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Italy: the tax man cometh

Raid on luxury ski resort Cortina d'Ampezzo leads to astonishing haul
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The moon shines on the Italian Dolomites above Cortina d'Ampezzo, ski resort of the Italian rich and scene of an astonishing raid by tax authorities (Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/AFP/Getty Images)

Tax evasion has long been a national sport in Italy but with the country facing major debt problems - 1.9 trillion euros ($2.4 trillion) and counting - the government of recently appointed prime minister, Mario Monti, is letting Italians know everyone has to pay their taxes. He is doing it in dramatic style.

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New year, same euro doubts

British economic think tank predicts 2012 will see the beginning of the break-up of the euro
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Homeless men in Athens greet the new year by opening food parcels donated by the city government (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Whatever New Year's glow the markets were experiencing on 2012's first day of trading yesterday, London think tank the Centre for Economics and Business Research, poured cold water on it.

In a report published yesterday, the CEBR, projected that Greece will leave the euro this year.

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Mixed messages from today's European bond auctions

Italian 10 year bond rates are finally back under 7 percent ... but only just. Meanwhile Hungary looks like the next target of bond markets.
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Mario Monti today at a press conference following an auction of 10-year Italian bonds that saw yield prices come down below the danger level of 7 percent (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Italian 10 year bond rates are finally back under 7 percent ... but only just. Meanwhile Hungary looks like the next target of bond markets.
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Europe's bond markets, explained

LONDON — "The bond markets don't like this, the bond markets don't like that." As the euro's debt crisis races out of control, the "bond markets'" likes and dislikes have become a journalistic cliche. What does it all mean?

Spain: sombre times ahead

New Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tells Spanish Parliament the truth: things are bad and be prepared for them to get worse before they get better
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Mariano Rajoy, Spain's new Prime Minister, just before he addresses Parliament yesterday, looks like he's wondering what mess have I got myself into? (DANI POZO/AFP/Getty Images)
New Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says times are tough and they will get tougher
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Euro and "morbid speculation"

Christmas spirit distinctly absent as first step in euro zone rescue fails to unite EU members
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ECB president Mario Draghi doesn't seem overly worried about "morbid" speculators outside the euro zone (code for anti-euro folks in London and New York) at a meeting yesterday in Brussels. (JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Christmas spirit distinctly absent as first step in euro zone rescue fails to unite EU members
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IMF chief warns of return to depression

Christine Lagarde says euro zone crisis can no longer be solved simply by the European nations themselves.
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IMF chief Christine Lagarde addressing the Women In Public Service event at the Department of State December 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Lagarde said another depression was not out of the question. (Chip Somodevilla/AFP/Getty Images)
IMF chief Christine Lagarde says euro zone crisis can no longer be solved simply by the European nations themselves.
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