Gavin's Feed
Dec 5, 2014

S&P cuts Italy’s rating to just above junk in blow to PM Renzi

ROME, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s cut Italy’s
sovereign credit rating on Friday from BBB to BBB-, just one
notch above junk, saying weak growth and poor competitiveness
undermined the sustainability of its huge public debt.

The downgrade is a blow for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who
came to office in February pledging an ambitious reform agenda
to lift Italy out of recession, but has seen the economy
continue to shrink.

Dec 1, 2014

Italy’s president to decide on resignation at end of year

ROME (Reuters) – Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on Monday he would decide whether to retire early when Italy completes its six-month presidency of the European Union at the end of this year.

Italian politics and media have been awash with speculation that the 89-year-old Napolitano is poised to step down, around five years before the end of his term.

Nov 30, 2014

Italy’s lower house okays Renzi’s budget, moves on to Senate

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Chamber of Deputies approved Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s tax-cutting 2015 budget on Sunday, and it will now move on to the Senate, where it must be passed by the end of the year.

The budget, which Renzi says will pull Italy out of its third recession in six years, is at the center of a tussle with the European Commission, which says it does not do enough to reduce the country’s huge public debt.

Nov 28, 2014

Special Report: Why Italy’s stay-home shoppers terrify the euro zone

ROME (Reuters) – “Three for the price of two” used to be the most common special offer in Giorgio Santambrogio’s supermarket chains. It has barely been used this year. The reason explains why efforts to resuscitate Italy’s moribund economy are failing.

“People aren’t stocking up because they know prices will be lower in a month’s time,” says Santambrogio, chief executive of Vege, a Milan-based association covering 1,500 supermarkets and specialist stores. “Shoppers are demanding steeper and steeper discounts.”

Nov 28, 2014

Why Italy’s stay-home shoppers terrify the euro zone

ROME, Nov 28 (Reuters) – “Three for the price of two” used
to be the most common special offer in Giorgio Santambrogio’s
supermarket chains. It has barely been used this year. The
reason explains why efforts to resuscitate Italy’s moribund
economy are failing.

“People aren’t stocking up because they know prices will be
lower in a month’s time,” says Santambrogio, chief executive of
Vege, a Milan-based association covering 1,500 supermarkets and
specialist stores. “Shoppers are demanding steeper and steeper
discounts.”

Nov 23, 2014

Italy regional votes to test public mood on Renzi

ROME (Reuters) – Italians voted on Sunday in regional ballots which will test whether the country, tired of economic stagnation and austerity, is also wearying of Matteo Renzi’s nine-month old coalition government.

Renzi’s popularity peaked in June shortly after a landslide victory in European parliament elections, but his ruling party has been steadily slipping lower in opinion polls since, as the economy stutters and joblessness remains stubbornly high.

Nov 19, 2014

Weary Italy vents its rage in spate of strikes and protest

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s social fabric is fraying. People worn down by years of economic stagnation and austerity are suddenly giving vent to their frustrations with a spate of strikes and spontaneous protests which have taken politicians by surprise.

Scarcely a day goes by without Italy’s main cities being disrupted by workers, students or angry citizens’ groups. Center-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has been wrong-footed by the souring mood and his approval ratings are falling.

Nov 14, 2014

Italy languishes in recession in third quarter

ROME, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Italy’s economy shrank slightly in
the third quarter due to weak domestic demand, data showed on
Friday, putting the country back in recession and marking the
13th quarter running without any growth.

Gross domestic product fell 0.1 percent following an
unrevised 0.2 percent decline in the previous three months,
statistics bureau ISTAT reported, matching the median forecast
in a Reuters survey of analysts.

Nov 13, 2014

Italy central bank warns on low inflation threat for public debt

ROME, Nov 13 (Reuters) – A prolonged period of consumer
price stagnation would significantly impair Italy’s hopes of
lowering its huge public debt, the Bank of Italy warned on
Thursday.

Italy’s economy is shrinking and its inflation rate is close
to zero, the central bank noted in its twice-yearly Financial
Stability Report, making it difficult reduce debt from its
current record highs.

Oct 27, 2014

France and Italy offer to trim deficit further to win EU clemency

PARIS/ROME (Reuters) – France and Italy unveiled plans on Monday to trim their deficits more than previously planned in last-minute pitches to get clemency from the European Commission on their 2015 budgets.

The European Union’s executive arm has until Wednesday to decide whether to reject France and Italy’s 2015 draft budgets for failing to make sufficiently large improvements in their public finances.