Gavin's Feed
Jun 1, 2015

Renzi vows more reforms after Italian regional vote setback

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promised on Monday to redouble his efforts to reform Italy and shake up his divided party after anti-establishment and euro-sceptic parties posted strong results in local elections.

Centre-left candidates backed by Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) won five out of seven regions at stake, maintaining its overall position before the vote, but PD support fell sharply from last year’s European elections and it lost the northwestern region of Liguria.

Jun 1, 2015

Italy’s Renzi stumbles in local elections

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi suffered a blow in local elections on Sunday, with worse-than-expected results from the center-left and a strong showing by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and right-wing Northern League.

With 22 million Italians eligible to vote in the biggest test for Renzi since last year’s European elections, initial projections showed center-left candidates well ahead in the central regions of Tuscany and Marche and the southern region of Puglia. Its candidate also led more narrowly in the Campania region around Naples.

May 31, 2015

International effort rescues over 5,000 Mediterranean migrants

ROME (Reuters) – The corpses of 17 migrants were brought ashore in Sicily aboard an Italian naval vessel on Sunday along with 454 survivors as efforts intensified to rescue people fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

More than 5,000 migrants trying to reach Europe have been saved from boats in distress in the Mediterranean since Friday and operations are in progress to rescue 500 more, European Union authorities said on Sunday.

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.