James's Feed
Nov 24, 2014

Italy’s Renzi wins regional vote, low turnout sends warning

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s center-left Democratic Party (PD) won regional elections in Calabria and Emilia Romagna on Sunday but an exceptionally low turnout suggested growing disillusion among many voters.

After years of economic crisis that has created hardship among a growing number of Italians, the lackluster turnout was a clear warning sign for Renzi as he faces pressure to push through potentially unpopular financial belt-tightening.

Nov 15, 2014

Rome’s anti-migrant protests highlight resentment among poor

ROME (Reuters) – Protests over a migrant center in a run-down suburb of Rome this week have exposed a crisis in poor areas of the Italian capital suffering after years of neglect and mismanagement of infrastructure compounded by Italy’s deep economic crisis.

Rome’s mayor Ignazio Marino was greeted on Friday by an angry crowd in Tor Sapienza, a struggling area on the eastern outskirts of the city where residents accuse migrants in the reception center of drug trafficking and street harassment.

Oct 30, 2014

Italy union head accuses Renzi of seeking confrontation

ROME (Reuters) – The leader of Italy’s largest union accused Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday of deliberately stoking conflict with the labor movement and ignoring the growing cost of the economic crisis for Italian workers.

Speaking a day after four workers protesting against job cuts at a steel plant in southern Italy were hurt in clashes with police, Susanna Camusso, secretary general of the CGIL, said the government had chosen a “logic of confrontation” to drive its political agenda.

Oct 26, 2014

Monte Paschi has biggest capital gap in ECB tests, may seek merger

MILAN/ROME, Oct 26 (Reuters) – – Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di
Siena faces a 2.1 billion euro ($2.7 billion) funding
shortfall that could force it to seek a merger, after a European
banking review revealed serious weak points in the Italian
financial system.

The historic Tuscan lender, which was founded in 1472 and
carried out a 5-billion euro capital increase as recently as
June, said on Sunday it had hired Citigroup and UBS as advisers
to consider strategic options.

Oct 16, 2014

Italy and France make plea for growth as EU-Asia leaders meet

MILAN (Reuters) – Europe’s priority must be to stimulate economic growth, Italy and France said on Thursday, putting themselves at odds again with Germany, which is demanding deficit rigor.

With signs of a global slowdown rattling investors and prompting sharp declines across financial markets, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi stressed the need for expansive measures.

Oct 12, 2014

Outrage in Italy over ‘shame’ of Genoa flood chaos

ROME (Reuters) – Italy reacted with shock and outrage at the chronic bureaucratic and planning failures laid bare after severe flooding hit the northwestern city of Genoa, killing one man and leaving the streets of the medieval port city buried in mud and debris.

“The mud of Genoa, shame of a country,” read the front page headline of Italy’s biggest daily newspaper Corriere della Sera on Saturday after the flooding, which occurred less than three years after torrential floods in the same city killed seven people in 2011.

Oct 12, 2014

Italy’s Grillo attacks Renzi reform, seeks referendum on euro

ROME (Reuters) – The leader of Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement rounded off a three-day party rally on Sunday with renewed calls for a referendum on the euro and an angry attack on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s labor reform plans.

Beppe Grillo, the provocative former comedian who founded the 5-Star Movement and captured more than 25 percent of the vote in last year’s national election, said the party would begin a campaign to gather 3 million signatures to call a popular referendum.

Oct 8, 2014

Protests greet EU leaders at jobs meeting in Italy

MILAN (Reuters) – Hundreds of people protested against Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans to reform hiring-and-firing rules outside the congress center where European leaders were due to meet on Wednesday for a conference on jobs.

The meeting in Milan coincides with a confidence vote in parliament to push through legislation that will enable the government to alter parts of the labor code including job protection measures that are fiercely defended by unions.

Sep 28, 2014

Italy PM Renzi attacks establishment resistance, vows to press on

ROME (Reuters) – Facing rumors that he could face pressure to quit, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hit back on Sunday against criticism from business leaders and dared his opponents to challenge him in parliament.

“If they think they have the numbers and the right candidate, let them try it,” the 39-year-old center-left prime minister told the left-leaning La Repubblica daily.

Sep 19, 2014

Italy’s Northern League founder Bossi saddened by Scottish vote

ROME (Reuters) – The founder of Italy’s pro-devolution, anti-immigrant Northern League expressed bitter disappointment at the result of the Scottish independence referendum and said voters had been intimidated by the media.

Umberto Bossi, who created the movement for autonomy for Italy’s rich northern regions in the 1980s and was a longstanding ally of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said he had followed the Scottish independence debate closely.