Italy has been struggling to contain the outbreak of Coronavius. The virus was first detected in the country in the north. It is now spreading south.
There are now 322 confirmed cases, with 10 deaths. The number of case rose by 100 within a day.
Read More: France 24
Italy’s second largest Bank, Mediobanca, has warned the nation could need a rescue deal in the next six months. The economic crisis within Italy is deepening, and even large companies are feeling the effects of the credit crunch in the country.
Italy’s €2.1 trillion debt is the third largest sovereign debt in the world after the US and Japan.
Any stress in the markets could threaten to reignite the eurozone crisis once more.
Read More: The Telegraph
The former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to seven years, and barred from holding public office for life after being found guilty of having sex with an underage prostitute.
The trial which has lasted two years, explored the world of the then Prime Minister’s infamous bunga bunga parties. The 76 year old former Prime Minister was accused of paying for sex with Moroccan-born erotic dancer, Karima El Mahroug, who called herself “Ruby the Heart Stealer”, who was 17 at the time. Although prostitution is not illegal in Italy, prostitutes have to be over the age of 18, Berlusconi argued she had told him she was 24.
Supporters of the conservative Berlusconi have accused the verdict “absurd” and “a coup d’etat”, saying the three female judges presiding over the case were all left-wing. Berlusconi’s political allies believe the case has been used as a way of removing Berlusconi from the political landscape of Italy.
Berlusconi had been convinced he would win the case against him, and is set to appeal the judges decision.
Read More: The Telegraph
Former Italian President has been sentenced to one year in prison for leaking transcripts of police wiretap conversations, which later appeared in a newspaper he owns. The conversations involved a senior member of the centre-left Democratic Party, and were leaked before the 2006 elections. The publication of the documents in the “Il Giornale”, has been regarded as an attempt to discredit the rival politician.
Mr Berlusconi is set to return to Italian politics after the recent elections. His centre-right group is the second strongest in the Italian parliament.
The sentence will not see Mr Berlusconi behind bars, as under Italian law anyone over the age of 75 who is given a sentence of less than one year does not go to jail, Mr Berlusconi is 76. Mr Berlusconi is also set to appeal the conviction. He is also facing two more charges this month: one for tax fraud, and the other for sex with an under age prostitute.
Italian PM Mario Monti has said he intends to step down as Prime Minister, after he lost the support of the parliament, earlier this week.
Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right party People of Freedom withdrew their support for the Prime Minister, making him feel as though he no longer has the support of the Parliament.
Monti has said he will resign immediately if he can quickly pass next year’s budget through parliament. Some believe the withdrawal of support by the People of Freedom Party was an attempt to undermine Monti’s ambitious debt reducing budget.
Disgraced former PM Silvio Berlusconi has said he will run in elections early next year. The media tycoon is still facing charges of underage sex, and was convicted for tax fraud earlier this year. He is currently appealing his conviction.
There were strikes and anti-austerity rallies across Europe on Wednesday. General Strikes were called in Spain and Italy. Rallies were also held in France and Greece. The protests in Spain ended as police fired rubber bullets, in violent clashes between protesters and police. In Italy at least 17 police officers were injured as protests in Rome, Milan and Turin turned violent.
In 2009 a deadly earthquake hit the Italian town of L’Aquila, leaving 300 dead. Now an Italian judge has sentenced seven of Italy’s top seismologists to six years each in jail for for manslaughter, because they failed to provide adequate warning of the quake.
The trial has sent shockwaves through the scientific community around the globe. Seismology is far from an exact science, and Italy is located on a geologically active area. It is feared the conviction will discourage scientists involved in the prediction of natural disasters to give their opinions in the future.
The Euro, sitting at $1.2936 against the US dollar, is the highest it has been in four months. This follows a German Constitutional Court approval of German rescue and maintenance of the Euro.
The conditional approval has lowered fears for the region’s debt problem.
This new perspective has lifted global stock values and has also reduced Italy and Spain’s costs to borrow.
As the debt crisis continues in Europe, many of the same arguments are being made within the eurozone countries as to the best way forward. Italy and Spain are both edging closer to needing a bailout; and it will not be long before Greece will be requiring another bailout package.
However, the arguments between growth and austerity continue. Germany are reluctant to continue to pay the bills, without the proper checks in place. But will Spain and Italy be prepared to sign away political autonomy?
Now George Soros has said “Germany must back growth or leave the euro”. To back growth means Germany continues to bailout and lend more money – increasing indebtedness. Germany has made it clear it desires growth, but not by creating more debt.
However, if Germany were to leave the euro it would enable the Euro to devalue and ease the economic pain in the struggling nations.
The President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, had promised that the ECB would do “whatever it takes” to save the Euro.
However, after the latest round of talks his promises sound rather shallow.
Instead of a firm plan of action, yet again difficult decisions have been postponed. Draghi has hinted that the ECB will buy up Spanish and Italian bonds on a scale not yet seen, though no concrete plans have been announced. Draghi’s “whatever possible” at present is three teams of ECB experts looking at what can be done.
In the meantime: Spain, Greece and Italy are quickly running out of time.
There are ten Italian cities facing a high risk of bankruptcy. Most of them are in the south of the country, and have long histories of financial mismanagement, corruption and mafia infiltration. However, there are some from the more prosperous north.
The warning comes after Mario Monti, the Italian Prime Minister, warned that the Italian island of Sicily is at risk of default. Sicily has a high degree of financial autonomy, but the Italian government are poised to take over the financial affairs of the island.
Default for these cities could mean trash is uncollected and schools fail to reopen after the summer vacation.
At the G20 summit in Mexico European leaders have agreed on a deal which will see Spain and Italy being bailed out using a €750 billion bail out fund. In the deal European governments will buy up Italian and Spanish debt, in effect transferring the debt to other countries within the eurozone; instead of bailing out the individual governments.
This is a step towards the issuing of eurobonds, which would in effect be under written by Germany
For further information: The Telegraph
The mafia are believed to be behind a bomb blast outside a school in southern Italy.
One girl was killed in the attack, and many more suffered terrible injuries.
Police say the attack was planned to kill.
The school was named after the wife of a famous Italian judge who worked against the mafia
The judge and his wife were both killed 20 years ago in Sicily.
The attack is thought to be revenge for a number of mafia arrests in the region and to mark the anniversary of the judge’s death.
We reported earlier this year that in terms of liquidity the mafia can be thought of as the biggest bank in Italy,
And remains a powerful force in the county.