James's Feed
Feb 9, 2013

ECB’s Visco says markets watching Italy closely

ROME (Reuters) – Financial markets remain keenly focused on Italy’s ability to control its public finances and pursue reforms to lift its stagnant economy, European Central Bank governing council member Ignazio Visco said on Saturday.

Confidence in Italy has been shaken in the run-up to elections, after a strong campaign by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that has opened up the race and threatened the prospects of stable government emerging after the vote.

Feb 6, 2013

Italy’s Bersani faces choice between Monti and leftist ally

ROME, Feb 6 (Reuters) – The leader of Italy’s centre-left
Democratic Party is facing pressure to ditch his leftist allies
and seek a pact with outgoing premier Mario Monti as a resurgent
Silvio Berlusconi threatens to spoil an election victory that
once seemed assured.

With national elections due on Feb. 24-25, Berlusconi’s mix
of German-bashing rhetoric and promises to scrap the hated IMU
housing tax is causing growing alarm on the centre-left, which
has seen its impregnable-seeming opinion poll lead chipped away.

Jan 29, 2013

Italian government defends Bank of Italy over Monte Paschi

SIENA/ROME, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Italian Economy Minister
Vittorio Grilli defended the central bank on Tuesday against
accusations it had been lax in overseeing the troubled lender
Monte dei Paschi, telling parliament its supervision
had been “attentive and appropriate”.

The widening scandal at Monte dei Paschi, which faces losses
of as much as 720 million euros ($969 million) over an opaque
series of derivatives and structured finance transactions, has
shaken Italy’s financial and political establishment.

Jan 29, 2013

ECB’s Draghi met Italy minister over Monte Paschi case

SIENA/ROME, Jan 29 (Reuters) – European Central Bank head
Mario Draghi, head of Italy’s central bank until 2011, met
Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli to discuss the widening
scandal at Monte dei Paschi bank a day before Grilli
was due to address parliament on the issue on Tuesday.

An ECB spokesman in Frankfurt confirmed the meeting,
declining to give any details, but a source with knowledge of
the encounter said earlier it was likely they talked about
Grilli’s address to a parliamentary committee later on Tuesday.

Jan 27, 2013

Berlusconi defends Mussolini, draws outrage from political left

ROME (Reuters) – Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi triggered outrage from Italy’s political left on Sunday with comments defending fascist wartime leader Benito Mussolini at a ceremony commemorating victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

Speaking at the margins of the event in Milan, Berlusconi said Mussolini had been wrong to follow Nazi Germany’s lead in passing anti-Jewish laws but that he had in other respects been a good leader.

Jan 22, 2013

Italy’s Berlusconi drops allies accused of mafia links

ROME (Reuters) – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has dropped former allies accused of corruption and mafia association as election candidates, in a bid to shed the image of scandal that has dogged sections of his center-right party.

Late on Monday, Berlusconi’s party secretary Angelino Alfano said Nicola Cosentino, a former junior economy minister whose power base is in the heartland of the Camorra or Naples mafia, would not return to parliament after the election.

Jan 18, 2013

Bank of Italy sees gloom deepening for economy

ROME, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Italy’s central bank cut its
forecast for the country’s shrinking economy on Friday, as tight
credit conditions and a gloomy international backdrop darken the
domestic outlook before a national election in February.

The Bank of Italy said it now expects gross domestic product
(GDP) to fall by 1.0 percent this year rather than the 0.2
percent contraction it forecast in July.

Dec 30, 2012

Monti’s reform path faces test beyond Italy elections

ROME (Reuters) – Mario Monti declared “mission accomplished” when he resigned as Italy’s prime minister, having seen off the debt crisis that loomed as he took office just over a year ago but 2013 will test whether he has laid the foundations for lasting economic change.

Elections on February 24-25 will give Italian voters their first chance to decide whether they want to stick to the broad course he has set or turn to a growing chorus of politicians who have attacked his austerity medicine.

Dec 28, 2012

Monti says will lead centrists in Italian vote

ROME (Reuters) – Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Friday he would lead a centrist alliance in an election in February, ending weeks of speculation over his political future and confirming his bid for a second term.

The announcement clears up some of the uncertainty hanging over election and puts Monti in a three-way contest for power with the center-left Democratic Party (PD), which is leading in the polls, and Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PDL) party.

Dec 27, 2012

Italian priest sparks outrage over blame of women for violence

ROME (Reuters) – An Italian priest has provoked outrage after putting up an article that said women were partly to blame for encouraging domestic violence by failing to clean their houses and cook properly and for wearing tight and provocative clothing.

Italian media reported that parish priest Piero Corsi fixed a text to the bulletin board of his church in the northern village of San Terenzo di Lerici, which said women should engage in “healthy self criticism” over the issue of femicide, or men murdering women.