ROME (Reuters) – Resistance to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s proposed reform of Italy’s electoral law hardened on Tuesday when opposition parties walked out of a parliamentary committee intended to discuss the changes.
But Renzi, who says the reform is necessary to give Italy more stable and efficient government, vowed not to back down. The plan is contested by parts of his own Democratic Party (PD) as well as by opposition parties on both the left and right.
ROME/MILAN, Nov 19 (Reuters) – An Italian minister on
Wednesday cast doubt on the future of Russia’s South Stream gas
pipeline project, which was already looking shaky because of the
crisis in Ukraine, saying it was no longer a national priority.
The downgrading of the planned $40 billion pipeline,
designed to detour Ukraine and flood southern and western Europe
with gas, comes as Western nations impose economic sanctions on
Russia to punish it for its stance over Ukraine.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy could slightly adjust its budget plans if the European Union asked it to do more to rein in borrowing, a Treasury junior minister said on Monday.
EU sources have told Reuters the European Commission will probably reject Italy’s multi-year Stability Programme as it stands because of Rome’s decision to delay balancing its budget in structural terms until 2017.
ROME (Reuters) – Italy faces a third consecutive year of economic contraction in 2014 that will slow efforts to bring its budget into balance, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Tuesday.
Padoan confirmed that the government expected economic output to decline by 0.3 percent this year, before growing just 0.6 percent in 2015. The government had previously forecast growth of 0.8 percent in 2014 and 1.3 percent in 2015.
ROME (Reuters) – The head of Italy’s biggest union on Monday threatened to strike in protest at plans to scrap job guarantees, a key part of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s long-awaited labor market reform.
The comments by CGIL leader Susanna Camusso came hours before a meeting of Renzi’s center-left Democratic Party where the 39-year-old premier is expected to take on party leftists who back the union’s demand to leave the guarantees in place.
ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Tuesday he would force through changes to Italy’s labor laws with special emergency measures if parliament dragged its feet, and rejected criticism his government was moving too slowly with its reform agenda.
Renzi, under growing pressure to back his promises with action, said that reforms to an unjust labor system that divided Italian workers into “first division” and “second division” categories would be at the heart of the program.
BERLIN/ROME Aug 20 (Reuters) – Germany and Italy joined
Britain and France on Wednesday in saying they would arm Iraqi
Kurdish security forces fighting Islamic State militants in
northern Iraq, in close coordination with the Baghdad central
Islamic State, which posted a video on Tuesday purporting to
show the beheading of an captive American journalist
, poses a threat to the world and Europe cannot
simply stand by, Germany’s defence and foreign ministers said.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian Senators clashed furiously on Tuesday over Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plan to strip the upper house of most of its powers as part of a wide-ranging package of reforms to Italy’s system of government and economy.
The planned reform of the Senate and Title V of the constitution, which governs the relationship between the regions and the national government, has become mired in parliamentary trench warfare, posing a growing threat to Renzi’s wider reform agenda.
ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans to slash the powers of Italy’s Senate, a key element of his reform agenda, have run into trouble, with opposition politicians submitting nearly 8,000 amendments to delay its approval.
The plans to reduce the upper house Senate to a small chamber made up largely of local politicians and stripped of its power to pass most national laws or hold votes of no-confidence in the government are intended to streamline lawmaking and avoid a repetition of the deadlock after last year’s election.
ROME (Reuters) – Franco Picini, a schoolteacher in Italy’s capital city, says he has voted for the left all his life, but in this month’s European parliament elections, he will back the 5-Star Movement of comedian Beppe Grillo.
“I know his political platform isn’t very clear, but enough with Italy’s old political guard! They all have to go,” says the slim 58-year-old, who teaches teenagers with special needs. “Grillo is the only alternative … if we want to start over.”