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Nov 27, 2013

Berlusconi faces expulsion from parliament over tax fraud sentence

ROME, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Italian centre-right leader Silvio
Berlusconi faces one of the heaviest blows of his 20-year
political career on Wednesday when the Senate votes on stripping
him of his seat in parliament over a conviction for tax fraud.

The vote will be the culmination of months of political
wrangling and is almost certain to lead to Berlusconi’s
expulsion from the upper house, opening an uncertain new phase
for one of Italy’s most divisive political figures.

Nov 19, 2013

Iran says sees good chance of success at Geneva nuclear talks

DUBAI/ROME (Reuters) – The protracted dispute over Iran’s nuclear program can now be resolved, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in remarks released on Tuesday, and world powers should seize an “historic opportunity” to clinch a deal.

Iran is to meet the six powers on Wednesday for the third round of negotiations in a month, nearly two weeks after the sides neared an initial accord that would curb Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for limited relief from sanctions.

Nov 19, 2013

Italy declares state of emergency in Sardinia after deadly cyclone

ROME (Reuters) – At least 17 people have been killed in flooding and hundreds made homeless after a cylone swept over the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Italian authorities said on Tuesday.

The government declared a state of emergency after Cyclone Cleopatra dropped 450mm of rain in an hour and a half overnight, causing rivers to burst their banks, sweeping away cars and flooding homes across the island.

Nov 17, 2013

Italian football in dire state as television weighs options

MILAN (Reuters) – When Italy’s cash-strapped football clubs meet on Monday to prepare for a new deal on broadcast rights, their deliberations will be coloured by the unhappy knowledge that Italian football is in a dismal state and viewers are switching off.

A farcical match in the third division this month, which saw a local derby near Naples abandoned after players were threatened by fans and faked injury to avoid playing, underlined the grim climate in the Italian game, beset for years by match-fixing scandals and stadium violence.

Nov 17, 2013

Italian soccer in dire state as television weighs options

MILAN, Nov 17 (Reuters) – When Italy’s cash-strapped soccer clubs meet on Monday to prepare for a new deal on broadcast rights, their deliberations will be coloured by the unhappy knowledge that Italian football is in a dismal state and viewers are switching off.

A farcical match in the third division this month, which saw a local derby near Naples abandoned after players were threatened by fans and faked injury to avoid playing, underlined the grim climate in the Italian game, beset for years by match-fixing scandals and stadium violence.

Nov 16, 2013

Berlusconi breaks away from Italian government after party splits

ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi, facing expulsion from parliament over a tax conviction and a revolt which split his center-right party, said on Saturday he may no longer back Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta but would not be able to bring down the government.

The 77-year-old billionaire’ s comments came after Friday’s defection of a group led by Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, former secretary of his People of Freedom party, which defied Berlusconi and formed a group that has pledged to remain in Letta’s coalition government.

Nov 15, 2013

Berlusconi party at risk as splinter group formed

ROME (Reuters) – The secretary of Italian center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi’s party said he would form a breakaway group that would back Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s fragile coalition in defiance of the media magnate, who faces expulsion from parliament this month.

Angelino Alfano, interior minister and deputy premier, announced the formation of the new group on Friday. The split came on the eve of a meeting at which Berlusconi will rebrand his People of Freedom (PDL) party as Forza Italia, the original name of his political movement.

Nov 15, 2013

Italy’s Berlusconi struggles to keep party united

ROME (Reuters) – Italian center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi is struggling to control his divided party ahead of a meeting on Saturday that could confirm a deepening split in its ranks and threaten the stability of Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s fragile coalition.

After months of tension between rival factions, the congress, which will seal the rebranding of Berlusconi’s People of Freedom group (PDL) into Forza Italia, the name of his original political movement, could be the moment that decides the future of the party.

Oct 22, 2013

Small right-wing party seeks to profit from Berlusconi’s disarray

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s divided center-right is paying a heavy price for failing to arrange a smooth succession to Silvio Berlusconi, according to a minister in his last government who broke ranks with the former premier last year to set up a rival conservative party.

Giorgia Meloni, a 36-year-old former youth affairs minister, known for her rapid-fire debating and thick Roman accent, launched the Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) party late last year and is one of several lawmakers trying to find space on the right of Italian politics after a revolt within Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PDL) party in September.

Oct 22, 2013

Italy to demand action on migrant crisis at EU summit

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will seek an overhaul of European asylum policies and emergency action to handle a crisis that has seen tens of thousands of African migrants arrive in Sicily and hundreds of deaths, Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of a European Council meeting on Thursday and Friday, Letta said chronic instability in Africa and the Middle East meant the disasters earlier this month, in which as many as 550 migrants drowned, would not be the last of their kind.