Gavin's Feed
Feb 4, 2015

Italy’s Berlusconi declares end of reform pact with Renzi

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.

Jan 29, 2015

Italy fails to elect president in first round of voting

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.

Jan 29, 2015

Italy’s Renzi proposes judge as president, irking Berlusconi

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.

Dec 28, 2014

Hundreds still awaiting airlift on stricken Italian ferry

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.

Dec 24, 2014

Italy Cabinet approves first planks of Renzi’s labor reform

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.

Dec 23, 2014

Protests as Italy’s parliament passes Renzi’s tax-cutting budget

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.

Dec 5, 2014

S&P cuts Italy’s rating to just above junk in blow to PM Renzi

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.

Dec 1, 2014

Italy’s president to decide on resignation at end of year

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.

Nov 30, 2014

Italy’s lower house okays Renzi’s budget, moves on to Senate

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Chamber of Deputies approved Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s tax-cutting 2015 budget on Sunday, and it will now move on to the Senate, where it must be passed by the end of the year.

The budget, which Renzi says will pull Italy out of its third recession in six years, is at the center of a tussle with the European Commission, which says it does not do enough to reduce the country’s huge public debt.

Nov 28, 2014

Special Report: Why Italy’s stay-home shoppers terrify the euro zone

ROME (Reuters) – “Three for the price of two” used to be the most common special offer in Giorgio Santambrogio’s supermarket chains. It has barely been used this year. The reason explains why efforts to resuscitate Italy’s moribund economy are failing.

“People aren’t stocking up because they know prices will be lower in a month’s time,” says Santambrogio, chief executive of Vege, a Milan-based association covering 1,500 supermarkets and specialist stores. “Shoppers are demanding steeper and steeper discounts.”