ATHENS, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Greeks vote on Sunday in a
historic election expected to bring in a government led by the
leftwing Syriza party, which has promised to take on
international lenders and roll back painful austerity measures
imposed during years of economic crisis.
Barring a huge upset, victory for Syriza, which has led
opinion polls for months, would produce the first euro zone
government openly committed to cancelling the austerity terms of
its EU and IMF-backed bailout programme.
ATHENS (Reuters) – The anti-bailout Independent Greeks party has emerged as a potential coalition partner for Syriza should the leftists win Sunday’s election, as polls predict.
Although it is a party of the center-right formed by rebels from Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ New Democracy, the Independent Greeks share Syriza’s opposition to the terms of Greece’s 240-billion-euro bailout by international lenders.
ATHENS (Reuters) – The idea that a Greek euro zone exit could be handled without much damage to the rest of the bloc is met with disbelief in Greek government circles.
With elections just six days away, leftist Syriza leads the opinion polls and is intent on cancelling the austerity terms of a bailout from Europe and the International Monetary Fund and also wants a big debt write off.
ROME (Reuters) – For Italy’s partners in Brussels and Washington, President Giorgio Napolitano was a guarantor of stability during the euro zone crisis. But for austerity-weary Italians turning increasingly against Europe, his image is more ambivalent.
U.S. President Barack Obama last week thanked Napolitano, who resigned on Wednesday, for his “historic” term in office. The 89-year-old former communist has also been praised by international investors and commentators, who contrast his dutiful stance with Italy’s fractious politicians.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian President Giorgio Napolitano handed in his resignation as head of state on Wednesday, leaving Prime Minister Matteo Renzi with the politically delicate task of finding a successor.
The 89-year-old Napolitano, widely respected outside Italy as a guarantor of stability during the euro zone crisis, had always been expected to step down before the end of his second term in office because of his advanced age.
ATHENS (Reuters) – Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced the creation of a new political party on Friday, confirming a long-expected split from the center-left PASOK and complicating the potential outcome of this month’s national election.
The new party, dubbed “Movement for Change”, has yet to detail policies but they are expected to be similar to those of PASOK, part of the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s center-right New Democracy.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s 89-year-old President Giorgio Napolitano said on Wednesday that he would step down soon because of his age, leaving Prime Minister Matteo Renzi facing a delicate political challenge to replace him.
After dropping hints for months, Napolitano began the president’s annual end-year address by saying he was speaking also to his successor, who would “soon” take his place.
ROME (Reuters) – An expected decision by Italy’s president to step down next year would leave Prime Minister Matteo Renzi facing one of his most delicate political challenges.
After dropping hints for months, 89-year-old Giorgio Napolitano, is likely to indicate in an end-of-year address on Wednesday evening that he will leave his post early next year, although he may not name an exact date.
ROME/ATHENS, Dec 29 (Reuters) – Rescue teams on Monday
completed the evacuation of nearly 500 people from a car ferry
that caught fire off Greece’s Adriatic coast, working through
the night and defying high seas and freezing weather in a
But seven people were killed in the incident, the Italian
The fire broke out on a vehicle deck of the Norman Atlantic
ferry, which was carrying 478 passengers and crew and more than
200 vehicles, early on Sunday. Rescue efforts were immediately
complicated by bad weather.
ROME (Reuters) – In a European political landscape increasingly populated with insurgent, anti-system parties, Italy’s eurosceptic anti-immigrant Northern League is the latest to profit from a groundswell of hostility to the European Union.
The League’s 41-year-old leader, Matteo Salvini calls the euro a “criminal currency” and wants to demolish the Brussels consensus that has dominated European politics since the end of World War Two. He is also, at odds with mainstream leaders, an admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin.