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Mar 13, 2014

Italy’s fiscal boost faces tough questions from EU and ECB

ROME, March 13 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo
Renzi could struggle to convince the European Union that his
ambitious tax cuts and spending commitments will not threaten
pledges to sort out public finances.

On Wednesday, the 39-year-old former mayor of Florence
announced income tax would be cut by 10 billion euros ($14
billion) annually for 10 million low- and middle-income workers
from May 1 to try to stimulate a chronically sluggish economy.

Mar 12, 2014

Italy presents sweeping tax cuts, plans to raise deficit goal

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Wednesday presented a sweeping package of tax cuts, saying they could help economic recovery without breaking EU budget deficit limits.

Renzi, in his first full news conference since taking office last month, said income tax would be reduced by a total 10 billion euros ($14 billion) annually for 10 million low and middle income workers from May 1.

Mar 6, 2014

Italy’s 5-Star loses more senators as internal dissent mounts

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement on Thursday lost five more senators who were critical of its leader Beppe Grillo in the latest sign of growing internal strife in the party that took a quarter of votes at last year’s election.

Grillo announced on his blog that the five senators were “out of the movement” having handed in their resignations to senate president Piero Grasso.

Mar 6, 2014

Soccer-Cagliari take stand against homophobia in Italian soccer

ROME, March 6 (Reuters) – Serie A team Cagliari, led by midfielder Daniele Dessena, are taking on entrenched homophobia in Italian soccer by wearing rainbow coloured laces in their boots to express solidarity with gay people.

Dessena, a former Italian under-21 international, joined a campaign promoted by gay rights groups and Irish bookmaker Paddy Power when he donned the multi-coloured laces at Milan’s San Siro stadium against Inter on Feb. 23.

Feb 28, 2014

Italy approves decree to stave off bankruptcy for Rome council

ROME, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Matteo Renzi’s new Italian
government on Friday approved an emergency decree to bail out
Rome city council whose mayor had warned the capital would have
to halt essential services unless it got financial help.

The decree transfers around 500 million euros ($680 million)
to the city to pay the salaries of municipal workers and ensure
services such as public transport and garbage collection.

Feb 26, 2014

Italy’s 5-Star expels four senators as internal dissent grows

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement on Wednesday kicked out four senators for criticizing its leader Beppe Grillo, in the latest sign of growing internal strife in the party that took a quarter of votes at last year’s election.

Polls suggest 5-Star has kept most of its support despite a trickle of defections or expulsions of lawmakers unhappy with Grillo, a fiery comedian who rode a wave of public disgust with traditional parties to create a powerful political force.

Feb 25, 2014

Italy’s Renzi wins final confidence vote, pledging reform

ROME, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
won a final parliamentary vote of confidence on Tuesday after
pledging to slash red tape and “revolutionise” the economy.

The Chamber of Deputies approved the confidence motion by
the comfortable margin of 378 in favour to 220 against, fully
empowering the coalition consisting of Renzi’s Democratic Party
(PD), the New Centre Right party, centrists and other small

Feb 25, 2014

Italy’s Renzi pledges to slash red tape, ‘revolutionize’ economy

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi pledged on Tuesday to slash red tape and “revolutionize” the economy, ahead of a lower house vote of confidence to fully empower his new government.

“Italy’s finest page has yet to be written,” Renzi said a his maiden speech to the Chamber of Deputies which produced many of his trademark rhetorical flourishes but few specific policy commitments.

Feb 14, 2014

Italy’s Renzi readies for power but faces daunting task

ROME (Reuters) – Italian center-left leader Matteo Renzi is one step away from forming a new government after he swiftly eliminated party rival Enrico Letta as prime minister. New numbers showing how slowly the economy is growing highlight the huge challenge ahead.

After Renzi and the rest of the center-left Democratic Party (PD) leadership forced Letta’s hand by withdrawing their support at a special meeting on Thursday, the prime minister handed his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano.

Feb 14, 2014

Renzi grabs power in Italy without election

ROME, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Italian centre-left leader Matteo
Renzi is young, dynamic and has never shied away from a
challenge, but his decision to force party colleague Enrico
Letta to resign as prime minister is a huge political gamble.

Renzi is certain to be asked by the president to form a
government after Letta hands in his resignation on Friday.