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Oct 31, 2012

Italy’s bank association tells parties to back reforms

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s main banking association urged politicians campaigning for next year’s election to respect budget pledges made to European partners and to back reforms.

The comments follow a threat on Saturday by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to withdraw the parliamentary support of his People of Freedom party (PDL) from the government led by technocrat Mario Monti.

Oct 29, 2012

Politics puts Italy, Spain back in market focus

MADRID/ROME, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Italian political turmoil
and Spanish hesitancy over seeking euro zone assistance put the
two countries on the front line of the currency area’s debt
crisis back under market pressure on Monday as their leaders met
in Madrid.

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s weekend threat to
bring down his successor Mario Monti’s government, and regional
elections in Sicily in which a protest party led by a stand-up
comic polled strongly, highlighted the political risks in Italy.

Oct 29, 2012

Sicilian vote, Berlusconi threat add to Italy uncertainty

ROME (Reuters) – Sicilian local election results will provide clues on Monday to the political impact of Silvio Berlusconi’s threat to withdraw support from Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government before next year’s national election.

Sicilians voted on Sunday for a new regional government but counting only began the next day. An exit poll in regional capital Palermo conducted for local TRM television showed the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement leading with 26 percent.

Oct 24, 2012

Berlusconi confirms will not run in 2013 Italy election

ROME (Reuters) – Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi confirmed on Wednesday he would not lead his People of Freedom (PDL) party in next year’s Italian election and called for a primary to decide the center-right candidate.

The 76-year-old media magnate said this month he might not stand if withdrawing his candidacy could help centrist and center-right parties come together to form a “moderate” bloc.

Oct 12, 2012

Berlusconi ally blasts German banks, Monti cuts

ROME (Reuters) – German banks created Europe’s debt crisis and the cuts demanded of Italy are driving the economy deeper into recession, the economic chief of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s party said on Friday.

Renato Brunetta, a leading voice on Italy’s centre-right, also said an exit from the euro could not be ruled out if Rome were forced to remain on its rigid diet of budget austerity – a line often taken by Berlusconi and his allies but one on which they have shown no sign of acting.

Oct 9, 2012

Berlusconi “may not stand in 2013″, Monti could stay

ROME (Reuters) – Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi opened the door to a second term for technocrat premier Mario Monti on Tuesday by saying he was ready to drop plans to run in next year’s election.

Berlusconi is well known for making surprise statements that are quickly reversed, but his comments suggested he had abandoned hope of winning enough support to mount a credible campaign as leader of the centre-right.

Sep 28, 2012

Italy’s Monti pleases investors, but politics to come

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s declaration that he would be willing to serve a second term if asked may have reassured international investors, but there is no way around the treacherous waters of Italian politics.

It was no accident that Monti, an economist brought in last year to run an emergency government of technocrats, made his announcement in New York; just a short taxi ride from Wall Street, he was comfortably far from the fevered atmosphere in Rome, where manoeuvring for the 2013 election is in full swing.

Jul 22, 2012

Italian parties back Monti as crisis threat mounts

ROME, July 22 (Reuters) – Italy’s divided political parties
restated their support for Prime Minister Mario Monti at the
weekend, seeking to calm fears of instability that helped drive
Rome’s borrowing costs to dangerous levels last week.

Monti’s office dismissed an unsourced report in the Corriere
della Sera that he was considering an early election in the
autumn and the parties that back his technocrat government ruled
out withdrawing their support in parliament.

Jul 17, 2012

Italy’s Monti says serious worry Sicily region may default

ROME/MILAN, July 17 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario
Monti expressed serious concern on Tuesday over a possible
default by Sicily, an autonomous region long criticised for its
wasteful public administration and bloated government payroll.

Monti said in a statement there were “grave concerns” that
the southern island could default and he said he had written to
the governor Raffaele Lombardo seeking confirmation that he
would resign by the end of the month.

Jul 16, 2012

Berlusconi keeps Italy in suspense over comeback

ROME (Reuters) – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi kept the country guessing over his political future on Monday, hinting at a comeback but holding back from declaring that he planned to run in next year’s general election.

In an interview published on Monday he said he would rename his center-right People of Freedom (PDL) party with its original title Forza Italia (Go Italy), adding to signs that he is planning a return to frontline politics.