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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.

May 15, 2014

Italy’s modest labor reform shows Renzi’s momentum faltering

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s chamber of deputies approved modest labor reforms on Thursday after a difficult passage through parliament, underlining the challenges facing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in his pledge to overhaul the economy.

The changes make it easier for firms to use temporary workers, reversing attempts by former Prime Minister Mario Monti to reduce the “duality” of a labor market divided between highly protected permanent workers and a growing army of temporary staff with virtually no rights or benefits.

Apr 18, 2014

Italy PM Renzi cuts taxes for 10 million low earners

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Friday cut taxes for 10 million low earners to try to boost household spending after a two-year recession, making good on a promise he made after taking office two months ago.

Renzi’s cabinet passed a decree to reduce taxes for those earning between 8,000 and 26,000 euros a year by about 80 euros per month, starting next month.

Apr 18, 2014

Italy government prepares to approve tax cuts

ROME (Reuters) – Italy is due to get the income tax cuts promised by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as a way to boost stagnant domestic demand.

Renzi’s cabinet is meeting on Friday to agree the details of roughly 7 billion euros (5.76 billion pounds) of tax cuts. The prime minister said last month the cuts would increase the pay of low-income workers by around 80 euros per month, starting in May.

Apr 17, 2014

Italy parliament approves delay in balancing budget

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s parliament approved slower debt reduction and a delay in balancing the public budget on Thursday in a vote on the government’s multi-year economic forecasts.

The document outlining the assumptions, which must be approved by the European Commission, raises the target for Italy’s huge public debt, the second largest in the euro zone after Greece’s, to 134.9 percent of output this year from 132.8 percent previously.

Apr 9, 2014

Italy’s Renzi under fire over budget plan as EU prepares verdict

ROME, April 9 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo
Renzi defended his fiscal reform plans on Wednesday against
critics inside and outside his Democratic Party as the European
Commission reminded Italy of its commitment to balance its

Renzi, who outlined his government’s Economic and Financial
Document (DEF) late on Tuesday, was criticised for failing to
provide detail on promised spending cuts and for using one-off
revenues to help finance plans for permanent tax cuts.

Apr 8, 2014

Italy vows rigour in strategy to change EU fiscal rules

ROME, April 8 (Reuters) – Italy’s new government on Tuesday
gave its clearest indication yet that it plans to push for an
easing of European Union fiscal rules after convincing its EU
partners that Rome will keep a lid on public finances and reform
the stagnant economy.

Presenting revised macro-economic targets that they
characterised as showing fiscal rigour, Prime Minister Matteo
Renzi and Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Italy would
make a review of the EU’s budget rules an objective of its
six-month European Union presidency, which begins in July.

Apr 7, 2014

Italy to present new economic, public finance goals on Tuesday

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will set new targets for the economy and public finances on Tuesday when the cabinet approves a multi-year plan for presentation to the European Commission, the prime minister’s office said.

Premier Matteo Renzi said last week that the Financial and Economic Document (DEF) will cut this year’s economic growth forecast to 0.8 or 0.9 percent, from the 1.1 percent projection made by the previous government of Enrico Letta.

Mar 18, 2014

Italy high court confirms Berlusconi ban from public office

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s highest appeals court on Tuesday confirmed a two-year ban from public office for centre-right leader and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over a conviction for tax fraud.

Berlusconi’s lawyer Niccolo Ghedini said he was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling of the Court of Cassation, which diminishes Berlusconi’s hopes of running as a candidate in elections for the European Parliament in May.