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Aug 15, 2014

Italy says two boat migrants die, 1,500 saved as total passes 100,000

ROME, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Two boat migrants died among almost
1,500 rescued by Italy in the last 24 hours, authorities said on
Friday as the total number reaching Italian shores this year
passed 100,000.

Italy’s interior minister said it was “proud to be saving
lives” of migrants who have been streaming out of North Africa
in rickety boats in increasing numbers for years and without its
efforts the Mediterranean would have become a “lake of death”.

Aug 8, 2014

Italy approves economic package amid scepticism, recession

ROME (Reuters) – Italy has pushed through a package of support measures for the economy that offers some help to businesses, but pressure is rising on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to take more significant steps to pull the country out of recession.

Among the more significant measures in the package, approved by parliament late on Thursday, are a reduction in energy costs for small and medium-sized companies, a tax credit for firms that make new investments in machinery and new rules allowing insurers and credit funds to lend directly to business.

Aug 7, 2014

Italian PM Renzi defies critics as recession returns

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi insisted on Thursday that Italy’s economic strategy was sound and would lift the country out of crisis, after the euro zone’s third-biggest economy unexpectedly fell back into recession in the second quarter.

In a lengthy interview broadcast on La7 television, Renzi said that his government, which took office in February, was determined to get the economy back on track in due course.

Jul 6, 2014

Italian minister delays goal of repaying commercial debts

ROME, July 6 (Reuters) – Italy will settle the debt arrears
it owes to private sector suppliers by the end of this year,
Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in a newspaper interview
on Sunday, pushing back previous commitments.

The Italian state owes some 75 billion euros ($102
billion)to private suppliers, according to the most recent data
from the Bank of Italy. The unpaid bills have starved companies
of cash and triggered layoffs, factory closures and
bankruptcies.

Jun 19, 2014

Italy’s Renzi agrees to meeting with 5-Star Movement on reforms

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday proposed a meeting with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement to discuss political reforms, potentially changing the path followed so far towards changing the electoral law and the political system.

The 5-Star Movement (M5S), which had previously rejected any co-operation with traditional parties, did a U-turn last week when it said it was ready to meet with Renzi and play a full role in the reform process.

Jun 19, 2014

Italian economy should recover gradually – central bank

ROME, June 19 (Reuters) – Italy’s economy should improve
gradually in the next few quarters as internal demand supports
growth, but the outlook remains fragile and uncertain, a senior
official at the country’s central bank said on Thursday.

“Albeit in a situation of uncertainty, the conditions exist
for a gradual improvement in economic activity in the next few
quarters,” Bank of Italy Deputy Director General Fabio Panetta
said in a speech in Rome.

Jun 13, 2014

Venice mayor resigns over flood barrier corruption scandal

ROME (Reuters) – The centre-left mayor of Venice resigned on Friday over a corruption scandal linked to the construction of the city’s flood barrier that has embarrassed the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Giorgio Orsoni, a university professor who represented Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) at his election in 2010, was arrested last week on accusations of receiving 560,000 euros ($762,400) in illicit political financing from the consortium responsible for the flood barrier.

Jun 12, 2014

Italian PM faces party revolt over constitutional reform

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans to reform Italian politics suffered a setback on Thursday when 13 senators from his center-left Democratic Party (PD) withdrew their backing in protest against his moves for constitutional change.

Renzi will not be assured of a majority in the Senate, the upper house of parliament, without the defectors, which will make it difficult for him to push through legislation.

Jun 3, 2014

Italy’s economy minister warns against “sterile” austerity debate

ROME, June 3 (Reuters) – Europe risks being trapped in a
“sterile” debate over austerity unless it takes a broader view
that balances the need for sound public finances with reform,
Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Tuesday.

Italy, which assumes the rotating presidency of the European
Union in July, has long sought to shift the policy debate in
Europe away from budget rigour and towards measures to boost
economic growth and create jobs.

May 30, 2014

ECB’s Visco warns on inflation drop, euro strength

ROME, May 30 (Reuters) – Excessively low inflation in the
euro zone should be dealt with as firmly as high inflation, ECB
Governing Council member Ignazio Visco said on Friday, adding
that a strong euro had helped push inflation too low.

Visco said the European Central Bank was ready to use
unconventional policies if new staff forecasts confirm inflation
is set to remain well below the ECB’s target of just under 2
percent for the next two years. The euro zone central bank’s
policymakers next meet on June 5.