Correspondent, Rome, Italy
Catherine's Feed
Jul 8, 2012

Italy’s Monti hits back at critical employers

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti hit back at the increasingly critical employers lobby Confindustria on Sunday, saying that its complaints about the government were helping to push up Italian borrowing costs and damaging companies.

Confindustria’s new leader Giorgio Squinzi has branded the government’s labor reform inadequate, warned that recession is deepening and called for more help for small firms since he took over in May.

Jun 27, 2012

Italy wins labor reform votes ahead of EU summit

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti scored a hard-fought victory for his landmark labor reform on Wednesday, bolstering his position for a European Union summit where he will ask for more growth policies and a mechanism to stem borrowing costs.

The lower house in Rome voted overwhelmingly in favor of the law in the last of four confidence ballots held to accelerate the approval process ahead of Thursday’s negotiations in Brussels on the future of the euro.

May 18, 2012

Refloat of Italy’s Concordia wreck to be biggest ever

ROME, May 18 (Reuters) – Salvage crews will employ huge
cranes and air tanks to refloat the half-submerged Costa
Concordia cruise liner in the largest ever operation of its
kind, according to a plan unveiled on Friday.

Estimated to cost at least $300 million, the work is
expected to begin within a few days and last about a year, said
the ship’s operator Costa Cruises, owned by Carnival Corp & Plc.

Apr 30, 2012

Toilet “taboo” hurts poor, development says expert

ROME (Reuters) – Governments are failing to fund projects to improve access to toilets and other sanitation services in poor countries because the subject remains “taboo”, a director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said on Monday.

“Who wants to talk about shit?” asked Frank Rijsberman, Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the $34 billion charitable foundation, during an interview with Reuters on Monday.

Apr 30, 2012

Solve water problems or forget growth, India told

ROME (Reuters) – India’s economic growth and political stability are at stake in coming years if it does not change its approach to water management, a member of its natural resources planning commission told Reuters on Monday.

Mihir Shah, who has been asked by India’s government to come up with a new water resource strategy, said the sector needed to become more sustainable, efficient and focused on how water is used and how it reaches people.

Apr 11, 2012

Italy puts new caps on renewable energy incentives

ROME, April 11 (Reuters) – Italy will scale back financial
incentives for solar and other renewable energy that have
inflated consumer power bills more than expected, and also will
raise national renewable energy targets for 2020, two ministers
said on Wednesday.

Italy’s green power industry has boomed in recent years as
investors from around the world ranging from banks and private
equity funds to utilities poured billions of euros into the
sector, lured by generous support measures.

Apr 6, 2012

Pope urges families to persevere in economic crisis

ROME (Reuters) – Pope Benedict called for perseverance in the face of an economic crisis that has led to hardship and rising unemployment across Europe as he presided over a procession around Rome’s Colosseum to mark Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death on Good Friday.

The German pontiff, who turns 85 this month, stood before thousands of people holding candles at the traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) march and listened to reflections on family unity that lamented divorce, abortion and infidelity.

Mar 12, 2012

Italy in recession, headache for Prime Minister Monti

ROME (Reuters) – Italy is in recession, final data confirmed on Monday, underscoring the difficulties facing Mario Monti’s technocrat government as it grapples with a shrinking economy dragged down by austerity measures and a debt crisis.

Italy’s economy shrank 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, following a 0.2 percent decline in gross domestic product in the third quarter.

Mar 12, 2012

Italy in recession, headache for PM Monti

ROME, March 12 (Reuters) – Italy is in recession,
final data confirmed on Monday, underscoring the difficulties
facing Mario Monti’s technocrat government as it grapples with a
shrinking economy dragged down by austerity measures and a debt
crisis.

Italy’s economy shrank 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of
2011, following a 0.2 percent decline in gross domestic product
in the third quarter.

Mar 7, 2012

Bank of Italy head urges Italians not to resist labour reform

ROME (Reuters) – Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco on Wednesday urged Italians not to resist a labour market reform Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has said he will present by the end of the month with or without the support of the country’s powerful unions.

Visco said a better functioning labour market that embraces changes in technology, markets and businesses had to go hand in hand with other structural reforms such as deregulation.