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Jun 19, 2014

Italy’s Renzi agrees to meeting with 5-Star Movement on reforms

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.

Jun 19, 2014

Italian economy should recover gradually – central bank

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.

Jun 13, 2014

Venice mayor resigns over flood barrier corruption scandal

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.

Jun 12, 2014

Italian PM faces party revolt over constitutional reform

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.

Jun 3, 2014

Italy’s economy minister warns against “sterile” austerity debate

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.

May 30, 2014

ECB’s Visco warns on inflation drop, euro strength

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.

May 15, 2014

Italy’s modest labor reform shows Renzi’s momentum faltering

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.

Apr 18, 2014

Italy PM Renzi cuts taxes for 10 million low earners

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Friday cut taxes for 10 million low earners to try to boost household spending after a two-year recession, making good on a promise he made after taking office two months ago.

Renzi’s cabinet passed a decree to reduce taxes for those earning between 8,000 and 26,000 euros a year by about 80 euros per month, starting next month.

Apr 18, 2014

Italy government prepares to approve tax cuts

ROME (Reuters) – Italy is due to get the income tax cuts promised by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as a way to boost stagnant domestic demand.

Renzi’s cabinet is meeting on Friday to agree the details of roughly 7 billion euros (5.76 billion pounds) of tax cuts. The prime minister said last month the cuts would increase the pay of low-income workers by around 80 euros per month, starting in May.

Apr 17, 2014

Italy parliament approves delay in balancing budget

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s parliament approved slower debt reduction and a delay in balancing the public budget on Thursday in a vote on the government’s multi-year economic forecasts.

The document outlining the assumptions, which must be approved by the European Commission, raises the target for Italy’s huge public debt, the second largest in the euro zone after Greece’s, to 134.9 percent of output this year from 132.8 percent previously.