Wednesday , December 19 2018
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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 »

Italian banks face twin challenges of capital and funding


MILAN: A spike in Italy’s bond yields has put the country’s banks under renewed pressure, raising the specter of capital shortfalls just as challenging refinancing deadlines near. Domestic government bonds account for 10 percent of Italian banks’ total assets, making them vulnerable to a rise in Rome’s debt costs under the anti-austerity government. Caught in the bank-sovereign “doom loop,” Italian ... 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 »

Italy’s budget could prove a boon for nationalists at next year’s European elections, analyst says


The Italian spending plan for 2019 could be a boost for nationalist parties in the upcoming European elections, an analyst told CNBC on Monday. The 2019 budget that the Italian government is due to present in the coming days has kept investors on their toes. There are wide concerns that the populist government will present a budget that will derail ... Read More »

Italy busts ‘jihadist’ smuggling ring bringing migrants from Tunisia in high-speed boats


Italian authorities have arrested 13 suspects in a high-speed migrant trafficking ring operating between Tunisia and Sicily whose members espoused radical jihadist views. Italian financial police in Sicily said Tuesday that a wiretapped conversation between two traffickers revealed one saying he intended to travel to France and carry out a suicide attack and asking for prayers. The trafficking group allegedly ... Read More »

Italian and British police bust racket that smuggled migrants to UK


Police in Italy and the UK have arrested a gang of people smugglers who modified documents acquired from Italian citizens to smuggle Albanian nationals into the UK. A 42-year-old Albanian man and his wife were arrested in Kent, south-east England, by the Metropolitan Police as part of an operation led by Italian police and codenamed ‘Tower Bridge.’ For a fee ... Read More »

Italy’s top ministers look to reassure markets over 2019 budget

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ROME: Italy’s top ministers issued a barrage of statements on Wednesday to reassure financial markets over the government’s forthcoming budget, promising to keep state accounts in check and maintain economic stability. The concerted charm campaign helped push Italian bond yields to their lowest in almost a month, as hopes grew that the coalition, comprising the rightist League and anti-establishment 5-Star ... Read More »

Italian couple arrested for sending weapons to Isis


Italian police arrested a married couple on suspicion of sending weapons to a faction of terrorist group Isis. Police believe the pair sent weapons including assault rifles, surface-to-air missiles and even helicopters to Iran and Libya between 2011 and 2015, despite an embargo. The couple in their 60’s have been named as Annamaria Fontana and Mario Di Leva – known ... Read More »

Italian police seize €50 million stash of ‘Isis drugs’

A view of the Italian port of Gioia Tauro, in the southern region of Calabria on February 4, 2014. Italy approved its southern port as the transfer site for 560 tons of Syrian chemical weapons material to a US ship and later destroyed at sea as part of the UN-backed plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.  AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

Police in Italy have seized a stash of drugs that they believe Isis planned to sell to finance terrorist attacks, authorities said. Customs officials discovered more than 24 million pills of a powerful opiate at Italy’s largest container port, south-western Gioia Tauro, according to prosecutors in the nearby city of Reggio Calabria. The drugs, prescription painkillers called Tramadol, had arrived ... Read More »