James's Feed
Jun 17, 2015

Greece’s future in EU in doubt if talks fail, central bank warns

ATHENS (Reuters) – The Greek central bank warned on Wednesday that the country risks a painful exit from the euro and ultimately even the European Union if Athens and its creditors do not strike a swift aid-for-reforms deal.

The warning, contained in a regular monetary policy report from the central bank, underlined the extent to which officials who once refused any suggestion of “Grexit” are now openly discussing it and setting off the alarm bells.

Jun 14, 2015

Italy’s Renzi warns EU on refugees as neighbors block border crossings

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for a change to European asylum rules on Sunday as neighboring states tightened border controls, turning back African migrants and leaving hundreds stranded at the frontier in northern Italy.

In an interview with Milan’s Corriere della Sera daily, Renzi said that after toppling Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the international community bore responsibility for the chaos in Libya that has opened the way for hundreds of thousands of migrants to cross by boat to southern Italy.

Jun 4, 2015

Italy hit by new corruption scandal over migrant centres

ROME (Reuters) – Italian police said they arrested 44 people on Thursday suspected of being part of a network of corrupt politicians, officials and business people in Rome accused of rigging public contracts to manage migrant reception centres.

The arrests follow the discovery of a vast system of corruption in the Rome city government last year — a case dubbed “Mafia Capital” which prompted the city hall to ask the national anti-corruption authority to investigate a list of suspect public contracts.

Jun 1, 2015

Italy PM Renzi’s party pledges to stay on course after vote setback

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s ruling centre-left party promised on Monday to push on with its reform agenda after anti-establishment and euro-sceptic parties posted strong results in local elections.

Centre-left candidates backed by Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) won five out of seven regions that voted on Sunday. But a fall in the overall vote and the loss of the key region of Liguria dented the unchallenged supremacy Renzi, 40, has held over Italian politics since becoming prime minister in Feb 2014.

Jun 1, 2015

Italy’s Renzi stumbles in local elections

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi suffered a blow in local elections on Sunday, with worse-than-expected results from the center-left and a strong showing by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and right-wing Northern League.

With 22 million Italians eligible to vote in the biggest test for Renzi since last year’s European elections, initial projections showed center-left candidates well ahead in the central regions of Tuscany and Marche and the southern region of Puglia. Its candidate also led more narrowly in the Campania region around Naples.

May 29, 2015

Italian lawmakers target Renzi election candidate over corruption

ROME (Reuters) – The Italian parliament’s anti-mafia committee released the names of 17 local election candidates suspected of graft or organized crime links on Friday — an embarrassment for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi before local elections on Sunday.

The highest profile name was Vincenzo De Luca, the candidate for Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) for president of the southern Campania region, who is accused of corruption and has a conviction for abuse of office.

May 28, 2015

Italy’s Renzi faces election test as scandals overshadow vote

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi goes into elections this weekend hoping nascent signs of economic recovery after years of recession will outweigh a corruption scandal that has dogged one of the main candidates of his centre-left Democratic Party (PD).

Sunday’s ballots in seven regions and more than 1,000 municipalities, which follow a bruising series of parliamentary battles over Renzi’s reform agenda, will be his biggest test since a triumph in last year’s European elections.

May 27, 2015
via FaithWorld

Vatican bank profits rise as pope’s clean-up campaign continues


(An exterior view of the tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) in Vatican City in 2011. REUTERS/Stringer)

The Vatican bank posted a sharp rise in net profit in 2014 after absorbing the costs of a clean up that hit earnings the year before as part of a wide-ranging drive to tighten financial governance and eliminate abuse, a statement showed on Monday.

May 25, 2015

Vatican bank profits rise as clean up continues

ROME, May 25 (Reuters) – The Vatican bank posted a sharp
rise in net profit in 2014 after absorbing the costs of a clean
up that hit earnings the year before as part of a wide-ranging
drive to tighten financial governance and eliminate abuse, a
statement showed on Monday.

The bank, formally known as the Institute for Religious
Works (IOR), has toughened regulatory standards and closed
thousands of accounts, which were either inactive or deemed not
to meet new standards required of clients.

May 17, 2015

Renzi’s forced pension payout makes Italy’s budget task harder

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will pay out an extra 2 billion euros ($2.29 billion) to pensioners in August to respect a ruling from the constitutional court which overturned part of a landmark 2012 reform, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Sunday.

Last month’s ruling by the court has posed a major headache for Renzi’s government, which has struggled to keep public finances within the limits of European Union budget rules.