James's Feed
Dec 6, 2013

Florence Mayor Renzi prepares to shake up Italian centre-left

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s center-left Democratic Party (PD) is expected to elect as its leader the charismatic mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, an outsider who promises both a chance of renewal and a threat to Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s already fragile coalition.

The 38-year-old Renzi is overwhelming favorite to win Sunday’s primary to appoint a new secretary to lead the largest party in Letta’s government. But his suspicion of the old-style left, his undisguised ambition and his brusque dismissal of many on his own side has won him as many enemies as friends.

Dec 3, 2013

Italy PM Letta dismisses signs of tension ahead of vote

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta dismissed signs of growing tension in his government on Tuesday, ahead of a confidence vote next week to confirm his new majority after Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party quit the ruling coalition.

The government said the vote would be held on December 11, after Letta’s center-left Democratic Party (PD) elects a new leader this coming Sunday.

Dec 3, 2013

Italy PM Letta to seek new confidence vote on December 11

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta will seek a confidence vote in parliament on December 11 to confirm his new majority after Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party pulled out of the ruling coalition, the government said.

Letta, who held consultations with President Giorgio Napolitano on Monday, said last week he would seek the confidence vote after his center-left Democratic Party (PD) elects a new leader this coming Sunday and would set out priorities for his government in the coming year.

Dec 2, 2013

Letta prepares to tackle Italy’s voting law stalemate

ROME (Reuters) – With Silvio Berlusconi now out of parliament, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta is under pressure to overhaul a voting law blamed for dragging Italy into political and economic stalemate after the last election.

Letta was appointed to lead an unwieldy government of left and right forces after a vote in February this year yielded no clear winner.

Dec 1, 2013

At least seven dead in Italian textile factory fire

ROME (Reuters) – At least seven people died and three were injured when a Chinese-owned clothing factory in an industrial zone in the Italian town of Prato burned down on Sunday, killing workers trapped in an improvised dormitory built onsite.

Local media said 11 workers had been accommodated in a warren of small cardboard sleeping compartments above a warehouse in the Macrolotto industrial district of the town, known for its large number of garment factories.

Nov 30, 2013

Vatican bank names consultant as director as overhaul continues

ROME, Nov 30 (Reuters) – The Vatican bank said on Saturday
it had appointed Rolando Marranci, a consultant called in to
help improve transparency, as director general to take charge of
operations as the institution seeks to reform after a series of

Marranci, 60, has acted as deputy director general since
July, when the then-director general Paolo Cipriani and his
number two Massimo Tulli resigned after a senior cleric with
close ties to the bank was arrested on suspicion of plotting to
smuggle 20 million euros into Italy from Switzerland.

Nov 27, 2013

Berlusconi faces expulsion from parliament for tax fraud

ROME, Nov 27 (Reuters) – The Italian Senate opened its
debate on expelling Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday, ahead of an
evening vote that is expected to see the veteran centre-right
leader stripped of his seat in parliament over a tax fraud

The vote, after months of political wrangling, will open an
uncertain new phase in Italian politics, with the 77-year-old
media billionaire preparing to use all his extensive resources
to attack Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s coalition government.

Nov 27, 2013

Berlusconi faces expulsion from parliament over tax fraud sentence

ROME, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Italian centre-right leader Silvio
Berlusconi faces one of the heaviest blows of his 20-year
political career on Wednesday when the Senate votes on stripping
him of his seat in parliament over a conviction for tax fraud.

The vote will be the culmination of months of political
wrangling and is almost certain to lead to Berlusconi’s
expulsion from the upper house, opening an uncertain new phase
for one of Italy’s most divisive political figures.

Nov 19, 2013

Iran says sees good chance of success at Geneva nuclear talks

DUBAI/ROME (Reuters) – The protracted dispute over Iran’s nuclear program can now be resolved, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in remarks released on Tuesday, and world powers should seize an “historic opportunity” to clinch a deal.

Iran is to meet the six powers on Wednesday for the third round of negotiations in a month, nearly two weeks after the sides neared an initial accord that would curb Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for limited relief from sanctions.

Nov 19, 2013

Italy declares state of emergency in Sardinia after deadly cyclone

ROME (Reuters) – At least 17 people have been killed in flooding and hundreds made homeless after a cylone swept over the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Italian authorities said on Tuesday.

The government declared a state of emergency after Cyclone Cleopatra dropped 450mm of rain in an hour and a half overnight, causing rivers to burst their banks, sweeping away cars and flooding homes across the island.