ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s economy stagnated at the end of last year, marking the 14th consecutive quarter without any growth as an increase in exports was offset by weak domestic demand, data showed on Friday.
Italy has been the euro zone’s most sluggish economy for over a decade and is widely forecast to continue to lag its peers, even though it is expected to see a return to modest growth this year for the first time since 2011.
ROME, Feb 8 (Reuters) – If Greece is forced out of the euro
zone, other countries will inevitably follow and the currency
bloc will collapse, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said
on Sunday, in comments which drew a rebuke from Italy.
Greece’s new leftist government is trying to re-negotiate
its debt repayments and has begun to roll back austerity
policies agreed with its international creditors.
ROME, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
lost an important ally on Wednesday when Silvio Berlusconi’s
centre-right Forza Italia party said it had ended its pact with
him on institutional and constitutional reforms.
Changing voting rules to ensure a clear winner at elections
and more stable government have been a priority for Renzi since
he became leader of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) in 2013. He
also wants to abolish the Senate as an elected chamber to make
lawmaking less cumbersome.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian lawmakers failed to elect a new president in a first round of voting on Thursday, leaving Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hoping to push through his candidate only in a fourth round when the required threshold of votes is lower.
Renzi proposed constitutional court judge Sergio Mattarella, 73, to be head of state, a move which angered opposition rival Silvio Berlusconi and may strain the two men’s alliance over electoral and constitutional reforms.
ROME, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
proposed a senior judge to be Italy’s next president on Thursday
in a move which may strain his government’s alliance on reforms
with opposition rival Silvio Berlusconi.
Though a largely ceremonial figure, the Italian head of
state wields important powers at times of political instability,
a frequent occurrence in Italy, when the president can dissolve
parliament, call elections and pick prime ministers.
ATHENS/ROME (Reuters) – Italian and Greek helicopter crews worked into the night to airlift passengers off a burning ferry adrift in the Adriatic Sea, battling darkness and bad weather that hampered rescue efforts by other ships throughout Sunday.
Helicopters were plucking passengers off the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic and transferring them to a nearby vessel, after a dramatic day that began when a fire broke out on its lower deck in the early hours.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s government on Wednesday began drawing up the details of a reform that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said will “revolutionize” the country’s labor market when it takes effect some time next year.
The cabinet approved key parts of the so-called Jobs Act to ease firing restrictions, extend the duration of jobless benefits and introduce a new contract type offering compensation in case of dismissal that gradually increases with seniority.
ROME, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Italy’s parliament has definitively
approved Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s tax-cutting 2015 budget
which aims to pull the economy out of recession while keeping
the fiscal deficit inside European Union limits.
The lower house Chamber of Deputies approved the budget by
307 votes to 116 late on Monday night after 15 members of the
anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, waving placards with
anti-government slogans, were expelled from the chamber for
shouting and occupying the benches reserved for the government.
ROME, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s cut Italy’s
sovereign credit rating on Friday from BBB to BBB-, just one
notch above junk, saying weak growth and poor competitiveness
undermined the sustainability of its huge public debt.
The downgrade is a blow for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who
came to office in February pledging an ambitious reform agenda
to lift Italy out of recession, but has seen the economy
continue to shrink.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on Monday he would decide whether to retire early when Italy completes its six-month presidency of the European Union at the end of this year.
Italian politics and media have been awash with speculation that the 89-year-old Napolitano is poised to step down, around five years before the end of his term.