James's Feed
Sep 3, 2013

Lunch hour in Italy serves up some sour economic lessons

ROME (Reuters) – Of all the statistics available on Italy and its varied economic problems, few are as eye-opening as the fact that at around 1 p.m on any given day, three quarters of the population will normally be sitting down to lunch in their own homes.

According to data from statistics agency ISTAT, lunch is the most important meal of the day for 68 percent of Italians and 74.3 percent usually eat it at home, a figure which has grown as a long recession has hit spending on food and eating out.

Aug 27, 2013

Italy coalition struggles for deal as tax showdown nears

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s fractious ruling coalition struggled on Tuesday to bridge differences over a housing tax that threatens to create a new crisis for a government already severely strained by the legal turmoil surrounding Silvio Berlusconi.

With twitchy financial markets nervous about the prospect of fresh political instability in Italy, the Milan stock market fell for a second day and government borrowing costs rose ahead of a closely anticipated bond auction on Thursday.

Aug 1, 2013

Rome mayor plans traffic revolution near ancient Colosseum

ROME, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Less than two months in office, the
mayor of Rome is promising a minor revolution in the Italian
capital and risking the ire of local motorists by closing the
area around the ancient imperial forum complex to traffic.

The roads near the forum and the nearby Colosseum will be
shut down on Saturday night for a special series of celebrations
before being cut off permanently, starting from 5.30 a.m the
following morning.

Jul 19, 2013

Italy government survives vote on Kazakh case

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano survived a no-confidence vote on Friday, averting a political crisis that could have brought down the fragile coalition government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

Alfano, secretary of Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right People of Freedom party (PDL) which governs in an uneasy partnership with its traditional rivals in Letta’s center-left Democratic Party (PD), faced calls to resign over the hurried deportation of the family of a dissident Kazakh oligarch in May.

Jul 18, 2013

Italy’s center left to back minister in no confidence vote

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s center-left Democratic Party agreed on Thursday to back its center-right coalition partner’s interior minister in a no confidence vote, heading off a potential crisis for Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s fragile government.

Party secretary Gugliemo Epifani said PD lawmakers would vote against the motion called by opposition parties demanding minister Angelino Alfano resign over the rushed deportation of the family of a dissident Kazakh oligarch in May.

Jul 15, 2013

Italy’s interior minister faces political storm over Kazakh expulsion

ROME (Reuters) – A leading Italian newspaper on Monday urged the deputy of head of Italy’s fragile ruling coalition to resign over the expulsion of the wife and daughter of dissident Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov.

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, who also serves as deputy premier, was not told of the operation in which Ablyazov’s wife Anna Shalabayeva and their six year-old daughter Alua were expelled in May, the government said in a statement on Friday.

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

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.