Gavin's Feed
Oct 17, 2013

Italy’s Monti quits party as budget opposition mounts

ROME (Reuters) – Former Prime Minister Mario Monti on Thursday left the party he founded this year as political tensions over Italy’s 2014 budget raised a new threat to the stability of Enrico Letta’s government.

Monti said he was quitting because a group of senators from his centrist Civic Choice party, which is part of the ruling coalition, rejected his criticism of the budget thus undermining his leadership of the party.

Oct 17, 2013

Hostile reaction to Italian budget may pose new threat to PM Letta

ROME (Reuters) – A hostile domestic reaction to Italy’s 2014 budget may pose a new threat to the stability of Enrico Letta’s government just weeks after the prime minister defeated Silvio Berlusconi’s attempt to topple him.

The budget, unveiled on Tuesday, has been attacked by employers, unions and most of Italy’s media, and also by senior politicians in Letta’s left-right ruling coalition who have virtually disowned the package.

Oct 16, 2013

Analysis: Letta plays safe with solid but unambitious Italian budget

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s 2014 budget plays by the European Union rules, but seems designed more to offend nobody than to give the euro zone’s most chronically sluggish economy a decisive boost.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta largely avoided unfunded tax cuts in the budget, which his cabinet approved late on Tuesday, meaning the deficit should stay within the EU ceiling set at 3 percent of economic output.

Oct 14, 2013

Italy seeking spending cuts in 2014 budget

ROME (Reuters) – The Italian cabinet will try to agree on Tuesday on a 2014 budget geared to reviving a chronically stagnant economy by cutting taxes and spending, while keeping the budget deficit inside the EU ceiling.

Enrico Letta’s left-right coalition has an easier task than its predecessors because, after the austerity of recent years, there is no longer a need for net fiscal tightening.

Oct 10, 2013

Tasks for Italy’s Letta after beating Berlusconi challenge

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s near term survival seems to be assured after beating an attempt by center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi to bring down his coalition government.

The government may now be less prone to infighting and instability, but it still faces an arduous task to put public finances on a sound footing and turn around what has been the euro zone’s most sluggish economy for more than a decade.

Oct 3, 2013

Letta bets on Berlusconi rebels for more stable Italian future

ROME, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Fresh from surviving a political
crisis, Prime Minister Enrico Letta must return rapidly to
Italy’s daunting economic problems but much depends on the fate
of the man who tried to bring him down, Silvio Berlusconi.

If a split in Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PDL) party
becomes permanent after this week’s failed attempt to topple
Letta, the centre-right could become less bellicose in demanding
the tax cuts that split the coalition and strained public
finances.

Oct 2, 2013

Alfano turns on his master in bid to lead Italy’s right

ROME (Reuters) – Angelino Alfano may have changed the future of Italian politics by leading the internal party revolt that thwarted Silvio Berlusconi’s attempt to bring down the country’s coalition government.

Few thought he had it in him. The 42-year-old former Christian Democrat from Sicily was considered so loyal to Berlusconi that his name had become almost a by-word for subservience.

Oct 1, 2013

Italy political crisis spells good news for public finances

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.

Sep 30, 2013

Berlusconi in new storm as relations sour with president

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.

Sep 29, 2013

Italian president hopes to solve political crisis without new vote

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.