December 21, 2012 |
LONDON - Prime Minister Mario Monti, the technocrat who guided Italy through economic turbulence for 13 months after scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi left office, resigned Friday to make way for new elections. Monti, a former economics professor and European Union commissioner, was appointed to the office, with a Cabinet of academics and economists and broad support to bring the country back from the brink of financial disaster. "A year ago this government was launched, and today - not because of a Maya prophecy - we must bring it to an end," Monti quipped as he spoke to colleagues at an annual reception.
December 10, 2012 |
LONDON - Turmoil engulfed Italy on Monday as the country braced for the imminent resignation of its prime minister, the intended comeback of his disgraced predecessor and the prospect of months of political and financial instability after a period of relative calm. Elections originally expected to be held around April are now likely to take place in February, cutting short the present government's time to enact measures aimed at reviving Italy's moribund economy and bringing down its enormous public debt.
April 5, 2012 |
As a studious girl in a small Italian town, Giulia Giupponi drew no inspiration from the women on the glowing box in her living room. The ones who giggled and jiggled while wearing next to nothing. Who simpered and cooed over male TV hosts more than twice their age. Who strutted, bent over, kneeled, pouted, blew kisses. "If I think about women I could see when I was 15 or 16 on television, I can think only of showgirls," says Giupponi, who's 23 and about to earn a master's degree in economics.
November 11, 2011 |
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.
November 10, 2011 |
It was but a glance, a little smirk that the German and French leaders shared in public when asked about Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and his country's economic woes. But that moment at a recent crisis meeting made it very clear where Italy — and everyone else — stands in the Eurozone pecking order. Many Europeans realize that their futures are being increasingly dictated by Germany and France — in that order of importance — personified by a mashup of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy dubbed "Merkozy.
November 9, 2011 |
Even a politician with the survival skills of Silvio Berlusconi proved, in the end, to be no match for the power of global financial markets. The beleaguered Italian prime minister bowed to the reality of international pressure and withering domestic support Tuesday, promising to resign once Parliament passes a reform package of cuts aimed at reining in a runaway debt crisis. The question now is whether Berlusconi's departure would be enough to arrest the decline in Italy's perilous financial condition, which has moved the front line of Europe's debt crisis from peripheral countries such as Greece and Ireland to one of its central economies.
November 8, 2011 |
REPORTING FROM ROME -- After losing support among a majority of lawmakers on a crucial vote Tuesday, Silvio Berlusconi agreed to step down as Italy's prime minister when Parliament passes economic reforms demanded by European leaders who are trying to contain the region's debt crisis. The announcement came in a statement from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who met with Berlusconi following the budget vote in the Parliament's lower chamber earlier in the day. The measure passed the lower house with 308 votes, but 321 lawmakers abstained.
November 8, 2011 |
Italy's beleaguered prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has survived more than 50 no-confidence votes and multiple accusations of criminal and sexual impropriety, including charges he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl. But the 75-year-old billionaire may have finally met his match in the bond market. With dwindling confidence in Berlusconi's ability to manage Italy's affairs — and the Eurozone's debt crisis hanging in the balance — investors Monday pushed up Italian bond yields to a euro-era high of 6.63%.
October 16, 2011 |
Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's impossible prime minister, has committed almost every sin that modern politics affords. He entertains barely-of-age girls as overnight guests and brags about it. He appoints business cronies and television starlets to government jobs. He's under perpetual investigation for corruption. But voters in Berlusconi's conservative base have always seemed willing to forgive him — until now. The prime minister survived a close vote in Parliament last week, but the talk in Italy is increasingly of how soon he will fall.
April 15, 2011 |
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told a group of foreign journalists this week that he does not plan to seek reelection after his term ends in 2013, Italian and foreign news reports said Thursday. The 74-year-old Italian leader's comments during an off-the-record gathering Tuesday night were leaked to the ANSA news agency. Subsequent television and print reports quoted Berlusconi as saying he planned to continue serving as a member of his People of Freedom party. "If I will still be needed as a father figure, I am available … but I don't want an operational role," he said.