Gavin's Feed
Jun 23, 2013

Italy’s Berlusconi faces verdict in underage sex trial

ROME (Reuters) – A Milan court will decide on Monday whether Silvio Berlusconi paid for sex with an underage prostitute and abused his powers to cover it up, with the former Italian prime minister facing a jail sentence of up to six years.

The verdict, which could have major political repercussions, closes a two-year trial which has captivated attention on billionaire Berlusconi’s alleged “bunga bunga” sex parties in his private villa outside Milan while he was premier in 2010.

Jun 21, 2013

Italy should reverse parts of Monti’s labour reform – OECD

ROME (Reuters) – Italy should repeal parts of the labour reform adopted last year by former prime minister Mario Monti and make it easier to hire young workers on temporary contracts, the OECD’s chief economist told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta plans to present a package of measures next week aimed at tackling record joblessness of more than 40 percent among young people.

Jun 18, 2013

Racing up Europe’s highest volcano in the Etna Supermarathon

ROME (Reuters) – It’s a hot, sunny day in June on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Sicily, but the problem is that I’m not on the beach, I’m running up a volcano.

An even bigger problem is that I’ve been going for two hours, but I’m only half way to the top and I’m tired.

Jun 13, 2013

Italy sees no more fiscal tightening despite deficit problems

ROME (Reuters) – A deeper-than-expected recession is hurting Italy’s public finances but it can still keep the budget deficit below 3 percent of output without more fiscal tightening, Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said on Thursday.

Saccomanni, a former Bank of Italy official, said in parliament that the economic slump was weighing on tax revenues and in particular sales tax, as consumer spending slumps.

Jun 13, 2013

Italy vows to keep deficit below 3 percent as doubts grow

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will “absolutely” meet its pledge to the European Union to keep its budget deficit below 3 percent of output this year, Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said on Thursday, as concerns mounted of a probable overshoot.

Italy is targeting the deficit at 2.9 percent of gross domestic product, just a notch under the EU ceiling, but the economy is widely expected to contract by more than the 1.3 percent decline forecast by the government.

May 31, 2013

Some Italian banks risk problems, central bank chief

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) – Some Italian banks face probable difficulties and shareholders must be ready to dilute their stakes and encourage mergers, the country’s central bank governor said on Friday.

Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said in a keynote speech that Italy’s banks had been weakened by the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis and ensuing recession and some are now “at risk of being in difficulty.”

May 29, 2013

Italy gets some EU respite, but may need more to meet tax pledges

ROME (Reuters) – Italy got some help from Brussels on Wednesday when the European Commission ruled Rome could go off its excess deficit blacklist but the new government will need much more leeway in order to pass the tax cuts it has promised.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta has already suspended the next installment of a hated housing tax, due in June, and is also under pressure to cut labour taxes and scrap a planned increase in sales tax due to take effect in July.

May 26, 2013

Rome votes for new mayor as Italian government struggles

ROME (Reuters) – Romans went to the polls on Sunday to elect a new mayor of Italy’s capital in a vote which could have repercussions for the fragile national government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

His center-left Democratic Party (PD) is in crisis since it threw away a 10-point lead before February’s national election. Many of its voters are unhappy with the decision to govern with the center-right led by traditional adversary Silvio Berlusconi.

May 24, 2013

Italians getting glummer on economy, Letta government

ROME, May 24 (Reuters) – Italian consumer morale fell
unexpectedly in May despite the tax-cutting promises of a new
government whose approval ratings are already sliding.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta took office last month at the
head of a left-right coalition which is bickering on a daily
basis and its problems were underlined by the marked decline in
sentiment on the economy.

May 15, 2013

Italy recession becomes longest on record as GDP slumps

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s economy shrank by more than expected in the first quarter, extending the country’s recession to seven straight quarters and making it the longest since quarterly records began in 1970.

Gross domestic product fell 0.5 percent following a 0.9 contraction in the fourth quarter of last year and contracted 2.3 percent on an annual basis, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported on Wednesday.