ROME (Reuters) – Financial markets are fretting over the latest bout of political turmoil in Italy but the absence of an operational government has sharply improved the chances that Rome can rein in its budget deficit as planned this year.
Silvio Berlusconi’s decision to withdraw his ministers from Enrico Letta’s government has halted plans for tax cuts that risked pushing the budget deficit above the European Union’s ceiling of 3 percent of national output.
ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi was at the center of a new storm on Monday after a private phone call in which he made assertions about President Giorgio Napolitano was aired on television, prompting a furious reaction from the president.
A current affairs program on private channel La 7 broadcast a phone tap in which Berlusconi said he had been informed that Napolitano had exerted influence on Italy’s top appeals court in a case involving Berlusconi’s media empire.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta will meet the president on Sunday to try to chart a way out of a deep political crisis after Silvio Berlusconi pulled his ministers out of the government and called for new elections.
President Giorgio Napolitano said he would only dissolve parliament as a last resort but just seven months after the last vote it is not clear if an alternative majority can be found.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s fractious coalition government will try to work out on Friday how to avert a planned rise in sales tax while reining in a budget deficit which is overshooting European Union limits.
Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party (PDL), a key partner in Enrico Letta’s fragile left-right coalition, has threatened to bring down the government unless it abandons the sales tax hike, due to take effect in October.
ROME, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Italy’s latest economic forecasts
reveal how little progress has been made to fix its finances and
restore growth since Silvio Berlusconi was forced from office at
the height of the euro zone debt crisis in November 2011.
With bond yields soaring, Berlusconi bowed to a demand by
the European Central Bank that Italy balance its budget in 2013
rather than 2014 as planned, to try to convince markets it could
curb a huge public debt then equal to 120 percent of output.
ROME, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Italy cut its forecasts for the
economy on Friday and pledged to correct a budget deficit that
is set to overshoot EU limits as coalition in-fighting threatens
the government’s ability to make reforms needed to spur growth.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta told reporters the tensions
which are undermining the stability of his broad left-right
administration would have to end for it to counter a prolonged
recession and consolidate Italy’s strained public finances.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s government will slash its forecasts for economic growth and raise its projections for the fiscal deficit and public debt when it issues new forecasts on Friday, according to officials and leaked documents.
According to the new figures, to be released after they are approved at a cabinet meeting, gross domestic product will shrink by around 1.7 percent this year, down from a forecast of -1.3 percent made in April. The meeting starts at 0800 GMT.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian industrial output was much weaker than expected in July, falling 1.1 percent and pouring cold water on hopes that the country might emerge from its longest post-war recession in the third quarter.
After moderately encouraging recent signs from business and consumer sentiment indicators, July’s industrial output, which posted the steepest fall since November last year, was the first important piece of hard data relating to the third quarter.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy, which three months ago got off the European Union’s blacklist of countries with excessive fiscal deficits, may be put straight back on it next year unless it can reverse a worrying trend in its public finances.
Enrico Letta’s government has been forced to respect the tax cutting promises of Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party (PDL), a vital part of the ruling coalition, while a deeper than expected recession is also weighing on state accounts.
ROME (Reuters) – Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was the mastermind behind a complex system of tax evasion by his holding company Fininvest, Italy’s highest appeals court said on Thursday.
The Court of Cassation, which published the reasons for its decision earlier this month to uphold Berlusconi’s conviction for tax fraud, pulled no punches in a 208-page document which dismissed all the media tycoon’s arguments in his defense.