ROME (Reuters) – Italy has pushed through a package of support measures for the economy that offers some help to businesses, but pressure is rising on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to take more significant steps to pull the country out of recession.
Among the more significant measures in the package, approved by parliament late on Thursday, are a reduction in energy costs for small and medium-sized companies, a tax credit for firms that make new investments in machinery and new rules allowing insurers and credit funds to lend directly to business.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi insisted on Thursday that Italy’s economic strategy was sound and would lift the country out of crisis, after the euro zone’s third-biggest economy unexpectedly fell back into recession in the second quarter.
In a lengthy interview broadcast on La7 television, Renzi said that his government, which took office in February, was determined to get the economy back on track in due course.
ROME, July 6 (Reuters) – Italy will settle the debt arrears
it owes to private sector suppliers by the end of this year,
Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in a newspaper interview
on Sunday, pushing back previous commitments.
The Italian state owes some 75 billion euros ($102
billion)to private suppliers, according to the most recent data
from the Bank of Italy. The unpaid bills have starved companies
of cash and triggered layoffs, factory closures and
ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday proposed a meeting with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement to discuss political reforms, potentially changing the path followed so far towards changing the electoral law and the political system.
The 5-Star Movement (M5S), which had previously rejected any co-operation with traditional parties, did a U-turn last week when it said it was ready to meet with Renzi and play a full role in the reform process.
ROME, June 19 (Reuters) – Italy’s economy should improve
gradually in the next few quarters as internal demand supports
growth, but the outlook remains fragile and uncertain, a senior
official at the country’s central bank said on Thursday.
“Albeit in a situation of uncertainty, the conditions exist
for a gradual improvement in economic activity in the next few
quarters,” Bank of Italy Deputy Director General Fabio Panetta
said in a speech in Rome.
ROME (Reuters) – The centre-left mayor of Venice resigned on Friday over a corruption scandal linked to the construction of the city’s flood barrier that has embarrassed the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Giorgio Orsoni, a university professor who represented Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) at his election in 2010, was arrested last week on accusations of receiving 560,000 euros ($762,400) in illicit political financing from the consortium responsible for the flood barrier.
ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans to reform Italian politics suffered a setback on Thursday when 13 senators from his center-left Democratic Party (PD) withdrew their backing in protest against his moves for constitutional change.
Renzi will not be assured of a majority in the Senate, the upper house of parliament, without the defectors, which will make it difficult for him to push through legislation.
ROME, June 3 (Reuters) – Europe risks being trapped in a
“sterile” debate over austerity unless it takes a broader view
that balances the need for sound public finances with reform,
Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Tuesday.
Italy, which assumes the rotating presidency of the European
Union in July, has long sought to shift the policy debate in
Europe away from budget rigour and towards measures to boost
economic growth and create jobs.
ROME, May 30 (Reuters) – Excessively low inflation in the
euro zone should be dealt with as firmly as high inflation, ECB
Governing Council member Ignazio Visco said on Friday, adding
that a strong euro had helped push inflation too low.
Visco said the European Central Bank was ready to use
unconventional policies if new staff forecasts confirm inflation
is set to remain well below the ECB’s target of just under 2
percent for the next two years. The euro zone central bank’s
policymakers next meet on June 5.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s chamber of deputies approved modest labor reforms on Thursday after a difficult passage through parliament, underlining the challenges facing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in his pledge to overhaul the economy.
The changes make it easier for firms to use temporary workers, reversing attempts by former Prime Minister Mario Monti to reduce the “duality” of a labor market divided between highly protected permanent workers and a growing army of temporary staff with virtually no rights or benefits.