Correspondent, Rome, Italy
Catherine's Feed
Oct 10, 2011

Food prices to be even more volatile, U.N. says

ROME, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Food prices are likely to become
more volatile in coming years, increasing the risk that more
poor people in import-dependent countries will go hungry, the
United Nations said in an annual report on food insecurity
published on Monday.

Global food price indices hit record highs in February and
were a factor in the Arab Spring of unrest in north Africa and
the Middle East.

Oct 5, 2011

Wikipedia shuts Italy site to protest Berlusconi “gag law”

ROME, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Wikipedia has disabled its Italian
website in protest against a privacy law drafted by Silvio
Berlusconi’s government which would impose new restrictions on
newspapers and Internet pages and curb police wiretaps.

The online encyclopedia warned it may shut its page
www.wikipedia.it permanently because of provisions in
the law forcing websites to correct content deemed detrimental
to a person’s image within 48 hours of a complaint, with no
right of appeal.

Oct 5, 2011

Moody’s slashes Italy credit rating

NEW YORK/ROME (Reuters) – Moody’s lowered its rating on Italy’s bonds by three notches on Tuesday, saying it saw a “material increase” in funding risks for euro zone countries with high levels of debt and warning that further downgrades were possible.

The agency downgraded Italy to A2 from Aa2, a lower rating than it holds on Estonia and on a par with Malta and kept a negative outlook on the rating.

Sep 25, 2011

Berlusconi rejects calls for him to quit

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday rejected opposition and lobby groups’ calls for the government to resign over the country’s economic woes and said the ruling centre-right coalition was solid and would push on with reforms.

Pressure rose on Berlusconi this week after Standard and Poor’s cut Italy’s credit rating by one notch and warned of a deteriorating growth outlook, prompting widespread criticism of the government and daily calls for it to step down.

Sep 25, 2011

Berlusconi rejects calls for him to quit, eyes reform

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday rejected opposition and lobby groups’ calls for the government to resign over the country’s economic woes and said the ruling center-right coalition was solid and would push on with reforms.

Pressure rose on Berlusconi this week after Standard and Poor’s cut Italy’s credit rating by one notch and warned of a deteriorating growth outlook, prompting widespread criticism of the government and daily calls for it to step down.

Sep 21, 2011

Italy downgraded, IMF says Europe behind the curve

ROME/ATHENS , Sept 20 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s cut
Italy’s credit rating on Tuesday in a surprise move that
increased strains on the debt-stressed euro zone, and the
International Monetary Fund said Europe’s leaders were failing
to act decisively enough to resolve the crisis.

Analysts said the one-notch downgrade, citing poor growth
prospects and political instability, was ominous for the global
economy and would add to mounting strains on European banks as
talks to avoid a Greek default drag on.

Sep 20, 2011

S&P adds to euro stress with Italy cut

ROME (Reuters) – Standard and Poor’s rocked the euro and bond markets on Tuesday with a one-notch cut in Italy’s credit rating that added fuel to opposition calls for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign and increased pressure on the debt-stressed euro zone.

S&P’s cut its ratings on the euro zone’s third largest economy to A/A-1 from A+/A-1+, judging it less creditworthy than Slovakia, and kept its outlook on negative, warning of a deteriorating growth outlook and damaging political uncertainty.

Sep 20, 2011

Italy credit downgraded, French banks pressured

ROME/ATHENS, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s cut
Italy’s credit rating on Tuesday in a surprise move that
increased strains on the debt-stressed euro zone and raised
pressure on policymakers to take more decisive action to resolve
the crisis.

Analysts said the one-notch downgrade, citing poor growth
prospects and political instability, was ominous for the global
economy and would add to mounting strains on European banks.

Sep 12, 2011

Italy July output falls, T-bill yields soar

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s stuttering economy showed further weakness on Monday as a slide in industrial output and a badly received Treasury bill auction added to signs that flagging growth is hampering efforts to reduce its debt.

Output in the euro zone’s third largest member fell 0.7 percent on the month, its third monthly decline in a row and following a downwardly revised 0.8 percent drop in June, figures from statistics agency ISTAT showed.

Sep 6, 2011

Italians march against cuts; more protests seen

ROME (Reuters) – Protesters in Italy scuffled with police, burned flags and threw eggs and smoke bombs at banks on Tuesday in what they said could be a taste of escalating public disorder as public spending cuts bring pain to families.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is scrambling to enact deep cuts to prevent a Greek-style financial collapse. Protesters said this could lead to unrest like that seen on the streets of other austerity-hit European countries.