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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.

Dec 24, 2012

Monti urges debate on Italy election as rivals open fire

ROME (Reuters) – Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti posted his reform agenda online on Monday, urging Italians to join a debate on their country’s future as potentially bitter election campaign gets underway two months before Italy goes to polls.

Following weeks of hesitation, Monti declared his availability on Sunday to lead a reform-minded centrist alliance to seek a second term to complete the economic reform program begun when he took office just over a year ago.

Dec 23, 2012

Italy’s Monti says may be ready to seek second term

ROME (Reuters) – Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti announced on Sunday he would consider seeking a second term if he is asked by a political force that backs his reform agenda and launched a sharp attack on his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi.

The former European commissioner, appointed to lead an unelected government to save Italy from financial crisis a year ago, resigned on Friday but had faced growing calls to seek a second term at the election on February 24-25.

Dec 22, 2012

Monti set to declare intentions as Italy election race begins

ROME (Reuters) – Italian caretaker Prime Minister Mario Monti is expected to end weeks of speculation about his political future on Sunday when he reveals the role he plans to play in February’s national election.

The former European commissioner, appointed to lead an unelected government to save Italy from financial crisis a year ago, has faced calls to seek a second term at the election on February 24-25, but his doubts appear to be growing.