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Feb 25, 2013

Huge protest vote pushes Italy towards deadlock

ROME (Reuters) – A huge protest vote by Italians enraged by economic hardship and political corruption pushed the country towards deadlock after an election on Monday, with voting projections showing no coalition strong enough to form a government.

With more than two thirds of the vote counted, the projections suggested the centre left could have a slim lead in the race for the lower house of parliament.

Feb 25, 2013

Italy’s Berlusconi ahead in key Senate race -projections

ROME, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Projections from an early vote
count in Italy’s election on Monday showed Silvio Berlusconi’s
centre right slightly ahead in the Senate, a result that could
cause deep government instability if confirmed.

The projections on RAI, Sky, Mediaset and LA 7 television
stations were the reverse of earlier predictions from telephone
polls that showed the centre left taking a strong lead in both
houses of parliament.

Feb 25, 2013

Centre left takes strong lead in Italy election – polls

ROME (Reuters) – The centre left is strongly leading in Italy’s election, raising the chances of a stable pro-reform government in the euro zone’s third largest economy, according to two telephone polls published after voting ended.

The polls on Sky and Rai television after voting ended at 3 p.m. (1400 GMT/9 a.m. ET) showed the centre left of Pier Luigi Bersani 5-6 points ahead of the centre right of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, with the anti-establishment movement of Genoese comedian Beppe Grillo taking third place.

Feb 24, 2013

Protest votes add to uncertainty in close Italy election

ROME, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Italians finish voting in one of
the most closely watched and unpredictable elections in years on
Monday with a surge in protest votes fuelling concern that the
ballot may not produce a government strong enough to pull Italy
from its economic slump.

A bitter campaign, fought largely over economic issues, has
been closely watched by financial markets, still wary after the
debt crisis that took the whole euro zone close to disaster and
brought technocrat prime minister Mario Monti to office in 2011.

Feb 22, 2013

Insight: Two Italies share pain as crisis bites

ACERRA/BRESCIA, Italy (Reuters) – Italy is nearing election day but you would have a hard time noticing it in Acerra, a scruffy industrial town just outside Naples, best known for housing one of the largest rubbish incinerators in Europe.

“You’ll see more of those than any campaign posters,” said local television station boss Raffaele Tagliamonte, pointing to a display of large white obituary notices of a kind commonly seen plastered on walls in southern Italian towns.

Feb 21, 2013

Italy’s Bersani on anti-glamour quest for power

ROME (Reuters) – In an electoral landscape crowded with some of the most colorful personalities in European politics, Italy’s center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani is a conspicuously unglamorous exception.

Bald, rumpled and habitually seen dragging on a stumpy Tuscan cigar, opinion polls suggest the 61-year-old head of the Democratic Party (PD) is the man most likely to lead the next government after elections on Sunday and Monday.

Feb 21, 2013

Two Italies share pain as crisis bites

ACERRA/BRESCIA, Italy, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Italy is nearing
election day but you would have a hard time noticing it in
Acerra, a scruffy industrial town just outside Naples, best
known for housing one of the largest rubbish incinerators in
Europe.

“You’ll see more of those than any campaign posters,” said
local television station boss Raffaele Tagliamonte, pointing to
a display of large white obituary notices of a kind commonly
seen plastered on walls in southern Italian towns.

Feb 12, 2013

Pope resignation leaves Catholic world in shock

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict left the Catholic world in shock after becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to resign his office, saying that failing strength had left him unable to lead the church through a period of relentless change and turmoil.

The 85-year-old pontiff announced his abdication as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics in a speech delivered in Latin, the universal language of the church, to cardinals meeting in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

Feb 11, 2013

Sexual abuse victims blast Benedict papacy

ROME (Reuters) – Pope Benedict leaves office having failed to stamp out the sexual abuse of children by priests and with the culture of secrecy that fostered the scandal still in place, groups representing some of the victims said on Monday.

Bishops Accountability, a U.S. pressure group, said the pope had apologized frequently for the harm done by priests but had never taken effective action to rectify the “incalculable harm” done to hundreds of thousands of children by predatory clergy.

Feb 10, 2013

Italy’s Monti slams Berlusconi as vote day nears

ROME, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti
accused his media magnate rival Silvio Berlusconi of trying to
buy votes with impossible promises on Sunday as Italy’s election
campaign entered its last phase.

With the Feb. 24-25 vote two weeks away, polls suggest the
centre-left Democratic Party (PD) will win a solid lower house
majority but may need a deal with Monti’s centrists to gain the
control of the Senate it must have to govern.