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Bank stocks, Italy bonds rally as ECB’s Coeure paves way for new cash boost for banks

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the European Central Bank (ECB) is pictured outside its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

Euro zone banking shares jumped over three percent, the euro fell and Italy’s bond yields tumbled on Friday after the European Central Bank’s Benoit Coeure said a new round of cheap multi-year loans to banks was possible. Weak economic data, combined with uncertainty over Brexit and global trade tensions, have raised expectations that fresh stimulus measures from the ECB are ... Read More »

Italy minister never heard talk about using Bank of Italy gold


ROME: Italian Agriculture Minister Gian Marco Centinaio, responding to a newspaper report, said on Monday he had never heard anyone in the government speak about using gold reserves held by the Bank of Italy to plug budget shortfalls. La Stampa newspaper reported the government was considering using part of the country’s gold reserves to avoid a budget correction for this ... Read More »

Italian economy slips back into recession

A man looks for job opportunities on newspapers in a downtown Naples shop on May 3, 2012. Italy's unemployment rate hit a record of 9.8 percent in March from 9.6 percent in February, official data showed on May 2, as a recession in the eurozone's third-biggest economy deepens. The level, which has been rising from the start of recession last summer, was the highest since Italy began recording monthly figures in January 2004.AFP PHOTO / CONTROLUCE (Photo by CONTROLUCE / AFP)

Italy’s economy fell into recession at the end of 2018, capping a year of political turmoil and budget battles with Brussels. The Italian economy contracted in the fourth quarter of last year, official data showed today, plunging it into a technical recession. The 0.2 percent contraction – following a 0.1 percent fall in the third quarter – will put pressure ... Read More »

Italy Sends Gucci Owner a Nearly $1.6 Billion Tax Bill


PARIS: Italian authorities sent Gucci parent Kering SA a €1.4 billion ($1.58 billion) tax bill, saying the company was paying taxes in Switzerland on profits that were generated in Italy. According to Italian tax authorities, Kering’s Swiss subsidiary, Luxury Goods International, was conducting business in Italy and should have paid taxes based on that activity, Kering said. Switzerland’s corporate tax ... Read More »

Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio down to 133%

Alcune banconote e monete, Roma, 5 gennaio 2017. ANSA/GIORGIO ONORATI

ANSA: Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio dropped to 133% in the third quarter of 2018, down from 133.1% in the previous three months and from 133.6% in the equivalent period in 2017, Eurostat said on Monday. Nevertheless, Italy’s public debt ratio remains the second-highest in the EU, the European statistics office said. “The highest ratios of government debt to GDP at the ... Read More »

Italy busts 14-member migrant and tobacco smuggling ring


ROME: Italian law enforcement has busted a 14-member people and tobacco smuggling ring that ran high-speed vessels carrying migrants and cigarettes from Tunisia to Sicily, Finance Police announced. “Criminal association dedicated to the exploitation of illegal immigration (and) tobacco smuggling dismantled,” the Finance Police tweeted. “14 arrests made, assets worth over 3 million euros (3.4 million U.S. dollars) seized.” The ... Read More »

Italy coalition parties resolve migrant spat in late-night talks

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ROME: Italy’s coalition parties patched up a row over the planned arrival of boat migrants on Thursday, with hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini agreeing to let in a small group following late-night government talks. Salvini, leader of the far-right, anti-migrant League, had threatened on Wednesday to block the transfer of would-be refugees who were part of a group of 49 ... Read More »

Italy’s Populists Pass Budget After Weeks of Market Turmoil


Italy’s populist government won final parliamentary approval for its 2019 budget, barely meeting a year-end deadline after limiting discussion of the spending plans in the wake of a weeks-long clash with the European Union. Lawmakers in the lower house voted 313 in favor and 70 against the budget, which had already been approved by the Senate. The approval came on ... Read More »

Italy coalition in agreement on budget figures

FILE PHOTO: Italian Deputy Prime Minister and right-wing League party leader Matteo Salvini attends a news conference at the Foreign Press Club in Rome, Italy December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

ROME: Italy’s coalition government has agreed on the “numbers and contents” of the budget it will propose to Brussels in a bid to avoid disciplinary action over its plans to hike deficit spending next year, a League party spokeswoman said on Monday. The European Commission rejected the Italian budget in October, estimating it would not lower the country’s huge debt ... Read More »

Italy cuts deficit target for 2019 to 2.04% to avoid EU sanctions


The Italian government will be forced to cut “a few billion” across two of its flagship policies to meet the lower deficit target it has proposed to the European commission. Italian bonds rallied after the government bowed to pressure to reduce its deficit target for 2019 to stave off EU sanctions. The country’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, proposed cutting the ... Read More »

Scores arrested in crackdown on Italian cocaine trafficking gang


ROME: Scores of people were arrested in Italy and other European countries on Wednesday in a raid on the ‘Ndrangheta cocaine-trafficking group that officials said is the largest sweep of its kind. Those arrested are suspected of drug trafficking, money laundering, bribery and violence, said Italian police and Eurojust, the European agency that oversees judicial cooperation in crime investigations. The ... Read More »

Fiat Chrysler to spend 5 billion euros in Italy to fill plants, keep jobs


TURIN: Fiat Chrysler plans to spend more than 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion) on new models and engines in Italy over the next three years to try to make better use of factories and boost jobs and margins. The plans are intended to deliver on a strategy outlined by FCA’s late boss Sergio Marchionne in June, in which he made ... Read More »

Italy Looking at Changes to 2019 Deficit Target


Italian Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini signaled a new openness to change the nation’s budget deficit target for next year, the focus of a standoff with Brussels over the populist government’s spending push to fund election promises. Asked whether a 2.4 percent target is set in stone, Salvini told newswire AdnKronos: “I think nobody is fixated on this, if there is ... Read More »

Italy central bank chief warns on rising borrowing costs


Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said on Wednesday that families and firms would suffer if borrowing costs stayed high, and called on the government to ensure fiscal stability. In a keynote speech in Rome, Visco said rising government bonds yields in recent months would cost the state some 5 billion euros next year if they did not retrace, with ... Read More »

What’s at stake as Italy plays chicken with markets, EU


MILAN: Italy’s government is playing a game of chicken with European authorities and financial markets over plans to spend big — and it’s unclear whether the country can avoid a collision that would spread wreckage throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Financial markets have been falling in Italy and the risk is the dispute could revive investors’ dormant ... Read More »

Italian police bust gang smuggling fuel from Libya to Europe


Italian police said that they had broken up a network selling low-quality Libyan diesel fuel worth €30 million euros at service stations in Sicily and as far away as France and Spain. In a year-long investigation, the Guardia di Finanza financial police found that the smugglers were obtaining fuel destined for ships from a refinery operated by Libya’s National Oil ... Read More »

‘No chance of Italexit’: Italy is not leaving the EU or the euro, PM insists

(From L) Italy's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development, Labour and Social Policies, Luigi Di Maio, Italy's Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte and Italy's Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini attend a press conference following a Cabinet meeting on the country's draft budget, prior to its submission deadline to the European Commission on October 15, 2018 at Palazzo Chigi in Rome. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)

Italy will not leave the European Union or abandon the euro, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Monday amid a standoff with Brussels over the populist government’s big-spending budget. “Read my lips: for Italy there is no chance of Italexit, to get out of Europe or the eurozone,” Conte told journalists in Rome after the European Commission voiced serious concern ... Read More »

Italy defends budget as EU warns of ‘unprecedented’ rules breach

Italy's Economy Minister Giovanni Tria holds a joint news conference with European Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici at the Treasury ministry in Rome, Italy October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

BRUSSELS: Italy’s Prime Minister defended its free-spending budget on Thursday, brushing off criticism from Brussels as the European Commission stepped up pressure over a draft it labeled an unprecedented breach of EU fiscal rules. Giuseppe Conte also faced discontent over the 2019 fiscal plan at home, calling a meeting of the government for Saturday to stave off an emerging internal ... Read More »

Italy releases Tunisian fishermen held on suspicion of smuggling migrants


Judges in Palermo have ordered the immediate release of six Tunisian fishermen who were arrested by the Italian police on suspicion of enabling the smuggling of migrants. The men were captured at sea early in September after their trawler released a small vessel it had been towing with 14 migrants onboard, 24 miles (37km) from the coast of the Italian ... Read More »

IMF warns Italy not to breach EU spending rules in next budget


The International Monetary Fund has thrown its weight behind Brussels in its battle with Italy’s coalition government over plans to increase the indebted country’s borrowing in its next budget. The Washington-based lender of last resort, which is holding its annual conference in Bali this week, warned Rome to abide by the EU’s financial rulebook or risk a rebellion by investors ... Read More »