Correspondent, Rome, Italy
Catherine's Feed
Sep 6, 2011

Italians march against austerity, see more protests

ROME (Reuters) – Protests against public spending cuts in Italy are just a start and could escalate in coming months as they have on the streets of other European countries, striking Italian workers said on Tuesday.

Flanked by students and pensioners, workers joined marches in cities from Palermo to Turin, voicing opposition to a proposed 45.5 billion euro austerity package and discontent with the way Italy is being steered through the euro zone crisis.

Sep 1, 2011

Italy business group critical of government austerity

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian employers’ group Confindustria slammed the government’s austerity plan as “weak and inadequate” on Thursday and expressed concern about how Italy’s economic problems are being handled.

The group said that, despite recent amendments, the 45.5 billion euro ($65.29 billion) austerity package, approved by Silvio Berlusconi’s government last month, lacked clarity and did not contain structural measures to boost growth.

Sep 1, 2011

Italy business group critical of govt austerity

MILAN, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Italian employers’ group
Confindustria slammed the government’s austerity plan as “weak
and inadequate” on Thursday and expressed concern about how
Italy’s economic problems are being handled.

The group said that, despite recent amendments, the 45.5
billion euro ($65.29 billion) austerity package, approved by
Silvio Berlusconi’s government last month, lacked clarity and
did not contain structural measures to boost growth.

Aug 30, 2011

Bank of Italy warns on growth as bond sale falters

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s central bank warned on Tuesday government efforts to cut debt were at risk from weak growth as a tepid bond sale threatened to drag the euro zone’s third biggest economy back to the center of the debt crisis.

Ignazio Visco, deputy director-general of the Italian central bank, said growth was likely to be under one percent in 2011 and even weaker in 2012 and warned that market tensions remained high, despite government austerity measures.

Aug 30, 2011

Bank of Italy warns weak growth could hit debt plan

ROME, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Italy’s central bank said a weak
economy threatens government efforts to contain the country’s
debt mountain, while rising bond yields after a lukewarm auction
on Tuesday put it back in the front line of the euro crisis.

Ignazio Visco, deputy director-general of the central bank,
said growth was likely to be under one percent in 2011 and even
weaker in 2012 and warned that market tensions remained high.

Aug 17, 2011

Spain, Italy applaud Franco-German euro integration plans

MADRID/ROME (Reuters) – Spain and Italy, under the market microscope over debt servicing costs, welcomed Franco-German proposals for a more integrated euro zone on Wednesday and said they hoped the plans would usher in region-wide bonds.

In Madrid, a government spokesman Tuesday’s declarations by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel increased chances of common euro bond issuance — seen by some as the only way to ensure financing for the region’s debt-laden states.

Aug 5, 2011

Italy GDP posts modest pickup, seen slowing again

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s economy posted a modest acceleration in its chronically low growth in the second quarter, while a slump in output in June added to signs the upturn is already over and activity will slow in the second half.

Stronger growth is a key element to Italy’s efforts to reduce its budget deficit and the high public borrowing that have put it in the firing line of Europe’s debt crisis.

Jul 25, 2011

Famine children dying on East Africa “roads of death”

ROME (Reuters) – Emergency food centers in drought-stricken eastern Africa are overwhelmed by thousands of starving people every day and mothers are forced to abandon their dead or dying children by the roadside, aid officials said on Monday.

Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, told a conference in Rome that a deadly combination of natural disaster and regional conflict had created an emergency affecting more than 12 million people.

Jul 1, 2011
via FaithWorld

Pope slams selfish food speculators, urges curbs on world commodity markets

Photo

(Traders in the Corn options pit at the CME Group signal orders shortly before the closing bell in Chicago, February 11, 2011/Frank Polich )

Pope Benedict said on Friday financial trading based on “selfish attitudes” is spreading poverty and hunger and called for more regulation of food commodity markets to guarantee everyone’s right to life. “Poverty, underdevelopment and hunger are often the result of selfish attitudes which, coming from the heart of man, show themselves in social behaviour and economic exchange,” the pope told a U.N. food agency conference.

Jun 30, 2011

Snap Analysis: Italy austerity credible but backloaded

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s austerity budget approved on Thursday contains tough and credible deficit cuts but it is too backloaded, lacks structural reforms and may not impress markets and ratings agencies.

The package, which contains 47 billion euros ($66.7 billion)of deficit cuts to balance the budget in 2014, trims the budgets of central government ministries and local authorities and reduces tax breaks for companies and families.