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  • No TAP Commitee
    The clash between Italy's Minister for the economy and finance Giovanni Tria and the top political players overshadows all other arguments within the government. On the agenda are in-house quarrels over dropping the euro and the amount of monthly pensions, and going forward with the gas pipeline from Azerbaijan.
  • Following an intensive candidacy period in 2014, Matera, Basilicata has been chosen as the 2019 European Cultural Capital. In order to prepare the city for the events of 2019, the Italian government has destined 400 million for the development and improvement of all aspects of the city.
  • An avalanche of 7,830 amendments is hindering the much promised final vote on reform of the 315-member Italian Senate, due this week but now postponed until August or even later. The aim of the reform is to reduce in size and function what is called here the “paritary” Senate, or evil twin to the Chamber of Deputies, whose effect is to bounce legislation back and forth, yoyo fashion, blocking governance. Beyond the reform itself is the desire to show Italy and its European partners that under the leadership of Premier Matteo Renzi serious reforms are not only possible, but forthcoming.
  • Eppur si muove – But even so, it moves, said Galileo Galilei after his trial. If the U.S. economy is hustling, and Europe’s is recovering after more than five years of the doldrums, Italy’s finally is showing signs of moving forward. Combined with a drop of almost 10% in purchases of imported items, sales of domestic products have risen by 7.3%. The government’s battle against tax evaders has made progress, and so far this year over last tax revenues are up by 9.1%, according to the financial daily Il Sole/24 Ore.
  • Op-Eds
    Judith Harris(November 05, 2013)
    Wherever one goes these days, the talk is money. But even in the midst of recession there are encouraging signs of financial life. Although the GNP is expected to hit a minus 1.8% by year end, the statistics-gathering agency Istat has just predicted a 0.7% rise for 2014. Elsewhere too there are positive notes. Says Economics Minister Fabrizio Saccomani, "We won't be growing like China, but we will have a sustainable growth level of around 2% a year." This is the background for the forthcoming debate in Parliament of the Letta cabinet's proposed budget, the so-called "Stability Law."
  • On Thursday the Italian Senate passed the hastily redrafted emergency austerity budget. The situation, in a nutshell, is dire. Although Italy has the third largest economy in the Euro zone, its national debt has soared to $2.6 trillion, or 120% of its GDP. But pessimism is in the air, and the latest International Monetary Fund projection is that by the end of this year public debt will shoot up even further.