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Serbia's Progressives win nearly half March 16 votes: official result

BELGRADE (Reuters) - The Serbian Progressive Party has won 48.4 percent of the votes in the March 16 snap election and will be able to form the next government alone, final official results showed. Confirming a landslide victory unprecedented since the Balkan country came out of international isolation in 2000, the state election commission said late on Monday that the Progressives would have 158 seats in the 250-seat parliament.

Renzi revolution gets under way in Italy

Matteo Renzi's ambitious bid to transform Italy got under way Wednesday with the adoption of a new electoral law bill designed to put an end to the country's chronic political instability. The youthful new prime minister hailed the bill's comfortable passage through the lower house Chamber of Deputies as a major boost ahead of a package of tax cuts and reforms aimed at reviving an economy mired in a slump that has led to record unemployment. Renzi, at 39 the youngest premier in Europe, tweeted his thanks to lawmakers in his trademark punchy style.

Britain's Labour party votes to reform union ties

Britain's opposition Labour party voted Saturday for major reforms that will dilute its historical links with the trade unions -- at the risk of losing millions of pounds in political donations. Leader Ed Miliband hailed delegates at a special conference in London for having the "courage to change" with their vote, by 86 to 14 percent, to support his proposed reforms to leadership elections and union funding.

New Italy PM calls for 'radical change'

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for a "radical and immediate change" in recession-hit Italy as he outlined his new government's programme before winning a vote of confidence in the Senate early Tuesday. In an energetic and impassioned speech to parliament that was light on detail, the new premier said there were no excuses for failing to tackle the country's ills. He told senators Italy would become a "country of opportunity" and later won the vote of confidence, with 169 votes in favour and 139 against, according to Senate speaker Pietro Grasso.

Italy's Renzi wants radical change, 'no more alibis'

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for a "radical and immediate change" in Italy in an energetic and impassioned speech to parliament Monday which outlined his government programme but was light on detail. The new premier said there were no excuses for failing to tackle the recession-hit country's ills and told senators Italy would become a "country of opportunity" in a largely ad-lib speech ahead of a confidence vote in the upper house of parliament.

Italy's youngest-ever PM Renzi sworn in

Italy's youngest-ever prime minister Matteo Renzi and his fresh-faced cabinet were sworn in Saturday, amid widespread scepticism that the new government has the political maturity to tackle the country's formidable challenges. The 39-year-old former mayor of Florence was accompanied by his wife and three children -- dressed in the colours of the Italian flag -- to the formal ceremony at the presidential palace, and smiled widely as he watched his new team sworn in by President Giorgio Napolitano.

Italy's Renzi expects government in place by Monday

By Roberto Landucci ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister-designate Matteo Renzi said he expected his new government to be in place in time for a formal vote of confidence in parliament on Monday, after he wrapped up consultations with the main political parties. "I'm convinced that the conditions are in place to do good work," Renzi told reporters on Wednesday after completing talks with parliamentary groups.

Italy PM-designate battered in poll as he meets leaders

He hasn't even accepted the job of prime minister yet, but Matteo Renzi is already taking a battering in opinion polls, with Italian voters saying they are unhappy with his grab for power. The 39-year-old said Wednesday that he expects to officially accept the leadership on Saturday, after a round of intense talks with political leaders including former premier Silvio Berlusconi, whose party will be in opposition. He will then present himself before parliament at the start of next week for a vote of confidence.

Italy's Renzi expects government in place by Monday

By Roberto Landucci ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister-designate Matteo Renzi said he expected his new government to be in place in time for a formal vote of confidence in parliament on Monday, after he wrapped up consultations with the main political parties. "I'm convinced that the conditions are in place to do good work," Renzi told reporters on Wednesday after completing talks with parliamentary groups.

Italy awaits new prime minister after Letta quits

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano is due to hold talks with political parties Saturday before choosing a new prime minister, with the nomination seen as a cinch for leftist leader Matteo Renzi. Prime Minister Enrico Letta was forced to quit his post after his own Democratic Party backed leader Renzi in pushing for a new government to help lift Italy out of its economic quagmire.
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