Gavin's Feed
Dec 21, 2012

Italy PM Monti resigns, elections likely in February

ROME, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti
tendered his resignation to the president on Friday after 13
months in office, opening the way to a highly uncertain national
election in February.

The former European commissioner, appointed to lead an
unelected government to save Italy from financial crisis a year
ago, has kept his own political plans a closely guarded secret
but he has faced growing pressure to seek a second term.

Dec 18, 2012

Berlusconi ally says must cut taxes, end austerity

ROME (Reuters) – The next Italian government must cut taxes and shun German-inspired austerity policies which have dragged the country into recession, the main economics spokesman in Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right party said.

Renato Brunetta, an economics professor and former minister of public administration, said a center-right government should rely on steps such as structural reforms and privatizations to tackle Italy’s debt mountain.

Dec 14, 2012

Italy’s debt tops 2 trillion euros in new headache for Monti

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s public debt rose above 2 trillion euros for the first time in October, underscoring the fragility of public finances despite austerity policies imposed by technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti.

Debt rose to 2.015 trillion euros (1.63 trillion pounds) from 1.995 trillion in September, the Bank of Italy said on Friday, continuing the steady upwards trend seen through most of this year.

Dec 12, 2012

Italy’s populist 5-Star Movement hits trouble, expels members

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which has enjoyed a meteoric rise in public support over the last year, is suddenly looking more ragged and disunited just as an election campaign gets under way.

Comedian Beppe Grillo, the movement’s charismatic founder and chief, on Wednesday expelled two prominent party members after weeks of growing internal dissent towards what critics say is his dictatorial leadership style.

Dec 10, 2012

Factbox: Monti’s reform record

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti announced on Saturday he planned to resign as soon as parliament approved the 2013 budget, paving the way for elections expected to be held as early as February.

Following is a summary of the policy areas in which his government has been most active:

Dec 8, 2012

Monti calls time after restoring credibility to Italy

ROME (Reuters) – Mario Monti, who announced on Saturday that he intended to resign after just over a year as Italy’s prime minister, restored international credibility to his country and dragged it back from the brink of financial collapse.

The 69-year-old former European commissioner replaced the scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi in November last year as skyrocketing borrowing costs threatened to plunge Italy into a Greek-style debt crisis.

Dec 8, 2012

Old gambler Berlusconi back for last throw

ROME, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Four times prime minister Silvio
Berlusconi has never been afraid to take a gamble during the 17
years in which he has dominated Italian politics and his
decision to run for office again at the age of 76 seems like a
final roll of the dice.

Berlusconi confirmed the long-expected news almost casually
on Saturday, telling reporters at a training field of his AC
Milan soccer club that he had reluctantly decided to run. In an
entry on his Facebook page, he said he had tried in vain to find
a worthy successor.

Nov 29, 2012

Sharp young mayor, veteran party chief vie in Italy left vote

ROME, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Italy’s centre-left picks its
leader for next year’s election on Sunday in a primary where
supporters will choose between a sharp young moderniser and a
veteran political operator as candidates to take over from Prime
Minister Mario Monti.

The run-off contest pits Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, 37,
who presents himself as a dynamic candidate for change, against
Pier Luigi Bersani, 61, the dour, experienced leader of the
Democratic Party (PD) which dominates on the Italian left.

Nov 22, 2012

Florence mayor plays youth card in bid to lead Italy

* Florence mayor Renzi wants to kick out centre-left old
guard

* Young, effective TV performer appeals to many on
centre-right

* Critics say he is image politician, more style than
substance

By Gavin Jones

ROME, Nov 22(Reuters) – Matteo Renzi, the fresh faced mayor
of Florence who wants to shake up Italy’s ossified political
establishment, is slick, dynamic, and above all young.

Renzi, 37, says that only by picking him as their leader can
centre-left voters finally “scrap” a discredited party hierarchy
that has failed for two decades to counter the political
dominance of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Oct 16, 2012

Spain aid request would help Europe: Italian official

ROME (Reuters) – A request by Spain for help to lower its borrowing costs would be welcomed by markets and would be good for the euro zone but Italy would not necessarily follow suit, the head of Italy’s debt management office said on Tuesday.

Maria Cannata said in a television interview with Sky Italia that from a financial point of view Italy’s current 10-year bond yields of almost 5 percent could be maintained indefinitely, noting that the level was low by historical standards.