Tag Archives: matteo renzi

Italian PM unveils new government, but centre-right ally threatens to quit

ROME (Reuters) – Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni unveiled his government on Monday, keeping almost all the outgoing ministers in place in a sign of continuity aimed at reassuring financial markets.

However, a small centre-right party that had supported the previous premier Matteo Renzi, said it might not back the new government, raising doubts over whether Gentiloni will have the numbers in parliament to form a majority.

In a rapid transfer of power from Renzi, who quit last week after losing a Dec. 4 referendum on constitutional reform, Gentiloni took just a day to put together his team of ministers.

Among those reconfirmed in their post was Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who is overseeing Treasury efforts to prevent Italy’s third largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, from collapsing under the weight of bad loans.

Many other key ministers, including those overseeing the defence, industry, health and justice portfolios, remained unchanged, with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) maintaining the lions’ share of positions.

Gentiloni was foreign minister in the last administration and he passed the job over to Angelino Alfano, previously interior minister.

The new cabinet is due to be sworn in later in the day, opening the way for confidence votes in both houses of parliament this week, formally allowing Gentiloni to take office at the head of Italy’s 64th government in just 70 years.

However, the vote in the highly fragmented upper house Senate was thrown into doubt when Denis Verdini, head of the small Liberal-Popular Alliance for Autonomies party (ALA), said his group would not back Gentiloni in parliament if his group was not sufficiently represented in the new cabinet.

Renzi relied upon the support of Verdini, who used to be one of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s closest advisers.

ALA and its sister party Civic Choice, have 18 senators. They might deprive Gentiloni of a majority if they all vote against him. If, however they abstain, the new government should be able to take office.

Assuming he passes this hurdle, one of Gentiloni’s main tasks will be to draw up a new electoral law. If this reform is completed quickly it could open the way to an election in the first half of 2017, a year ahead of schedule.

Italy has different electoral laws for its two chambers and the president has said they need to be harmonised to try to make sure a solid government can emerge from the next ballot.

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement is pushing for a rapid reform and a vote as soon as possible. Renzi also wants an early election, hoping to steam-roller critics within his PD and present himself as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.

“The next election, presumably in June, will be held with a proportional voting system,” Renzi said in an interview with Quotidiano.net.

By Crispian Balmer and Antonella Cinell
(Additional reporting by Isla Binnie and Steve Scherer; Editing by Gavin Jones)

Italy PM Renzi to hand in resignation on Friday – parliamentary source

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is due to hand in his resignation on Friday, a parliamentary source said on Wednesday, after a pummelling loss in a national referendum on his flagship reform at the weekend.

The 41-year-old premier announced his resignation in the early hours of Monday after the referendum results became clear, but President Sergio Mattarella asked him to stay on until the 2017 budget passed in a vote scheduled for later on Wednesday.

The source said he did not know whether the premier was delaying his resignation to Friday to authorise measures to rescue troubled Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy’s third-biggest lender.

“Renzi’s resignation is expected to be on Friday,” the parliamentary source said.

(Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri, writing by Steve Scherer, editing by Isla Binnie)

Matteo Renzi quits after losing reform referendum

Renzi, the Italian prime minister, quits after losing the constitutional referendum.

“No” vote won. Renzi: “I lost”. “No” is clearly ahead in exit polls of constitutional referendum. According to the fourth exit poll, the Yes is at 40-42% and No at 58-60%.

Immediate reactions: Matteo Salvini, leader of the populistic party Northern League exults “Great victory, Renzi should resign,” he said. Renato Brunetta is of the same opinion: “If the data of exit polls are confirmed, this is a great victory of the No and Renzi should resign,” tweeted the leader of Forza Italia.

 

Italy’s Renzi launches last day of frantic referendum campaign

ROME (Reuters) – With his political career on the line, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi launched a final day of campaigning on Friday ahead of a Dec. 4 referendum, saying Italy would be the strongest nation in Europe if he wins.

Financial markets and Europe’s politicians fear victory for the opposition ‘No’ camp could trigger political instability and renewed turmoil for Italy’s battered banks, pushing the euro zone towards a fresh crisis.

“Think of your future and the future of your children,” Renzi said in a radio interview on Friday, the first of numerous media events and public rallies planned for the day.

Renzi has promised to resign if Italians reject his plan to drastically reduce the role of the upper house Senate and claw back powers from regional authorities. The opposition says the reform will reduce vital democratic checks and balances.

The 41-year old premier has dominated the airwaves in recent weeks, often appearing several times a day in talk shows and in  online forums to try to turn around a plethora of opinion polls showing a growing lead for ‘No’.

A blackout on the publication of surveys was imposed on Nov. 18, but private polls are still being carried out and bookmakers say the ‘No’ camp remains the clear favourite to win.

“If ‘Yes’ wins Italy will be the strongest country in Europe,” Renzi said, pledging to veto immediately the European Union’s budget to force Italy’s partners to give it more help in handling an influx of migrants arriving on its shores.

Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan sought to calm nervous markets on Friday, saying in a newspaper interview that there was “no risk of a financial earthquake” if ‘No’ wins, though there may be “48 hours of turbulence”.

European shares fell to a three-week low on Friday as investors stayed cautious ahead of Italy’s vote, with Milan’s bluechip index off 0.75 percent.

The bond market was more sanguine, with the gap between Italian and German 10-year bond yields, a key bellwether of  investor sentiment, dipping to 165 basis points on Friday against a 2-1/2 year high of 190 points registered last week.

BANK WOES

Market jitters have concentrated on Italy’s banks, saddled with 360 billion euros ($380 billion) of bad loans, and most specifically on Monte Dei Paschi di Siena , its oldest and third largest lender.

The bank needs to raise 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) by the end of the year to plug a capital shortfall or risk being wound down. Government officials say potential investors may be deterred by political instability if ‘No’ wins on Sunday.

With bookmakers odds suggesting a roughly 75 percent chance of a win for ‘No’, speculation is rife on what Renzi will do in the event of defeat.

He is widely expected to resign and has said he will play no role in any unelected, so-called “technical” government, which President Sergio Mattarella may try to put in place. Some of his allies have urged him to stay in power regardless of the result.

On Friday he declined discuss post-referendum scenarios, saying talk of a snap election, a year ahead of schedule, was “fantasy”.

Luigi Di Maio, one of the most prominent figures in the largest opposition party, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, said on Friday the country should hold fresh elections “as quickly as possible,” in the early months of next year.

(1 = 0.9396 euros)

By Gavin Jones

(Editing by Crispian Balmer)

Cracks emerge in the European consensus on Russia

BERLIN (Reuters) – As the European Union squabbled over refugees, Greek bailouts and austerity in past years, it showed striking unity in another area: its resolve to punish Russia for the annexation of Crimea and support of separatists in eastern Ukraine. Continue reading Cracks emerge in the European consensus on Russia

Italy’s cities go to polls in test for Renzi, eyes on possible first female mayor of Rome

ROME (Reuters) – Italians voted on Sunday for mayors of their largest cities in  ballots which were testing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s popularity and could hand control of Rome to the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) whose candidate would become the city’s first woman mayor.  Continue reading Italy’s cities go to polls in test for Renzi, eyes on possible first female mayor of Rome