Gavin's Feed
May 30, 2015

Italy votes on Sunday in test for PM Renzi’s reform agenda

ROME (Reuters) – Italians go to the polls on Sunday in local elections that will be the biggest test for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi since his center-left Democratic Party (PD) triumphed in a vote for the European parliament a year ago.

Some 22 million voters will elect new governments in seven of Italy’s 20 regions and more than 1,000 municipalities following a campaign dominated by corruption allegations against one of Renzi’s most prominent candidates.

May 30, 2015

More than 4,200 migrants rescued in Mediterranean as crisis grows

ROME (Reuters) – More than 4,200 migrants trying to reach Europe have been rescued from boats in the Mediterranean in last 24 hours, the Italian coastguard said on Saturday.

In some of the most intense Mediterranean migrant traffic of the year, a total of 4,243 people have been saved from fishing boats and rubber dinghies in 22 operations involving ships from nations including Italy, Ireland, Germany, Belgium and Britain.

May 21, 2015

Italy passes law to tackle rampant corruption

ROME (Reuters) – Italy made a fresh attempt at tackling rampant corruption on Thursday when the Chamber of Deputies approved a strongly contested law stiffening penalties for various types of graft and balance sheet fraud.

Corruption has long undermined Italy’s chronically stagnant economy by deterring foreign investors and pushing up costs. A previous “anti-corruption” package in 2012 proved to have little impact.

May 20, 2015

Italy’s lower house approves Renzi’s schools reform

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday approved an education reform that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi says is vital to fix the country’s sub-standard schools but is fiercely opposed by trade unions and many teachers.

Renzi’s “Good Schools” reform passed by 316 votes to 137 in the 630-seat lower house. Most of those who oppose the package did not take part in the vote, while hundreds of teachers protested outside parliament calling for the reform to be scrapped.

May 20, 2015

Italy’s PM Renzi says ‘disgusted’ by match-fixing, calls for clean-up

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Wednesday he was embarrassed and disgusted by the latest match-fixing scandal to hit Italian football and called for sweeping changes to clean up the game and attract families to stadiums.

Renzi had already promised to make radical changes to professional football a year ago after a supporter was shot dead by a rival fan at the Italian Cup final, but these reforms never materialised.

May 18, 2015

IMF nudges up Italy growth forecasts, calls for reforms

ROME, May 18 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund
raised slightly its forecasts for Italy’s economy this year and
next on Monday and said Rome should take advantage of favourable
external conditions to push through much-needed reforms.

At the end of its annual consultations with Italian
authorities the IMF also said progress on privatisations had
been “disappointing” and should be accelerated.

May 17, 2015

Pope Francis extends agenda of change to Vatican diplomacy

ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis’ hard-hitting criticisms of globalization and inequality long ago set him out as a leader unafraid of mixing theology and politics. He is now flexing the Vatican’s diplomatic muscles as well.

Last year, he helped to broker an historic accord between Cuba and the United States after half a century of hostility.

May 8, 2015

Greek PM forecasts ‘happy end’; Eurogroup chief cites progress in talks

ATHENS/ROME (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras forecast a happy end soon to fraught negotiations with creditors on a cash-for-reform deal, and the chairman of euro zone finance ministers said talks were making progress, though not enough for a deal next Monday.

However, with Greece fast running out money, sources close to the talks with the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank said there was still no breakthrough on crucial sticking points over pension and labor market reforms and budget targets.

Apr 30, 2015

Italy’s Renzi wins final confidence vote on electoral law

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won the last of three confidence votes on a fiercely contested new electoral law on Thursday, defying opposition parties and dissidents within his own Democratic Party (PD).

The bill, which has been under discussion in parliament for more than a year, is a central part of Renzi’s agenda of political and economic reforms.

Apr 27, 2015

Italy’s Renzi appeals to party rebels to pass electoral reform

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi appealed on Monday to dissidents within his party to support a fiercely contested proposal for electoral reform, saying the dignity of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) is at stake.

The reform, which has been under discussion in the Italian parliament for more than a year, began a second reading in the lower house Chamber of Deputies on Monday, with up to 100 rebel PD lawmakers continuing to call for changes.