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Jan 2, 2014

Italy’s Renzi pushes for change on election law

ROME (Reuters) – Italian center-left leader Matteo Renzi called on Thursday for swift reform of an electoral system blamed for the country’s bouts of political deadlock and said he expected an agreement could be completed within weeks.

Renzi is not in the government but as head of the Democratic Party, the biggest party in Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s left-right coalition, he will have a decisive role to play in shaping the political agenda and has already called for quicker action on reforms.

Dec 27, 2013

Italy delays ‘Google tax’ until July, OKs funds for business, welfare

ROME (Reuters) – Italy delayed the start of its planned Internet tax until July 2014, approved billions of euros in business and welfare measures and extended a ban on media cross-ownership in a final package of year-end legislation approved on Friday.

The launch of an Internet tax, sometimes dubbed the “Google tax”, passed this week by parliament, will be postponed until July, 1, 2014, Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s office said in a statement. The delay should ensure it can be more closely coordinated with other European countries.

Dec 24, 2013

Italian migrant center cleared after protests

ROME (Reuters) – Italian authorities began clearing a migrant reception center on the island of Lampedusa on Tuesday after a row over harsh living conditions that prompted detainees to sew their lips together in protest.

The facility, originally intended to house up to 850 migrants for up to 48 hours before transfer to other centers, has been steadily transformed into a long-term refugee camp where detainees are housed in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions, prompting domestic and international criticism.

Dec 23, 2013

Italy PM Letta pledges reform pact in January

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta promised on Monday to present a formal coalition pact in January with reforms ranging from an overhaul of the electoral law to cuts to bureaucracy and taxes.

Letta, appointed to head a grand coalition of left and right after last February’s deadlocked elections, said 2014 would be the year in which a new generation of leaders could launch reforms to pull Italy out of two decades of stagnation.

Dec 20, 2013

Italy PM Letta says his budget can’t be everyone’s ‘Father Christmas’

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Enrico Letta told critics of his 2014 budget on Friday that Italy still needed to demonstrate its credibility to wary financial markets, rejecting calls for steeper tax cuts and more measures to stimulate growth.

Speaking as the lower house of parliament in Rome passed a procedural confidence motion on the budget, Letta said the government had done all it could to help investment while maintaining control of public finances.

Dec 20, 2013

Italy PM Letta says his budget is crucial for stability

ROME, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta
said on Friday his government’s 2014 budget was crucial for
Italy’s stability despite it pleasing neither unions nor
business.

The lower house of Italy’s parliament is due to vote on a
confidence motion in the early afternoon with the Senate
following on Monday. The government is expected to win both
easily. Confidence motions are regularly used to speed up
legislation.

Dec 11, 2013

Italian PM Letta wins confidence votes, vows reforms

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote in the Senate on Wednesday, confirming his government’s majority after promising sweeping reforms and urging lawmakers to back him or risk chaos.

Letta told parliament Italy had avoided reforms for 20 years and could no longer afford to delay, with protests across the country this week underlining the bitter public mood after years of painful attempts to squeeze costs and boost revenues.

Dec 11, 2013

Italian PM Letta wins first leg of confidence vote

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote in parliament’s lower chamber on Wednesday after urging lawmakers to back his government or risk chaos

Opening a debate before his third confidence vote since October, he said Italy had avoided reforms for 20 years and could no longer afford to delay, with protests across the country this week underlining the bitter public mood after years of painful attempts to squeeze costs and boost revenues.

Dec 11, 2013

Italian PM Letta seeks parliament’s backing for reforms

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Enrico Letta called on parliament on Wednesday to back his government or risk chaos as he promised a package of reforms he said would lift Italy’s stagnant economy back to growth after two years of recession.

Opening a debate in the lower house ahead of his third confidence vote since October, Letta said Italy had avoided reforms for 20 years and could no longer afford to delay, with protests across the country this week underlining the bitter public mood after years of painful austerity.

Dec 9, 2013

New Italian center-left leader says must make government work

ROME (Reuters) – The new head of Italy’s center-left Democratic Party Matteo Renzi said on Monday he would work with Prime Minister Enrico Letta to pass reforms, dismissing suggestions he could seek to provoke a snap election and lead a new government himself.

Speaking after his landslide victory in a leadership contest on Sunday, Renzi gave little detail on his proposed agenda but made clear that the PD, the largest party in the ruling coalition, would not vote against the government in a confidence motion Letta has called on Wednesday.