Gavin's Feed
Mar 12, 2013

Analysis: ECB, global recovery behind markets’ mercy on Italy

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s election produced the hung parliament investors said was the worst possible outcome, recession is deepening, debt is rising and its credit rating has just been downgraded.

So why do markets seem largely unconcerned?

Italy’s benchmark borrowing costs have edged up to around 4.6 percent from 4.5 before the election and the gap between safer German Bunds has risen to 3.1 percentage points from around 2.9 points.

Mar 11, 2013

Italy and Greece confirm hostages killed in Nigeria

ROME/ATHENS (Reuters) – Seven foreign hostages kidnapped last month by a Nigerian Islamist group from a construction company compound have been killed, the Italian and Greek foreign ministries said on Sunday.

The al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansaru announced on Saturday that it had killed the hostages seized on February 7 in the northern state of Bauchi because of attempts by Nigerian and British forces to free them.

Mar 10, 2013

Grillo’s party to tell Italy president it can lead government

ROME (Reuters) – Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement said on Sunday it wanted to lead Italy’s next government following last month’s inconclusive election and reiterated that it would not agree to an alliance with any other party.

The movement’s newly elected parliamentary leaders told reporters it would make this position clear to President Giorgio Napolitano when he begins consultations later this month on the formation of a government.

Mar 10, 2013

Italy center-left bickers after election disappointment

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s center-left Democratic Party (PD), which threw away a 10 point lead in opinion polls ahead of last month’s election, showed growing internal division this weekend as it struggles to find support to form a coalition government.

On Saturday Matteo Renzi, the 38-year old mayor of Florence who is widely tipped to be the next PD leader, marked out his distance from the current hierarchy and drew an angry reaction from allies of party chief Pier Luigi Bersani.

Mar 10, 2013

Italy, Greece say hostages in Nigeria were killed

ROME/ATHENS (Reuters) – Seven foreign hostages kidnapped last month by a Nigerian Islamist group from a construction firm compound have been killed, the Italian and Greek Foreign Ministries said on Sunday.

Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansaru said on Saturday it had killed the hostages seized on February 7 in the northern state of Bauchi because of attempts by Nigerian and British forces to free them.

Mar 8, 2013

Fitch cuts Italy credit rating after election impasse

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) – Ratings agency Fitch added to Italy’s mounting problems on Friday by cutting its credit rating due to the political uncertainty after last week’s election, deep recession and rising debt.

Fitch lowered Italy’s sovereign rating by one notch to BBB plus, with a negative outlook, raising the risk that its next ratings change will be a further downgrade.

Mar 7, 2013

Insight: Beppe Grillo – Italian clown or political mastermind?

ROME (Reuters) – Beppe Grillo stirs strong feelings. His supporters believe he can clean up Italian politics and give ordinary people more say in decision-making. His opponents see a dangerous populist who evokes memories of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

International media describe Grillo as a comic, which on one level he is, but the man who jointly created and leads the party that in just three years has become the largest in Italy is much more than that.

Mar 7, 2013

Beppe Grillo – Italian clown or political mastermind?

ROME, March 7 (Reuters) – Beppe Grillo stirs strong
feelings. His supporters believe he can clean up Italian
politics and give ordinary people more say in decision-making.
His opponents see a dangerous populist who evokes memories of
fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

International media describe Grillo as a comic, which on one
level he is, but the man who jointly created and leads the party
that in just three years has become the largest in Italy is much
more than that.

Mar 1, 2013

Italy 2012 deficit above target at 3 percent of GDP, debt hits record high

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s fiscal deficit fell to 3.0 percent of gross domestic product last year, above the government’s most recent target and bang on the European Union’s 3 percent ceiling, data showed on Friday.

The data may allow Rome to leave the European Commission’s excessive deficit procedure imposing corrective measures on countries that exceed the 3 percent level.

Feb 28, 2013

Insight: Grillo’s rookies ready to take Italian parliament by storm

ROME (Reuters) – Meet the Grillini. They are the 162 very ordinary people who are now regarded with trepidation by financial markets and world leaders after this week’s Italian election failed to produce a government.

The Grillini – literally “little Grillos” – are the lawmakers elected for the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of comic Beppe Grillo, which upset all forecasts by emerging as the largest party in Italy.