ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was on course for a triumph in Sunday’s European election with early projections giving his center-left Democratic Party (PD) a strong lead over the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of ex-comic Beppe Grillo.
A projection by IPR Marketing for RAI state television put the PD on 41.4 percent ahead of the 5-Star Movement on 22.4 percent with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party on 15.7 percent.
ROME (Reuters) – Next week’s European parliamentary elections have turned into a showdown between Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the anti-establishment movement of comic Beppe Grillo that could decide the future of the government.
The ballot on May 25 will be the first national election ever faced by the 39-year-old Renzi, who came to power in February after a party coup which forced out his predecessor Enrico Letta.
ROME (Reuters) – Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi repeated accusations on Wednesday that he had been forced out of office at the height of the euro zone crisis in 2011 as the result of a plot by European Union officials.
Berlusconi’s comments followed the publication of a book by former U.S. treasury secretary Timothy Geithner which suggested that the U.S. government had been asked to help force Berlusconi to resign as the crisis escalated in late 2011.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian naval and coast guard vessels recovered 14 bodies and rescued around 200 people after a migrant boat sank in the sea between Libya and southern Sicily, authorities said on Monday, a day after dozens were drowned in a similar incident.
Italy has struggled for decades with a stream of migrants travelling in small, unsafe boats from North Africa to the islet of Lampedusa, midway between Tunisia and Sicily. The influx of migrants has grown since the Arab Spring upheavals of 2011 and the protracted civil war in Syria.
ROME (Reuters) – A corruption scandal surrounding next year’s Expo 2015 in Milan and separate criminal cases involving allies of former premier Silvio Berlusconi look set to fuel voter anger at this month’s European elections, Italian politicians warned on Sunday.
Even for a country long inured to scandal, the arrest last week of seven officials connected with Expo 2015 Milan, including the event’s procurement head, on charges of bribery and manipulating public tenders has caused anger.
FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) – Candidates to lead the European Commission after EU parliamentary elections this month lashed out on Friday against suggestions that the real choice would be made not by voters but by national governments.
The meeting in Florence was the second between the candidates following their first debate in April, part of a broader effort to bring an element of direct democracy to appointing one of the European Union’s top officials.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis proclaimed his predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints in front of more than half a million pilgrims on Sunday, hailing both as courageous men who withstood the tragedies of the 20th century.
Cheers and applause rang out across St Peter’s Square after the historic double papal canonization as many in the crowd fixed their gaze on huge tapestries of the two popes on the facade of the basilica behind Francis.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis proclaimed his predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints on Sunday in front of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims celebrating two 20th century giants of the Roman Catholic Church.
Cheers and applause rang out across St Peter’s Square after the historic double canonisation as many in the crowd fixed their gaze on huge tapestries of the two popes on the facade of the basilica behind Francis.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world converged on St. Peter’s Square on Sunday to attend the sainthood ceremony of Pope John XXIII and John Paul II, two giants of the Catholic Church in the 20th century.
Some, including many families, waited for more than 12 hours along the main street leading to the Vatican before police opened up the square at 5:30 a.m., about four hours before the ceremony was due to start.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – As many as one million people are expected in Saint Peter’s Square and nearby streets of Rome on Sunday to witness the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II, two of the great popes of the 20th century.
John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963 and set up the modernizing Second Vatican Council, and John Paul II, the Pole who reigned for nearly 27 years and played a leading role on the world stage, will be declared saints by Pope Francis.