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Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

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WORLD
August 4, 2010 | By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
Italy's center-right government survived a vote of confidence Wednesday that nonetheless underscored Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's weakened political position after a key partner bolted from his ruling coalition last week. After a rowdy debate in the lower house, lawmakers voted 229 to 299 on a measure that would have censured an undersecretary in Berlusconi's government. A victory by the opposition probably would have prompted the collapse of the prime minister's 2-year-old coalition government and a realignment of right-wing and centrist parties.
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WORLD
April 15, 2014 | By Henry Chu
ROME -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was ordered Tuesday to spend a year performing community service among the elderly as his sentence for committing tax fraud at his media conglomerate. The decision by a Milan judge spares Berlusconi, 77, a sentence of house arrest. But the former premier, who has dominated Italy's political scene for two decades, will see his movements restricted just as his center-right party gears up for elections to the European Parliament next month.
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WORLD
January 15, 2011 | By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
Italian prosecutors are investigating accusations that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi paid a 17-year-old girl for sex and abused the powers of his office by trying to cover up the liaison, officials said Friday. The prime minister's lawyers quickly denied the allegations. The public prosecutor's office in Milan said in a statement that it was investigating allegations that Berlusconi and Lombardy regional councilor Nicole Minetti attempted to conceal encounters between the prime minister and a then-underage Moroccan dancer known by the stage name Ruby Heartbreak.
WORLD
August 1, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME - Italy's high court on Thursday upheld a conviction of tax fraud and a four-year prison sentence for Silvio Berlusconi, the first time that the media mogul and three-time prime minister has received a definitive conviction and sentence in his 20-year dominance of Italian politics. The verdict may signal the unwinding of Berlusconi's colorful political career and could also undermine Italy's fragile coalition government. The court declined to rule on a five-year ban on political office that Berlusconi had been handed by a lower appeals court, sending the matter back to the lower court for reconsideration.
WORLD
September 11, 2009 | Maria De Cristofaro, De Cristofaro is a special correspondent.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has spent a lot of time this week talking about one of his favorite subjects: Silvio Berlusconi. On Thursday, he called himself the best prime minister "that Italy has had in its 150-year history." Earlier in the week, he proclaimed, "The majority of Italians in their hearts would like to be like me, and see themselves in me and in how I behave." Giovanni Sartori is a preeminent Italian political scientist and columnist for the newspaper Corriere della Sera.
WORLD
January 27, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Sicily's governor has resigned after being convicted of providing information that helped a Mafia boss. Salvatore Cuffaro told the island's regional assembly that his decision was "irrevocable." A Palermo court recently sentenced him to five years in prison for helping a mob boss whose home had been bugged by investigators. Cuffaro is from a small party that is an ally of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
WORLD
May 16, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Italian police have arrested nearly 400 people -- many of them from Romania and North Africa -- in a weeklong crackdown on crime and illegal immigration, authorities said. The sweep was one of the first actions taken by conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's new government, which has pledged to improve safety on the streets after a recent spate of crimes blamed on foreigners. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni insisted the crackdown was on criminals, not foreigners. "There is no problem with the Romanian community," Maroni said.
WORLD
April 13, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
A confident Romano Prodi insisted that his center-left coalition's Italian election victory was on solid ground, even as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called the vote fraudulent and demanded a recount. But Berlusconi later appeared to back away from his allegation of fraud, releasing a statement late in the evening in which he said the very thin margin of victory "requires a scrupulous check to ascertain any possible error or irregularity."
NEWS
March 20, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
Two gunmen on a motorcycle killed a key advisor to Italy's government outside his home in Bologna in what Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi denounced as an act of political "terrorism.. Marco Biagi, an economist and consultant to Labor Minister Roberto Maroni, was an author and promoter of labor reforms that have angered Italy's leftist opposition and prompted major unions to threaten a general strike for next month.
WORLD
November 7, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Italy will ignore an "unreal" European court ruling that bans crucifixes in state-run schools as it appeals the decision, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said. "Whatever the outcome of the appeal, there's no obligatory force to the decision," Berlusconi said. The ruling this week by the European Court of Human Rights stems from a complaint by a woman who said crosses displayed in her children's classrooms violated the way she wanted to raise them. Her children were 11 and 13 when she filed a complaint in 2001.
WORLD
August 1, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- Italy's high court Thursday upheld a conviction of tax fraud and a four-year prison sentence for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the first time that the media mogul and three-time premier has received a definitive conviction and sentence in his 20-year political career. But the court declined to rule on a five-year ban on political office that Berlusconi had been handed by a lower appeals court, sending the matter back to the lower court for reconsideration. And the former premier, who had been free pending the appeal of his conviction, is still unlikely to see the inside of a jail cell.
WORLD
February 14, 2013 | By Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times
ROME - Weeks before Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation because of failing health, Italians were already bracing themselves for a change at the top. But the elections to pick a new Italian government this month have been overshadowed and potentially thrown for a loop by Benedict's shocking decision to be the first pontiff to step down in almost 600 years. The 85-year-old's final Mass on Wednesday, which drew the kind of cheering fans to St. Peter's Basilica that politicians dream of, dominated pages of newspapers that Italy's political candidates had hoped to fill with dramatic campaign promises and choice insults aimed at their opponents.
WORLD
January 14, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME --Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's request that his trial for allegedly paying a minor for sex be suspended in the run-up to next month's elections was thrown out by judges Monday. Lawyers representing the former leader argued that he would be too busy running his election campaign to dedicate himself to the trial. But after a four-hour deliberation, judges replied that campaigning was not on a par with parliamentary appearances, which can merit suspension of a trial, and ordered the proceedings to continue.
WORLD
October 31, 2012 | By Sarah Delaney, Los Angeles Times
ROME - The Italian Parliament on Wednesday approved anti-corruption legislation aimed at addressing a series of scandals involving graft, extravagant misuse of public funds and rampant cronyism that have outraged the economically distressed nation. The new regulations call for stiffer prison sentences for public officials found guilty of bribe-taking, abuse of office or influence peddling. They also add the crime of corruption between private parties, as well as protective measures for whistle-blowers.
OPINION
June 14, 2012 | Doyle McManus
Milan, Italy - From the American side of the Atlantic, the debate over Europe's economic future often sounds like a bloodless, mind-numbing discussion of currency zones, bank recapitalization and interest rates. But in countries with fragile economies like Spain and Italy, it takes on real-life urgency. Pain is everywhere. Unfinished construction sites litter classic landscapes, monuments to businesses that have failed and bank loans that didn't come through. In Italy, where I have spent the last three weeks, the unemployment rate has topped 10% and news broadcasts have given lavish coverage to a wave of suicides by small-business owners who couldn't meet payrolls or tax bills.
WORLD
November 17, 2011 | By Henry Chu and Anthee Carassava, Los Angeles Times
Italy swore in a new Cabinet and Greece's recently anointed prime minister won an important vote of confidence as both countries scrambled Wednesday to avoid an economic disaster that could torpedo the Eurozone. The two nations are pinning their hopes on unelected, technocratic leaders tasked with bringing down staggering levels of government debt and restoring investor confidence in their badly battered economies. Failure by either country could spell doom for the euro, the currency they share with 15 other European nations.
WORLD
November 14, 2011 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
Eager to win back the confidence of financial markets, Italy's president on Sunday appointed economist Mario Monti to lead the country's new government. The move came almost 24 hours after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi submitted his resignation amid widespread celebration on the streets of Rome. President Giorgio Napolitano's announcement sets the stage for Monti, a former European Union commissioner, to form a new technocratic government that will try to navigate Italy out of the debt crisis with austerity measures sought by the European Union.
WORLD
November 11, 2011 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
Italy's Parliament is pressing hard to ratify reforms clearing the way for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign, but it will be left to his successor to solve structural problems decades in the making that are central to the debt crisis now dragging down the European — and the global — economies. The nation's $2.6-trillion public debt is the result of low productivity, corruption, suffocating bureaucracy and poor tax policies. Its economic performance between 2000 and 2010 was so bad, according to some estimates, that only Haiti and Zimbabwe fared worse in average annual growth.
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