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Jul 12, 2013

Vatican freezes funds of cleric in money smuggling case

ROME, July 12 (Reuters) – The Vatican said on Friday it had
frozen funds belonging to a senior cleric at the centre of a
suspected money smuggling operation, and could open
investigations into other individuals.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who has close links to the Vatican
bank, was arrested last month, accused of plotting to bring
millions of euros in cash into Italy from Switzerland for rich
friends.

Jul 5, 2013

Pope Francis stresses continuity in first encyclical on faith

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis issued his first encyclical on Friday with a message on the importance of Christian faith that showed he plans no radical departure from the doctrinal stance of his predecessor Benedict.

“Lumen Fidei” (Light of Faith) was originally intended to form part of a series by Benedict on the theological virtues, following earlier encyclicals on love and hope, but was not completed by the time of his surprise resignation in February.

Jul 3, 2013

Italy’s Letta calls coalition meeting to smooth tensions

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta meets members of his uneasy left-right coalition on Thursday, aiming to ease tensions that have slowed reforms and hampered efforts to keep public finances under control.

Letta called the meeting after former prime minister Mario Monti, whose centrist Civic Choice movement supports the government, threatened this week to withdraw his backing unless the pace of reform was stepped up.

Jun 25, 2013

Berlusconi verdict opens volatile new phase for Italy government

ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi’s conviction on charges relating to underage prostitution has opened an unpredictable chapter for Italy’s fragile coalition government just as signs of uncertainty have returned to euro zone financial markets.

The 76-year-old leader of the centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party, already fighting a four-year jail sentence and a ban on holding public office for tax fraud, meets Prime Minister Enrico Letta for discussions on Tuesday.

Jun 14, 2013

Italy’s Grillo facing showdown as 5-Star mutiny swells

ROME (Reuters) – Beppe Grillo, the fiery comic whose populist 5-Star Movement stunned Italy by winning a quarter of the votes in February’s election, is facing his biggest test since the vote with rebellion brewing among his novice lawmakers.

Publicly blamed by one of his own senators for the party’s poor showing in local elections earlier this week, in which it won only two towns out of more than 500, Grillo faces the threat of a mutiny that could blow the party apart.

Jun 14, 2013

Analysis: Italy’s Grillo facing showdown as 5-Star mutiny swells

ROME (Reuters) – Beppe Grillo, the fiery comic whose populist 5-Star Movement stunned Italy by winning a quarter of the votes in February’s election, is facing his biggest test since the vote with rebellion brewing among his novice lawmakers.

Publicly blamed by one of his own senators for the party’s poor showing in local elections earlier this week, in which it won only two towns out of more than 500, Grillo faces the threat of a mutiny that could blow the party apart.

Jun 11, 2013

Italy’s political charmers are stung by local polls

ROME (Reuters) – Sweeping wins for the center left in Italy’s local elections have sounded alarms for Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, the charismatic figures who emerged as the big winners from February’s deadlocked national vote.

Elections on Monday in more than 500 towns and cities, including the capital Rome, saw the center left bounce back from its humiliating near-collapse in the parliamentary election, which it had long been expected to win comfortably.

Jun 11, 2013

Italy’s two mavericks left licking wounds after local elections

ROME (Reuters) – Sweeping wins for the center left in Italy’s local elections have sounded alarms for Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, the mavericks who emerged as the big winners from February’s deadlocked national vote.

Elections on Monday in more than 500 towns and cities, including the capital Rome, saw the center left bounce back from its humiliating near-collapse after the February poll, which it had long been expected to win comfortably.

Jun 10, 2013

Italy local elections give boost to PM Letta

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s battered center-left won the election for mayor of Rome and 15 other major cities on Monday, giving a lift to Prime Minister Enrico Letta as he strives to control an uneasy coalition with traditional rivals on the right.

The center-left candidate in Rome, former surgeon Ignazio Marino, took 64 percent of votes in a run-off ballot on Sunday and Monday, defeating the outgoing mayor Gianni Alemanno, who won 36 percent, the Interior Ministry said.

Jun 9, 2013

Italian PM hopes local election will strengthen hand

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta hopes to lift his bruised center-left party in local elections that conclude on Monday, strengthening his hold over an uneasy coalition government with its traditional rivals on the center-right.

The votes in Rome and other cities will have no direct effect on the national government but will test the fragile partnership between Letta’s center-left Democratic Party (PD) and the center-right People of Freedom (PDL) party of former premier Silvio Berlusconi.