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Feb 25, 2014

Italy’s Renzi wins final confidence vote, pledging reform

ROME, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
won a final parliamentary vote of confidence on Tuesday after
pledging to slash red tape and “revolutionise” the economy.

The Chamber of Deputies approved the confidence motion by
the comfortable margin of 378 in favour to 220 against, fully
empowering the coalition consisting of Renzi’s Democratic Party
(PD), the New Centre Right party, centrists and other small
groups.

Feb 25, 2014

Italy’s Renzi pledges to slash red tape, ‘revolutionize’ economy

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi pledged on Tuesday to slash red tape and “revolutionize” the economy, ahead of a lower house vote of confidence to fully empower his new government.

“Italy’s finest page has yet to be written,” Renzi said a his maiden speech to the Chamber of Deputies which produced many of his trademark rhetorical flourishes but few specific policy commitments.

Feb 14, 2014

Italy’s Renzi readies for power but faces daunting task

ROME (Reuters) – Italian center-left leader Matteo Renzi is one step away from forming a new government after he swiftly eliminated party rival Enrico Letta as prime minister. New numbers showing how slowly the economy is growing highlight the huge challenge ahead.

After Renzi and the rest of the center-left Democratic Party (PD) leadership forced Letta’s hand by withdrawing their support at a special meeting on Thursday, the prime minister handed his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano.

Feb 14, 2014

Renzi grabs power in Italy without election

ROME, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Italian centre-left leader Matteo
Renzi is young, dynamic and has never shied away from a
challenge, but his decision to force party colleague Enrico
Letta to resign as prime minister is a huge political gamble.

Renzi is certain to be asked by the president to form a
government after Letta hands in his resignation on Friday.

Feb 10, 2014

Italian Economy Ministry sees no need for publicly funded ‘bad bank’

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Economy Ministry on Monday backed initiatives by lenders to offload their bad debts but said it saw no need to set up a “bad bank” using either public or European Union funds.

Italian banks are trying to improve their balance sheets as European regulators conduct a health check of the sector.

Feb 8, 2014

ECB’s Visco tells Italy’s banks to be ‘ambitious’ in purging bad debts

ROME (Reuters) – Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco on Saturday backed moves by some of the country’s lenders to get rid of non-performing loans on their books and suggested they could consider “more ambitious” approaches.

The comments by Visco and his deputy governor at a Rome conference indicate that while Italy cannot afford to set up a public “bad bank” like those adopted in Spain and Ireland, its banks are being encouraged to find similar private sector solutions.

Jan 23, 2014

Italy’s Grillo cries foul over electoral reform plans

ROME (Reuters) – Beppe Grillo, the former comic who leads Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, on Thursday hit out against plans to reform the country’s voting rules, describing them as tailor-made to block his party’s rise.

“The only point of this electoral reform proposal is to block us because we are the danger to the system,” Grillo, whose party won a quarter of the vote at last year’s national election, told a gathering of the foreign press in Rome.

Jan 20, 2014

Italy’s Renzi outlines electoral reform plan, defies critics

ROME (Reuters) – Italian center-left leader Matteo Renzi promised on Monday to reform an electoral system blamed for creating chronic political deadlock, defying party critics who had attacked him for sealing a deal on the proposals with arch-enemy Silvio Berlusconi.

The 39-year-old mayor of Florence, who won the leadership of the Democratic Party (PD) in December, said he would eliminate the fragmentation that has made it impossible for successive Italian governments to survive a full term in office.

Jan 20, 2014

Italy’s Renzi to spell out reform deal with Berlusconi

ROME (Reuters) – Italian centre-left leader Matteo Renzi can expect a hostile reception from sections of his Democratic Party (PD) when he gives details on Monday of an electoral reform pact with opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi.

Since being elected leader of Italy’s largest party in December, Renzi has held talks with all the other parties on how to reform an electoral law blamed for the country’s chronic political instability.

Jan 14, 2014

Italy’s top court leaves electoral reform in tangle

ROME (Reuters) – The reasons given by Italy’s top court for throwing out key planks of the country’s electoral law leave politicians no closer to agreeing a new system to give Italy the stable government it badly needs.

As Italy struggles with a huge national debt and a stagnant economy, most politicians agree that the electoral rules that helped produce a hung parliament after last February’s national vote are in need of change, but they have squabbled over reform for the best part of a decade.