Italian economy

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To Protest Budget Cuts, Museum Torches Art

It calls burnings 'political, necessary, and compelling'

(Newser) - An Italian art museum is so mad about the budget cuts coming its way that it has begun burning art works in protest. The Casoria Contemporary Art Museum's eccentric director, Antonio Manfredi, set fire to a painting by French Artist Severine Bourguignon yesterday, the BBC reports, and let it... More »

Mafia Is Italy's 'No. 1 Bank'

New report says crime pays, and has cleaned up its act

(Newser) - How bad is Italy's debt crisis? So bad that the Mafia is now collectively "Italy's No. 1 bank," with roughly $83 billion in liquidity and about $127 billion in annual profits, according to a new report from a prominent Italian business group. Crime organizations such as... More »

Italy Passes Austerity Measures Amid Strikes

Furious unions protest with transport shutdown

(Newser) - The Italian government today easily won a confidence vote on its package of austerity measures in the lower chamber of Parliament as more protest strikes hit the country. Premier Mario Monti had called the vote in the Chamber of Deputies to speed passage of the $39 billion in extra taxes... More »

Italy's Monti Forms Politician-Free Government

He's sworn in as PM ... ciao, Berlusconi!

(Newser) - It's a big day for Italy: Economist Mario Monti has been officially sworn in as PM—formally ending Silvio Berlusconi's 17-year-long run of political dominance—and he formed a new Italian government that doesn't include a single politician. Instead, he drew from the ranks of bankers, diplomats,... More »

On Last Day, Berlusconi Packs a Few Precious Items

Decides to keep sword, vase ... and photo of himself with George W. Bush

(Newser) - Today is Silvio Berlusconi's last day as the prime minister of Italy, and he did what any of us would do in our final moments on the job: packed up his stuff. But Berlusconi isn't exactly walking out with a cardboard box filled with picture frames and a... More »

Berlusconi's Party Backs Economist as New PM

Mario Monti faces gargantuan task

(Newser) - Silvio Berlusconi's conservative party is backing economist Mario Monti to put together a new coalition, leaving the man they call "professor" some outlandish shoes to fill and Italy's towering financial crisis to dig out of. And there's a catch: Monti's got to do it all... More »

Berlusconi Wins Vote, Loses Majority

He wins just 308 of 630 votes

(Newser) - Silvio Berlusconi was holding on for dear life in advance of today's critical budget vote, and now it looks as if he's hanging by a quickly fraying thread. The Italian PM won the much-watched vote in Parliament, but lost his majority. He won just 308 of 630 possible... More »

Why the Euro Was a Horrible Mistake

And how Europe can rectify it

(Newser) - Europe is a little like a classic Greek tragic hero, brought low by a singular act of hubris: the creation of the euro. In a lengthy piece in the New York Times , Paul Krugman argues that the euro was always a dubious idea, but European leaders “engaged in magical... More »

Berlusconi: 'Italians Want to Be Like Me'

He 'can't remember' the night escort says they had sex

(Newser) - Stubbornly unrepentant Silvio Berlusconi is insisting Italians support his behavior and "would like to be" him, reports the Telegraph. "Italians aren't stupid, and they prefer my government," added the randy prime minister, 74, on Italian television. The man who last week called himself  "superman" insisted that... More »

Italy Bails Out Parmesan Makers

Government spending $64M to save storied cheese industry

(Newser) - While the US bails out the auto industry, Italy is spending $64 million to save the makers of other wheels: parmesan cheese. Producers of the popular pasta topping have struggled for years to turn a profit, despite strong national and regional appetites. “It’s a tragic situation,” one... More »

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