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Nov 5, 2015

Major mafia trial opens in Rome over case that rattled Italy

ROME (Reuters) – A one-eyed former neo-fascist gangster and 45 other defendants went on trial on Thursday accused of running a mafia crime ring in Rome that skimmed millions of euros off city hall contracts.

Prosecutors say their year-long investigation has laid bare systematic corruption in the city as politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen hooked up with mobsters to rig public tenders on everything from creating refugee centers to rubbish collection.

Nov 4, 2015

Battered by scandals, Rome set for mega mafia trial

ROME (Reuters) – The biggest mob trial in modern-day Rome opens on Thursday, with a one-eyed former neo-fascist gangster and 45 other defendants in the dock accused of operating a mafia network that plundered city coffers.

The trial is the result of the “Mafia Capital” investigation, which laid bare allegations of mobsters, bureaucrats and politicians working hand-in-fist to siphon off millions of euros from services covering everything from refugee centers to trash collection.

Oct 29, 2015

Milan Expo defies naysayers, proves unexpected success

ROME, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Milan Expo closes its doors on
Saturday after a highly successful run that defied those who
predicted it would flop and debunking the stereotype view that
Italians cannot queue.

More than 20 million people have visited the world fair
since it opened on May 1, when builders were still struggling to
complete the 110 hectare (272-acre) site on the outskirts of
Milan and naysayers had already dismissed it as a costly farce.

Oct 14, 2015

Italian civil union bill finally reaches parliament

ROME, Oct 14 (Reuters) – A bill to give legal recognition
and protection to same-sex couples was presented to parliament
on Wednesday, a significant milestone on Italy’s tortuous path
to legalising civil unions.

Italy is the only major country in the West that has not yet
offered homosexual couples any legal rights as successive
governments ran into determined opposition from parties close to
the Roman Catholic Church.

Oct 13, 2015

Italy’s Senate votes to diminish power in boost for Renzi

ROME (Reuters) – The Italian Senate voted on Tuesday to curtail its powers in a victory for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who has overcome determined opposition to push through the reform that he says will make the country more governable.

Renzi has attached considerable political capital to the bill, which looks to reduce the number of senators by two-thirds, strip the chamber of its ability to bring down a government and sharply limit its scope to block legislation.

Oct 8, 2015

Party swapping all the rage among fickle Italian parliamentarians

ROME (Reuters) – In the land of Niccolo Machiavelli, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Italian parliament should be riven by intrigue, treachery and double-dealing.

But even by the standards of the cunning Renaissance diplomat, the current legislature has set a new benchmark for political machinations, with more than a fifth of all parliamentarians changing party affiliation in just two years.

Oct 8, 2015

Beleaguered Rome mayor hands back cash in expenses row

ROME (Reuters) – Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino has said he will hand back 20,000 euros (14,737 pounds) he had claimed as expenses for official meals after allegations that he had used city money to wine and dine his family and friends.

It is the latest scandal to rock the increasingly isolated mayor and comes as Rome is struggling to prepare for the forthcoming Roman Catholic Holy Year that is expected to bring millions of visitors to the trouble-plagued city.

Oct 6, 2015
via FaithWorld

Italy leaves gay couples waiting at the altar


(Lesbians kiss in front of the Colosseum during the annual gay pride parade in downtown Rome June 15, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi)

Rosario Murdica and Gianni Finocchietti always wanted to get married in Italy, but after 30 years together they lost hope of ever tying the knot in their home country and instead said their vows in Portugal.

Sep 23, 2015

Berlusconi’s party crumbling as defections in Italy mount

ROME (Reuters) – Forza Italia, the center-right party of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, was hit by a wave of desertions on Wednesday, raising questions about its political future.

Eight Forza Italia parliamentarians, including an ex-minister, announced they were leaving the group just days after two other party heavyweights said they were quitting.

Sep 23, 2015

Italy’s ruling party reaches deal on Senate reform

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s ruling party patched up its internal divisions and reached agreement on a contested reform of Italy’s upper house of parliament on Wednesday, meaning it is likely to pass into law.

However, hoping to derail a bill that Renzi says is vital to the future of his government, the opposition Northern League party presented a record 82 million amendments — a maneuver which will complicate and possibly prolong the debate.

    • About Crispian

      "Crispian Balmer is bureau chief for Israel and the Palestinian Territories. In 20 years with Reuters he has reported from more than 20 countries, covering everything from Hurricane Katrina to the Tsunami and the Balkans conflict. Previous assignments included lengthy spells as chief correspondent in Paris and Rome."
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