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Feb 28, 2015

Italy anti-immigrant Northern League rallies against Renzi

ROME (Reuters) – Thousands of supporters of Italy’s anti-euro Northern League filled one of the biggest squares in Rome on Saturday, accusing the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of selling the country out to faceless powers in Brussels.

Northern League leader Matteo Salvini, who called the rally, took aim at a series of targets, ranging from illegal immigrants and Romanian truck drivers to tax authorities, banks and big business.

Feb 28, 2015

Pope Francis attacks ‘throw-away’ economic globalization

ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis launched a fresh attack on economic injustice on Saturday, condemning the “throw-away culture” of globalization and calling for new ways of thinking about poverty, welfare, employment and society.

In a speech to the association of Italian cooperative movements, he pointed to the “dizzying rise in unemployment” and the problems that existing welfare systems had in meeting healthcare needs.

Jan 31, 2015

Greece seeks to reassure Europe as tensions rise

ATHENS (Reuters) – New Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, striking a conciliatory note on debt talks after a turbulent start to office, has called the European Central Bank chief to assure him that Athens was seeking an agreement.

The new government in Athens made clear from its first day in power that it would not back down on its election pledges to abandon the austerity policies imposed under the bailout agreement sealed by the last government.

Jan 31, 2015

Greek finance minister seeks support as EU tensions rise

ATHENS, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Greek Finance Minister Yanis
Varoufakis brought forward a planned meeting with his French
counterpart to Sunday, amid signs of widening differences
between the new leftwing government in Athens and its
international creditors.

A week after Alexis Tsipras swept into office as Greece’s
youngest prime minister, his government faces growing resistance
to its demands to renegotiate bailout arrangements with the
European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Jan 26, 2015

Tsipras moves to form anti-austerity Greek government after crushing victory

ATHENS, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Greek leftwing leader Alexis
Tsipras will move on Monday to build a stable government that
can take on international lenders and reverse years of painful
austerity following a crushing election victory by his Syriza
party.

Fresh from his defeat of conservative Prime Minister Antonis
Samaras, the 40-year-old Tsipras will meet the head of the small
Independent Greeks party which, like Syriza, opposes Greece’s
bailout deal.

Jan 25, 2015

Greek leftists Syriza aim for landmark election win

ATHENS, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Greeks began voting on Sunday in
an election expected to bring in a government led by the
leftwing party Syriza, which has pledged to take on
international lenders and roll back painful austerity measures
imposed during years of economic crisis.

Barring a huge upset, victory for Syriza, which has led
opinion polls for months, would produce the first euro zone
government openly committed to cancelling the austerity terms of
its EU and IMF-backed bailout programme.

Jan 25, 2015

Greek leftists Syriza aim for historic election win

ATHENS, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Greeks vote on Sunday in a
historic election expected to bring in a government led by the
leftwing Syriza party, which has promised to take on
international lenders and roll back painful austerity measures
imposed during years of economic crisis.

Barring a huge upset, victory for Syriza, which has led
opinion polls for months, would produce the first euro zone
government openly committed to cancelling the austerity terms of
its EU and IMF-backed bailout programme.

Jan 23, 2015

Independent Greeks emerge as Syriza coalition option

ATHENS (Reuters) – The anti-bailout Independent Greeks party has emerged as a potential coalition partner for Syriza should the leftists win Sunday’s election, as polls predict.

Although it is a party of the center-right formed by rebels from Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ New Democracy, the Independent Greeks share Syriza’s opposition to the terms of Greece’s 240-billion-euro bailout by international lenders.

Jan 19, 2015

‘Grexit’ risk may be underestimated, Greek officials say

ATHENS (Reuters) – The idea that a Greek euro zone exit could be handled without much damage to the rest of the bloc is met with disbelief in Greek government circles.

With elections just six days away, leftist Syriza leads the opinion polls and is intent on cancelling the austerity terms of a bailout from Europe and the International Monetary Fund and also wants a big debt write off.

Jan 14, 2015

Anti-euro mood in Italy clouds Napolitano departure

ROME (Reuters) – For Italy’s partners in Brussels and Washington, President Giorgio Napolitano was a guarantor of stability during the euro zone crisis. But for austerity-weary Italians turning increasingly against Europe, his image is more ambivalent.

U.S. President Barack Obama last week thanked Napolitano, who resigned on Wednesday, for his “historic” term in office. The 89-year-old former communist has also been praised by international investors and commentators, who contrast his dutiful stance with Italy’s fractious politicians.