James's Feed
Mar 31, 2014

Italy PM Renzi says will quit if Senate reform blocked

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s new prime minister threatened on Monday to resign if a plan to reduce the powers of the upper house of parliament, a central part of his ambitious constitutional reform agenda, is blocked.

In the latest step of Matteo Renzi’s reform drive, the cabinet is due to approve a draft bill on Monday to transform the Senate into a non-elected chamber stripped of the power to approve budgets or hold votes of no-confidence in a government.

Mar 28, 2014

Italy economy ministry calls for change of approach in EU

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan called on Friday for a “serious, non-ideological” discussion of the problem of growth in Europe as the government in Rome pressed its drive for a change in emphasis in EU economic policy.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has hammered away at the need for Europe to shift its focus from budget rigor and do more to solve problems ranging from soaring youth unemployment to lack of investment in schools and hospitals.

Mar 27, 2014

Italy PM Renzi wins strong backing from Obama

ROME (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama visited the Colosseum in the latest stop on his European tour on Thursday, calling the ancient Roman arena “remarkable, unbelievable” and he was almost as lavish in his praise for Italy’s 39-year-old Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Renzi, Italy’s youngest ever prime minister, has set a testing agenda of economic and constitutional reforms to help the eurozone’s third-largest economy recover from its longest recession since World War Two.

Mar 19, 2014

Italy’s Renzi says EU deficit rules outdated but will stick to limits

ROME, March 19 (Reuters) – The European Union’s budget
deficit limit is an outdated tool but Italy will respect the
commitments it has made despite switching its focus to boosting
growth and jobs, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Wednesday.

Speaking in parliament ahead of an EU summit in Brussels on
Thursday, Renzi repeated his message that the 28-member bloc had
to shed its image as a technocratic promoter of austerity and
reconnect with its citizens.

Mar 18, 2014
via FaithWorld

Vatican, Church of England and al-Azhar join forces to combat modern slavery

Photo

Australia mining tycoon Andrew Forrest (L) shakes hands with Mahmoud Azab, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar’s advisor for dialogue, during a news conference at the Vatican, March 17, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

The Roman Catholic Church, Church of England and al-Azhar, the Cairo-based seat of Sunni Muslim learning, came together on Monday for a rare display of interfaith action among them in calling for an end to modern slavery within 20 years.

Mar 17, 2014

Christians and Muslims join forces to combat modern slavery

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Roman Catholic Church, Church of England and al-Azhar, the Cairo-based seat of Sunni Muslim learning, came together on Monday for a rare display of interfaith action among them in calling for an end to modern slavery within 20 years.

Their joint statement setting up the “Global Freedom Network” they declared that “physical, economic and sexual exploitation of men, women and children” trapped 30 million people worldwide in slavery.

Mar 1, 2014

European center-left launches election drive, attacks austerity

ROME (Reuters) – European center-left parties called on Saturday for a change to austerity policies enacted to counter the euro zone crisis as they named Martin Schulz to be their candidate for next head of the European Commission.

The Party of European Socialists (PES), which groups Europe’s main center-left parties, said the focus on tight budgetary policy during the crisis had resulted in mass unemployment, hardship and the rise of populist movements.

Feb 28, 2014

Italy January jobless hits new record 12.9 percent

(Reuters) – Italy’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to a new record of 12.9 percent in January, its highest level since records began in 1977, data showed on Friday.

Youth unemployment, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, was 42.4 percent in January, up from 41.7 percent in December. Youth unemployment is also at its highest level in 37 years.

Feb 25, 2014

Italy PM Renzi wins confidence vote, pledging tax cuts, reform

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won his first confidence vote in parliament, pledging to cut labour taxes, free up funds for investment in schools and pass wide institutional reforms to tackle Italy’s economic malaise.

Facing parliament for the first time, the 39-year-old Renzi who is Italy’s youngest premier, sketched out an ambitious program of change in an hour-long speech delivered in his trademark quickfire style interspersed with occasional jeers from the opposition benches.

Feb 23, 2014

Italy’s new PM Renzi faces first parliamentary test

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi faces his first test before a fractious national parliament when he goes before the Senate on Monday to put flesh on his ambitious reform plans and seek to win a confidence vote in his newly installed government.

Backed by his own center-left Democratic Party (PD), the small center-right NCD party, centrists and other miscellaneous groups, he should have enough support in the 320-seat upper house.