Giselda's Feed
Jul 25, 2014

Death row Christian woman flies out of Sudan, meets Pope

ROME/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity, then detained after her conviction was quashed, flew into Rome on an Italian government plane on Thursday and hours later met the Pope. Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, whose sentence and detention triggered international outrage, walked off the aircraft cradling her baby and was greeted by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi.

Soon afterwards, Ibrahim, her husband and two children had a private meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican. “The Pope thanked her for her witness to faith,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. The meeting, which lasted around half an hour, was intended as a “sign of closeness and solidarity for all those who suffer for their faith,” he added.There were no details on what led up to the 27-year-old’s departure after a month in limbo in Khartoum, but a senior Sudanese official said it had been cleared by the government.

Jul 24, 2014

Sudanese death row Christian woman arrives in Italy

ROME/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – A Sudanese woman who was spared a death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity and then barred from leaving Sudan flew into Rome on Thursday on an Italian government plane, officials said.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, whose sentence and detention triggered international outrage, arrived at Rome’s Ciampino airport with her family and Italy’s vice minister for foreign affairs, Lapo Pistelli, television pictures showed.

Jun 23, 2014

EU draft urges more focus on growth, jobs

BRUSSELS/ROME, June 23 (Reuters) – European leaders will
consider calls to interpret EU budget rules with more emphasis
on economic growth, according to the draft conclusions of a
direction-setting summit in Brussels this week.

The document drafted by European Council President Herman
Van Rompuy in consultation with Italy, the next country to hold
the rotating EU presidency, marks an effort to reset the EU
agenda away from the budget cuts and tax squeezes that
characterised the initial reaction to the euro zone debt crisis.

Jun 23, 2014

EU draft document urges more focus on growth, jobs

BRUSSELS/ROME (Reuters) – European leaders will consider calls for an interpretation of EU budget rules that gives more emphasis to economic growth, according to the draft of a document being circulated before a summit in Brussels this week.

The document, which European Council President Herman Van Rompuy is drawing up in consultation with Italy, the next country to hold the rotating EU presidency, marks a major effort to reset the EU agenda away from the budget cuts and tax squeezes that characterised the initial reaction to the euro zone debt crisis.

Jun 18, 2014

Cameron looking increasingly isolated in EU battle

BRUSSELS/ROME (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron looked increasingly isolated on Wednesday in his drive to prevent Jean-Claude Juncker becoming head of the European Commission, with potential allies softening their opposition.

Cameron said on Tuesday he would “fight right to the end” against the principle of giving the most powerful job in the EU to the candidate of the strongest party in last month’s European Parliament elections.

Jun 18, 2014

Buoyed by EU vote, Italy’s Renzi seeks change in Brussels

ROME (Reuters) – It has been a long time since an Italian leader went to Brussels with as strong a hand as the one held by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, whose triumph in last month’s European elections left him with a big say on who should head the EU Commission.

Winning the biggest victory for any Italian government since the 1950s four months after deposing his cautious predecessor Enrico Letta in a party coup, Renzi was one of the few leaders in Europe to defy the rise of eurosceptic parties and emerge stronger from the vote on May 25.

Apr 11, 2014

Etihad closer to buying almost half of Alitalia after Renzi talks: source

ROME (Reuters) – The prospect of Etihad Airways buying nearly half of Alitalia has significantly increased after a meeting between Etihad’s boss and Italy’s prime minister, and disagreements over job cuts may be overcome, said a source with knowledge of the talks.

Loss-making Alitalia was kept afloat by a government-engineered 500 million euro ($694 million) rescue package last year. But it needs to find a cash-rich partner quickly to revamp its flight network or else risk having to ground its planes.

Mar 21, 2014

Italy’s Renzi brushes off talk of EU mocking over budget

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi brushed off suggestions of tensions with the EU on Friday after newspapers accused senior officials of smirking at a news conference when asked if Rome may be granted extra flexibility on its budget targets.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy told journalists in Brussels that all countries would have to respect budget commitments.

Mar 21, 2014

Anger in Italy as EU officials ‘laugh at Renzi’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Italian media reacted angrily on Friday after senior European officials exchanged apparently ironic smiles at a news conference when asked if Rome may be granted extra flexibility on its budget targets.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy told journalists in Brussels that all countries would have to respect budget commitments.

Mar 12, 2014

Italy pledges to pay overdue debts to private firms

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promised on Wednesday to pay down some 68 billion euros ($95 billion) in overdue debts the state owes to private companies by July, pumping liquidity into the ailing economy.

During his first news conference after a cabinet meeting, Renzi said a draft law outlining the repayment of the debts – along with a sweeping package of tax cuts – was a key part of his government’s plans to pull Italy’s economy out of its longest recession since World War Two.