ROME (Reuters) – Beppe Grillo, the fiery comic whose populist 5-Star Movement stunned Italy by winning a quarter of the votes in February’s election, is facing his biggest test since the vote with rebellion brewing among his novice lawmakers.
Publicly blamed by one of his own senators for the party’s poor showing in local elections earlier this week, in which it won only two towns out of more than 500, Grillo faces the threat of a mutiny that could blow the party apart.
ROME (Reuters) – Sweeping wins for the center left in Italy’s local elections have sounded alarms for Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, the charismatic figures who emerged as the big winners from February’s deadlocked national vote.
Elections on Monday in more than 500 towns and cities, including the capital Rome, saw the center left bounce back from its humiliating near-collapse in the parliamentary election, which it had long been expected to win comfortably.
ROME (Reuters) – Sweeping wins for the center left in Italy’s local elections have sounded alarms for Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, the mavericks who emerged as the big winners from February’s deadlocked national vote.
Elections on Monday in more than 500 towns and cities, including the capital Rome, saw the center left bounce back from its humiliating near-collapse after the February poll, which it had long been expected to win comfortably.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s battered center-left won the election for mayor of Rome and 15 other major cities on Monday, giving a lift to Prime Minister Enrico Letta as he strives to control an uneasy coalition with traditional rivals on the right.
The center-left candidate in Rome, former surgeon Ignazio Marino, took 64 percent of votes in a run-off ballot on Sunday and Monday, defeating the outgoing mayor Gianni Alemanno, who won 36 percent, the Interior Ministry said.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta hopes to lift his bruised center-left party in local elections that conclude on Monday, strengthening his hold over an uneasy coalition government with its traditional rivals on the center-right.
The votes in Rome and other cities will have no direct effect on the national government but will test the fragile partnership between Letta’s center-left Democratic Party (PD) and the center-right People of Freedom (PDL) party of former premier Silvio Berlusconi.
VATICAN CITY, May 18 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela
Merkel met Pope Francis on Saturday and, apparently responding
to his criticism of a heartless “dictatorship of the economy”,
called for stronger regulation of financial markets.
On Thursday, Francis appealed in a speech for world
financial reform, saying the global economic crisis had made
life worse for millions in rich and poor countries.
ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi launched a fierce attack on magistrates at a stormy political rally on Saturday, accusing them of trying to eliminate him politically but he pledged to keep supporting the fragile coalition of center-left Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
The leader of Italy’s center right, whose appeal against a tax fraud conviction was rejected this week and who still faces trial on charges of paying for sex with a minor, repeated his longstanding accusations against prosecutors.
ROME (Reuters) – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi departed from a prepared speech on Monday to reiterate the central bank’s readiness to cut interest rates again if the euro zone economy deteriorates further.
The euro hit session lows against the dollar and the yen after Draghi said in Rome the ECB would monitor incoming data closely and would be ready to cut rates further, including the deposit rate currently at zero.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s new prime minister Enrico Letta won French backing on Wednesday for calls to spur economic growth alongside budget rigor, but problems lay closer to home with coalition partners demanding tax cuts that would blow a hole in the budget.
Letta, who took his message to Berlin on Tuesday, met French President Francois Hollande and said he was “100 percent satisfied” with the meeting and Hollande’s response to his calls for Europe to start focusing on growth as well as consolidation.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s new prime minister, Enrico Letta, is preaching an end to austerity while pledging to meet European Union debt targets and his fledgling coalition is already at odds over how to pay for cuts to an unpopular housing tax.
Letta, who took his message to Berlin on Tuesday, is due to meet French President Francois Hollande later on Wednesday where he can expect a favorable hearing for his calls for Europe to start focusing on economic growth as well as budget rigor.