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Sep 27, 2013

Italian PM returns home to political tension

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta returned to Rome on Friday preparing for a showdown over the future of his warring coalition government following threats by Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right allies to walk out of parliament.

Letta’s left-right coalition has flirted with collapse ever since Italy’s top court convicted former premier Berlusconi of tax fraud last month and sentenced him to four years in prison, commuted to a year of house arrest or community service.

Sep 26, 2013

Political uncertainty in Italy deepens over Berlusconi threats

ROME (Reuters) – Center-right deputies supporting Silvio Berlusconi renewed threats to resign if their leader is expelled from parliament and the left demanded an end to their “blackmail”, deepening uncertainty in Italy’s fragile ruling coalition.

Italy has been close to crisis since Berlusconi, a partner in the coalition government, was sentenced to four years in prison, commuted to a year under house arrest or in community service, for tax fraud. It included a ban on holding public office that is under appeal.

Sep 23, 2013

Costa Concordia captain looks to spread blame for accident

GROSSETO, Italy, Sept 23 (Reuters) – The captain of the
Costa Concordia told a court on Monday that a junior officer who
was at the wheel at the time shared the blame for the cruise
liner disaster that killed 32 people last year.

Francesco Schettino faces multiple charges including
manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship after the
Concordia, carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew, struck
a reef off the Tuscan island of Giglio and capsized on Jan. 13,
2012.

Sep 23, 2013

Costa Concordia captain wants to search wreck for evidence

GROSSETO, Italy (Reuters) – Lawyers for the former ship’s captain charged over the sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise liner sought permission on Monday to examine the wreck for evidence, a week after salvage crews in Italy raised it off the rocks.

The raising of the Costa Concordia, one of the most complex shipwreck recoveries ever undertaken, has opened the way for a new quest for clues sought by prosecutors and the man charged with causing the accident, former captain Francesco Schettino.

Sep 17, 2013

Wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia raised off rocks in Italy

GIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) – Salvage crews completed raising the wreck of the Costa Concordia in the early hours of Tuesday morning after a 19-hour-long operation on the Italian island of Giglio where the huge cruise liner capsized in January last year.

One of the most complex and expensive maritime salvage operations ever attempted saw the 114,500-ton ship pulled upright by a series of huge jacks and cables and set on artificial platforms drilled into the rocky sea bed.

Sep 17, 2013

Costa Concordia salvage nears final phase

GIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) – Salvage crews lifted the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner off a rock shelf on Monday as they worked deep into the night to complete one of the most difficult and expensive maritime salvage operations ever undertaken.

The 114,500-ton Concordia has lain half-submerged on its side just off the Italian island of Giglio since it ran aground and sank with the loss of 32 lives on January 13, 2012.

Sep 16, 2013

Costa Concordia inches upwards as salvage continues into night

GIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) – Salvage crews shifted the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship slowly off a rock shelf on Monday in a painstaking process that looked set to continue into the early hours of the morning.

The most complex and costly salvage operation of its kind ever attempted began at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) on the Italian island of Giglio after a three-hour delay due to an overnight storm, and progress was slower than originally estimated.

Sep 16, 2013

Engineers start ambitious Costa Concordia salvage off Italian island

GIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) – Engineering teams began lifting the wrecked Costa Concordia liner upright on Monday, the start of one of the most complex and costly maritime salvage operations ever attempted.

The vast hulk of the 114,500 ton cruise liner has lain on its side for more than 20 months, dominating the tiny port in the Tuscan holiday island of Giglio where it hit rocks on January 13, 2012, killing 32 people.

Sep 13, 2013

Engineers, insurers on edge as Costa Concordia salvage nears

ROME, Sept 13 (Reuters) – When salvage teams begin hauling
the wrecked Costa Concordia liner upright on the Italian island
of Giglio next week, the financial stakes for insurers will be
almost as enormous as the awe-inspiring feat of engineering.

According to reinsurer Munich Re, the overall
insurance loss from the accident could surpass $1.1 billion. As
much as half of that may be swallowed up by the cost of the
salvage operation.

Sep 11, 2013

Italy PM Letta says borrowing costs at risk as instability continues

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta warned on Wednesday that political turmoil was driving up Italy’s borrowing costs as uncertainty continued over the future of former premier Silvio Berlusconi.

The fate of the 76-year-old billionaire, who faces expulsion from parliament following a conviction for tax fraud last month, has overshadowed Italian politics for weeks, with his supporters alternating pledges of loyalty with threats to bring down the government if he is forced out.