 75-year-old prime minister resembles a boxer who has absorbed so many killer punches that it would only take a finger to push him over, and yet he is still standing, held up by willpower, vested interests and Italy’s political inertia.

Oct 13, 2011

Analysis: Berlusconi’s survival more surprising than decline

Rome (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi finally seems close to being kicked out of power after an extraordinary 17-year political career but his demise, when it comes, will be a lot less surprising than how long he has lasted.

The 75-year-old prime minister resembles a boxer who has absorbed so many killer punches that it would only take a finger to push him over, and yet he is still standing, held up by willpower, vested interests and Italy’s political inertia.

Oct 11, 2011

British and U.S. forces free hijacked ship

ROME (Reuters) – U.S. and British forces stormed a hijacked Italian cargo ship in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday, freeing the 23-man crew and capturing all 11 Somali pirates, Italian officials said.

The foreign ministry issued a statement welcoming the release which it said was carried out by forces from two naval vessels, one from the United States and one from Britain. The Italian news agency Ansa said they were special forces.

Oct 11, 2011

Italy to use military to guard merchant ships against

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will deploy a special naval force on merchant vessels to protect them from Somali pirates, in an escalation of international efforts to prevent attacks that cost the world economy billions of dollars each year.

The new strategy, announced by Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa on Tuesday, came the day after another Italian vessel was hijacked off the anarchic east African country.

Oct 11, 2011

Italy to use military to guard merchant ships against pirates

ROME, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Italy is to station military forces
on its merchant vessels to guard against attacks by Somali
pirates, shipping sources said on Tuesday, the day after another
of its ships was attacked off the anarchic east African country.

Many ships already carry private security contractors to try
to prevent hijacks, but deployment of military forces on
merchant vessels would mark a clear escalation in measures to
combat piracy, which costs the world economy billions of dollars
each year.

Oct 4, 2011

Analysis: Knox case shines spotlight on Italian police methods

By Barry Moody

(Reuters) – The overturning of the murder conviction and jail sentence against Amanda Knox has shone a spotlight on the methods of Italian police, accused of botching the investigation.

The acquittal on appeal of the American student and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of the murder of British fellow student Meredith Kercher is largely the result of an independent forensic inquiry that left the case against them in tatters.

    • 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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