Correspondent, Rome, Italy
Catherine's Feed
Nov 8, 2011

Berlusconi’s top ally tells him to resign

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, under massive pressure to resign, faces a crucial vote on public finances in parliament on Tuesday which could sink his government if enough party rebels desert him.

Berlusconi has denied reports that his resignation is imminent as he struggles to hold his center-right coalition together, but the increased political uncertainty in Italy has added to turmoil in Europe, hitting global markets on Monday.

Nov 8, 2011

Italy, Greece on the brink, 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.

Rome has displaced Athens as the epicenter of the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis, with government bond yields nearing unsustainable levels that could force the bloc’s third largest economy to seek a bailout that Europe cannot afford.

Nov 8, 2011

Berlusconi faces crunch vote, pressure to quit

ROME, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi, under massive pressure to resign, faces a crucial
vote on public finances in parliament on Tuesday which could
sink his government if enough party rebels desert him.

Berlusconi has denied reports that his resignation is
imminent as he struggles to hold his centre-right coalition
together, but the increased political uncertainty in Italy has
added to turmoil in Europe, hitting global markets on Monday.

Nov 3, 2011

Italy’s Berlusconi returns to rebellion, calls to quit

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, under heavy pressure from European leaders to push through urgent economic reforms, returns to Italy Friday facing mounting calls to quit and a rebellion within his own center-right party.

Berlusconi is due to fly back to Rome after a bruising meeting of G20 leaders in Cannes Thursday, at which his European peers urged him to take rapid action to end political uncertainty and stop financial markets hammering Italian bonds.

Oct 27, 2011

Italians, Greeks skeptical over euro zone rescue plan

ROME (Reuters) – A deal struck by euro zone leaders on Thursday to contain the region’s dangerous debt crisis was greeted skeptically by onlookers in the two countries most in the firing line, Greece and Italy, with some saying politicians were dreaming.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi submitted an ambitious set of reforms aimed to boost growth and cut debt as part of the deal, but analysts questioned the ability of his fractious coalition to implement the plan.

Oct 27, 2011

Berlusconi reform plan faces barbs, doubts in Italy

ROME, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Italy’s biggest trade union pledged
on Thursday to fight economic reforms that Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi presented to euro zone leaders to ease a debt crisis,
deepening doubts over whether the ambitious plan can be
implemented.

Susanna Camusso, secretary of the powerful CGIL union,
called on other worker federations to close ranks against the
plan, which includes a commitment to raise the retirement age
and steps to make it easier for firms to lay off staff.

Oct 25, 2011

Italy consumer morale hits 3-year low

ROME (Reuters) – Italian consumer morale fell to its lowest in more than three years in October as a worsening euro zone debt crisis depressed prospects for the economy, data showed on Tuesday.

National statistics bureau ISTAT’s headline consumer confidence index fell for the fifth month running to 92.9 in October from 94.2 in September, hitting its lowest level since July 2008, when the global economic crisis was intensifying.

Oct 17, 2011

UN body delays efforts to regulate land grabs

ROME, Oct 17 (Reuters) – A U.N. intergovernmental body on
food security has failed to adopt international guidelines on
land governance, delaying efforts to regulate so-called
land-grabbing as investors race to snap up agricultural land.

A voluntary code of conduct has been in the works since
2008, driven by concerns that countries such as China and Gulf
Arab states are buying swathes of land in Africa and Asia to
secure their own food supplies, often at the expense of local
people.

Oct 15, 2011

Police and demonstrators clash in Rome, teargas fired

ROME (Reuters) – Hundreds of hooded demonstrators clashed with police in some of the worst violence in the Italian capital for years Saturday, setting cars on fire and breaking shop and bank windows.

Police repeatedly fired teargas and water canon in attempts to disperse them but the clashes with hard-core demonstrators continued hours after tens of thousands of people in Rome joined a global “day of rage” against bankers and politicians.

Oct 15, 2011

Police and demonstrators clash in Rome

ROME (Reuters) – Hundreds of hooded demonstrators clashed with police in some of the worst violence in the Italian capital for years on Saturday, setting cars on fire and breaking shop and bank windows.

Police repeatedly fired teargas and water canon in attempts to disperse them but the clashes with hard-core demonstrators continued hours after tens of thousands of people in Rome joined a global “day of rage” against bankers and politicians.