ROME (Reuters) – Italian center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi is struggling to control his divided party ahead of a meeting on Saturday that could confirm a deepening split in its ranks and threaten the stability of Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s fragile coalition.
After months of tension between rival factions, the congress, which will seal the rebranding of Berlusconi’s People of Freedom group (PDL) into Forza Italia, the name of his original political movement, could be the moment that decides the future of the party.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s divided center-right is paying a heavy price for failing to arrange a smooth succession to Silvio Berlusconi, according to a minister in his last government who broke ranks with the former premier last year to set up a rival conservative party.
Giorgia Meloni, a 36-year-old former youth affairs minister, known for her rapid-fire debating and thick Roman accent, launched the Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) party late last year and is one of several lawmakers trying to find space on the right of Italian politics after a revolt within Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PDL) party in September.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy will seek an overhaul of European asylum policies and emergency action to handle a crisis that has seen tens of thousands of African migrants arrive in Sicily and hundreds of deaths, Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of a European Council meeting on Thursday and Friday, Letta said chronic instability in Africa and the Middle East meant the disasters earlier this month, in which as many as 550 migrants drowned, would not be the last of their kind.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy is to step up military patrols in the southern Mediterranean to try to prevent repeats of the shipwrecks which have drowned hundreds of African migrants this month.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta said late on Saturday an “air and naval package” would be put in place south of Sicily, where tens of thousands of migrants in flimsy, overcrowded boats have made the crossing from Africa so far this year.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian calls for Europe to do more on the migrant crisis grew on Saturday and Malta’s prime minister said the Mediterranean was becoming a “cemetery” after another boat sank off Sicily, killing dozens more people.
Italian and Maltese navy ships recovered 34 bodies and rescued 206 migrants after their boat sank about 60 nautical miles south of Sicily on Friday and rescued more than 200 others in separate incidents on Saturday.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian senators met on Friday to decide whether to move towards expelling Silvio Berlusconi from parliament over his conviction for tax fraud, opening the way for a final decision later this month which could seal his political fate.
Berlusconi, who has dominated Italian politics for the past two decades, did not attend the hearing but denounced the procedure as a maneuver by his political enemies to remove him.
ROME (Reuters) – An Italian Senate committee is likely to start a process on Friday to expel Silvio Berlusconi from parliament following his conviction for tax fraud, meaning the former prime minister’s fate could be sealed within weeks.
Berlusconi, who has dominated Italian politics for two decades, brushed off suggestions that his parliamentary career might soon be over after the conviction and an aborted attempt to topple the government.
ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Enrico Letta warned on Wednesday that Italy risked being left without a stable government if he loses a confidence vote triggered by Silvio Berlusconi’s move to pull his centre-right party out of the coalition.
However, the media tycoon’s furious decision on Saturday to withdraw his ministers from the government has provoked a revolt in his People of Freedom (PDL) party that could see dozens of Senators defy orders and vote for the government.
ROME (Reuters) – At least 13 people on a migrant boat arriving in eastern Sicily drowned, apparently after trying to get off their stranded vessel while it was just a few meters from the shore, Italian authorities said on Monday.
Television pictures showed the bodies, all of adult men, wrapped in white sheets lying on the beach.
ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi’s bid to push Italy into new elections faces a test on Monday when he meets lawmakers from his center-right party who have shown growing unease over his shock decision to pull support from Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s coalition.
Berlusconi’s decision to order the five ministers from his People of Freedom (PDL) party to resign from Letta’s cabinet has plunged Italy into political chaos and left the euro zone’s third-largest economy without a functioning government.