Gavin's Feed
Apr 20, 2013

Italy struggles to elect president after center-left collapse

ROME (Reuters) – Italian President Giorgio Napolitano agreed on Saturday to serve a second term after a divided parliament failed for a fifth time to elect his successor and risked prolonged political paralysis.

The presidency is a largely ceremonial position but is crucial at times of political instability like the present, when the president plays a major role in forming a government and has the power to dissolve parliament.

Apr 17, 2013

Italy’s Bersani to propose ex-Senate speaker as president

ROME, April 17 (Reuters) – Centre-left leader Pier Luigi
Bersani is expected to propose former Senate speaker Franco
Marini as candidate for Italy’s president, on Wednesday, risking
a split in his Democratic Party a day before voting begins.

A PD source said Marini, a prominent Catholic and former
leader of the moderate CISL union, would be put forward at a
party meeting shortly. He would also have the backing of Silvio
Berlusconi’s centre-right bloc and the centrists led by Prime
Minister Mario Monti, the source said.

Apr 17, 2013

Star Movement switches candidate ahead of Italy president race

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s 5-Star Movement changed its candidate for president on Wednesday after the winner of an online ballot withdrew, adding to uncertainty ahead of a vote that is key to ending political stalemate since February’s general election.

Less than a day before parliament starts to vote on a new president, parties are struggling to find any broad agreement on a candidate to succeed President Giorgio Napolitano, whose term ends on May 15.

Apr 11, 2013

Official statistics hide true scale of Italian joblessness

ROME (Reuters) – Millions of discouraged Italians are so convinced they have no chance of finding work that they have given up looking altogether, meaning official figures severely understate the number of unemployed.

Italy’s headline jobless rate of around 11 percent is broadly in line with the European Union average and far lower than in Spain, Portugal or Greece.

Apr 10, 2013

Italy hikes debt targets, says can now focus on growth

ROME, April 10 (Reuters) – Italy’s caretaker government on
Wednesday sharply hiked its targets for public debt this year
and next despite waves of austerity measures, and said there was
now room for less restrictive expansionary fiscal policy.

An economic planning document (DEF) published by Mario
Monti’s outgoing technocrat cabinet forecast that the debt,
which hit an all-time high of 127 percent of output last year,
would rise further to 130.4 percent in 2013.

Mar 21, 2013

Italy’s Bersani manoeuvres for new government

ROME, March 21 (Reuters) – Italian centre-left leader Pier
Luigi Bersani on Thursday appealed to all parties in parliament
to back a new government, a move that may brighten prospects of
resolving the political deadlock following last month’s
inconclusive election.

After meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano, Bersani
said “all the forces in parliament” should support a government
with a programme of reforms presented by the centre-left.

Mar 21, 2013

Outgoing government hikes Italy’s deficit, debt targets

ROME (Reuters) – Italy sharply hiked its fiscal deficit targets for this year on Thursday and announced it would raise debt by 40 billion euros in 2013 and 2014 to inject much-needed liquidity into its recession-hit economy.

The new targets reflect Italy’s difficulties in consolidating its finances, with its debt continuing to climb despite waves of austerity measures over the last two years.

Mar 21, 2013

Italy hikes deficit, debt targets to help economy

ROME, March 21 (Reuters) – Italy on Thursday sharply hiked
its fiscal deficit targets for this year and 2014 and announced
it would raise debt by 40 billion euros over the two years to
inject much-needed liquidity into its recession-hit economy.

Vittorio Grilli, economy minister in the outgoing government
of technocrat prime minister Mario Monti, told reporters the
economy would contract by 1.3 percent this year, compared with a
previous forecast of -0.2 percent.

Mar 20, 2013

Italian president seeks way out of political stalemate

ROME (Reuters) – Italian President Giorgio Napolitano completed a first day of consultations with political leaders on Wednesday to try to find a way of forming a government after the deadlocked election last month left no party with a majority in parliament.

Napolitano was due to meet the largest parties on Thursday.

Italy’s political stalemate and the prospect of months of uncertainty has created alarm across Europe just as the standoff over bank deposits in Cyprus reawakened fears that the euro zone debt crisis could flare up again.

Mar 18, 2013

Argentina’s Fernandez asks Pope to intervene over Falklands

ROME (Reuters) – Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez has asked Pope Francis to intervene in support of Buenos Aires in a dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, she said on Monday.

Fernandez had lunch with the former Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio in the Vatican shortly after arriving in Rome to attend his inaugural papal mass on Tuesday.