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Renzi pressures Italian government to declare its lifespan

By Naomi O'Leary ROME (Reuters) - Italian center-left leader Matteo Renzi on Sunday pressured the prime minister to decide whether his government should continue or not, ahead of what could be a decisive week for the administration of Enrico Letta. The election of Florence Mayor Renzi, 39, as the head of the Democratic Party (PD) that Letta belongs to has complicated the position of the premier of Europe's third biggest economy.

Italian business lobby attacks Letta's inaction on economy

By Valentina Consiglio ROME (Reuters) - The head of Italy's main business lobby on Thursday accused Enrico Letta's government of failing to help the economy and threatened to appeal directly to the head of state unless Letta sets out specific reforms this month. The economy, the euro zone's third largest, is struggling to emerge from its longest post-war recession. Confindustria has called, largely in vain, for Letta's fragile left-right coalition to cut public spending and ease taxation and labor rules.

Indian government given week to decide on prosecuting Italian marines

By Shyamantha Asokan NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's top court has given the government a week to decide if it will invoke a maritime security law that carries the death sentence against two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen. If India's government decides to use the legislation, it would go against its earlier assurances that the men would not face the gallows, seriously testing New Delhi's ties with both Rome and the European Union.

Italy's Letta says EU able to deal with Argentina crisis

ROME (Reuters) - The European Union and the common euro currency are stronger than they were a year ago and much better positioned to resist any shocks stemming from a currency crisis in Argentina, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Monday. "The troubles in Argentina today find a European Union that is much more solid, and a euro that is much more solid, and a better ability to deal with this kind of concern," Letta told a press conference in Rome.

Italy minister resigns, adding to headaches for government

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Agriculture Minister Nunzia De Girolamo resigned on Sunday, complicating the situation for Prime Minister Enrico Letta's fragile coalition, following heavy criticism after she was caught on tape discussing public contracts. De Girolamo, a member of the small New Centre Right (NCD) party which supports Letta's left-right coalition, denied any wrongdoing in the affair and said in a statement that she had quit the government to defend her dignity.

Italian P.M. to press for updated EU-Mexico accord

Mexico City, Jan 13 (EFE).- Visiting Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta made a commitment here Monday to work with Mexico this year to update the 1997 Cooperation Accord between the Aztec nation and the European Union. "We have to update the trade agreement between Europe and Mexico, we have to strengthen it," Letta told a press conference shared with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Italy 'stability dividend' lowers borrowing costs

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta admitted Monday his country was suffering from "social fatigue" but said his government had brought "a stability dividend" worth billions of euros due to lower borrowing costs. "We have to respond to social fatigue," he said at an end-of-year press conference, as the country tries to recover from its longest recession since World War II. "The shock of these years has been very tough. It is hard to recover even after figures improve," he said.

News Analysis: Italy sees fragile economic recovery in 3rd quarter

by Eric J. Lyman ROME, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- The struggling Italian economy witnessed flat growth in the third quarter, as National Statistics Institute, or ISTAT, on Thursday revised up an earlier estimate of a 0.1 percent contraction from the prior quarter. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta hailed the news from ISTAT as "encouraging" and Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said, "This shows we're at a turning point in the business cycle."

Italian PM Letta wins confidence votes, vows reforms

By James Mackenzie ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote in the Senate on Wednesday, confirming his government's majority after promising sweeping reforms and urging lawmakers to back him or risk chaos. Letta told parliament Italy had avoided reforms for 20 years and could no longer afford to delay, with protests across the country this week underlining the bitter public mood after years of painful attempts to squeeze costs and boost revenues.

Italy's Letta vows to fight populism before vote test

Prime Minister Enrico Letta on Wednesday vowed to rescue Italy from populism amid simmering social tensions, ahead of a confidence vote triggered by the fall of disgraced billionaire tycoon Silvio Berlusconi. Letta promised a pro-European agenda and reforms to increase political stability in the recession-hit country, condemning forces of "chaos" after sometimes violent anti-austerity protests this week across Italy.
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