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.
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.
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.
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
“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.
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.
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.
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.
ROME (Reuters) – Financial markets remain keenly focused on Italy’s ability to control its public finances and pursue reforms to lift its stagnant economy, European Central Bank governing council member Ignazio Visco said on Saturday.
Confidence in Italy has been shaken in the run-up to elections, after a strong campaign by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that has opened up the race and threatened the prospects of stable government emerging after the vote.
ROME, Feb 6 (Reuters) – The leader of Italy’s centre-left
Democratic Party is facing pressure to ditch his leftist allies
and seek a pact with outgoing premier Mario Monti as a resurgent
Silvio Berlusconi threatens to spoil an election victory that
once seemed assured.
With national elections due on Feb. 24-25, Berlusconi’s mix
of German-bashing rhetoric and promises to scrap the hated IMU
housing tax is causing growing alarm on the centre-left, which
has seen its impregnable-seeming opinion poll lead chipped away.
SIENA/ROME, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Italian Economy Minister
Vittorio Grilli defended the central bank on Tuesday against
accusations it had been lax in overseeing the troubled lender
Monte dei Paschi, telling parliament its supervision
had been “attentive and appropriate”.
The widening scandal at Monte dei Paschi, which faces losses
of as much as 720 million euros ($969 million) over an opaque
series of derivatives and structured finance transactions, has
shaken Italy’s financial and political establishment.