Correspondent, Rome, Italy
Catherine's Feed
Jan 3, 2012

Food prices may ease in 2012 but won’t drop-FAO

ROME, Jan 3 (Reuters) – Prices of some foods may ease
slightly in 2012 due to a slowing global economy but are
unlikely to drop drastically from the high levels reached last
year, the new director-general of the U.N.’s Food and
Agriculture Organisation said on Tuesday.

Jose Graziano da Silva, the Brazilian who replaced Senegal’s
Jacques Diouf at the helm of the FAO at the start of 2012, said
volatility in food markets was likely to continue and that more
people would be at risk of hunger due to economic instability.

Dec 16, 2011

Don’t ignore youth frustrations on economy – pope

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Political leaders have to urgently address the “rising sense of frustration” among young people over unemployment and the global economic situation in order to ensure peace in society, Pope Benedict said on Friday.

In the message for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace, marked on January 1, the pope said young people needed hope and guidance at a time when they are struggling to find jobs and form a family.

Dec 3, 2011

Italy’s Monti seeks broad support for crisis measures

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti met party leaders on Saturday to drum up support for new measures aimed at shoring up public finances, helping growth and calming the debt crisis in the euro zone’s third largest economy.

Italy’s cabinet is set to approve the package of reforms on Monday, a step seen as vital for re-establishing Italy’s shattered credibility with financial markets after a series of unfulfilled promises by the previous government.

Nov 11, 2011

Italy to vote on cuts, U.S. applies pressure

ROME/ATHENS (Reuters) – Italy’s parliament is rushing through austerity measures demanded by the European Union to avert a euro zone meltdown, after U.S. President Barack Obama ratcheted up pressure for more dramatic action from the currency bloc.

Italy’s Senate approved a new budget law on Friday, clearing the way for approval of the package in the lower house on Saturday and the formation of an emergency government to replace that of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Nov 11, 2011

Italy pushes through austerity, US applies pressure

ROME/ATHENS, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Italy’s parliament is
rushing through austerity measures demanded by the European
Union to avert a euro zone meltdown, after U.S. President Barack
Obama ratcheted up pressure for more dramatic action from the
currency bloc.

Italy’s Senate approved a new budget law on Friday, clearing
the way for approval of the package in the lower house on
Saturday and the formation of an emergency government to replace
that of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Nov 10, 2011

Mario Monti emerges as favorite to lead Italy

ROME (Reuters) – Former European Commissioner Mario Monti emerged on Thursday as favorite to replace Silvio Berlusconi and form a new government to stave off a run on Italian bonds that is endangering the entire euro zone.

Monti, a highly respected international figure, has been pushed by markets for weeks as the most suitable figure to lead a national unity government that will urgently push through painful austerity measures.

Nov 10, 2011

Monti emerges as favourite to lead Italy

ROME, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Former European Commissioner Mario
Monti emerged on Thursday as favourite to replace Silvio
Berlusconi and form a new government to stave off a run on
Italian bonds that is endangering the entire euro zone.

Monti, a highly respected international figure, has been
pushed by markets for weeks as the most suitable figure to lead
a national unity government that will urgently push through
painful austerity measures.
In a key development on Thursday, Berlusconi’s ruling PDL
party softened its insistence on early elections as the way out
of a deep political crisis and said it was considering the
option of a Monti-led government.

Nov 9, 2011

Italians nervous, skeptical about Berlusconi quitting

ROME (Reuters) – Italians greeted Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s pledge to resign with a mix of joy, resignation and skepticism on Wednesday.

“He’s up to something,” said 57-year-old office worker Mirella Maturani. “If he quits tomorrow, then I’ll be happy,” she said, adding that she felt his immediate departure was the first step needed to solve Italy’s economic woes.

Nov 9, 2011

Berlusconi vows reforms before leaving, wants early election

ROME, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on
Wednesday confirmed he would resign after implementing urgent
economic reforms demanded by the European Union, and said Italy
must then hold an election, in which he would not stand.

“We have to give Europe and the world an urgent, strong
signal that we are taking things seriously,” he told a morning
television show by phone.

Nov 9, 2011

Italy faces limbo after Berlusconi agrees to go

ROME (Reuters) – Italy looks set for lengthy political uncertainty after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s pledge to resign, with his center-right party calling for elections and the main opposition for a national unity government.

After failing to secure the majority in a vote in the lower house, Berlusconi said he would quit as soon as parliament passed budget reforms urged by European partners to help Italy stave off a debt crisis that is threatening the euro zone.