James's Feed
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.

May 18, 2013

Germany’s Merkel visits Pope, urges tougher market controls

VATICAN CITY, May 18 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela
Merkel met Pope Francis on Saturday and, apparently responding
to his criticism of a heartless “dictatorship of the economy”,
called for stronger regulation of financial markets.

On Thursday, Francis appealed in a speech for world
financial reform, saying the global economic crisis had made
life worse for millions in rich and poor countries.

May 11, 2013

Italy’s Berlusconi attacks judges but backs Letta government

ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi launched a fierce attack on magistrates at a stormy political rally on Saturday, accusing them of trying to eliminate him politically but he pledged to keep supporting the fragile coalition of center-left Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

The leader of Italy’s center right, whose appeal against a tax fraud conviction was rejected this week and who still faces trial on charges of paying for sex with a minor, repeated his longstanding accusations against prosecutors.

May 6, 2013

Draghi says ECB ready to act as economy weakens

ROME (Reuters) – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi departed from a prepared speech on Monday to reiterate the central bank’s readiness to cut interest rates again if the euro zone economy deteriorates further.

The euro hit session lows against the dollar and the yen after Draghi said in Rome the ECB would monitor incoming data closely and would be ready to cut rates further, including the deposit rate currently at zero.

May 1, 2013

Italy’s Letta wins French backing for focus on growth

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s new prime minister Enrico Letta won French backing on Wednesday for calls to spur economic growth alongside budget rigor, but problems lay closer to home with coalition partners demanding tax cuts that would blow a hole in the budget.

Letta, who took his message to Berlin on Tuesday, met French President Francois Hollande and said he was “100 percent satisfied” with the meeting and Hollande’s response to his calls for Europe to start focusing on growth as well as consolidation.

May 1, 2013

Italy’s Letta faces early squeeze over anti-austerity drive

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s new prime minister, Enrico Letta, is preaching an end to austerity while pledging to meet European Union debt targets and his fledgling coalition is already at odds over how to pay for cuts to an unpopular housing tax.

Letta, who took his message to Berlin on Tuesday, is due to meet French President Francois Hollande later on Wednesday where he can expect a favorable hearing for his calls for Europe to start focusing on economic growth as well as budget rigor.

Apr 29, 2013

Italy’s Letta launches government with call for growth

ROME, April 29 (Reuters) – Italy’s new Prime Minister Enrico
Letta promised to press for a change to the European Union’s
focus on austerity and pursue economic growth and jobs as his
government sought backing from parliament on Monday, ending
months of political gridlock.

Speaking ahead of a confidence vote in the lower house,
Letta said Italy could not afford to focus simply on trying to
cut its huge public debt and needed a new emphasis on lifting
the economy out of recession.

Apr 29, 2013

Italy’s Letta government begins life in climate of crisis

ROME (Reuters) – New Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta will seek the backing of parliament in a confidence vote on Monday, facing severe political and economic problems that will test the solidity of his coalition government in the months ahead.

The vote takes place under the shadow of the gun attack on Sunday in which an unemployed man shot two police officers and a passerby outside the prime minister’s office in Rome just as the cabinet was being sworn in at the nearby presidential palace.

Apr 27, 2013

Italy’s Letta names new government

ROME, April 27 (Reuters) – Italian centre-left politician
Enrico Letta said on Saturday he had won support of other
parties to form a coalition government that will include one of
former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s closest allies as
deputy prime minister.

Letta met President Giorgio Napolitano after talks with
Berlusconi and leaders of his centre-right People of Freedom
(PDL) party to confirm that he had reached an accord which would
clear the way for a government to be formed.

Apr 27, 2013

Italy’s Letta meets Berlusconi to try to form government

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s center-left prime minister-designate Enrico Letta met Silvio Berlusconi and other center-right officials on Saturday to try to resolve the remaining differences holding up the formation of a coalition government between the rival parties.

Letta, given a mandate to form a government by President Giorgio Napolitano, is under pressure to reach an agreement with the center-right to end the political stalemate that has paralyzed Italy since inconclusive elections in February.