In TTIP talks the US and the EU are working on behalf of big businesses trying to attack the most prized social and environmental standards that people have fought for years to uphold and develop, executive director of War on Want John Hilary told RT.
RT: Italy has written to its EU partners calling for the details of talks on the vast trade deal with the United States to be made public. What do you think about this initiative?
John Hilary: I think it is a very important initiative on the part of Italy because we have been told that the details of the EU-US trade deal are completely secret. They have put a 30-year ban on all the key documents that we would like to see to really open up the heart of these negotiations. The main [thing] what Italy is calling for here is absolutely right: there needs to be a great deal of transparency to shed light on that moment, to the completely secret negotiations. The problem really is though that Italy is only asking for a particular piece of information to be made public, which actually has been leaked many months ago. So in a way they are trying to deal with something which is no longer an issue. The key documents that we need to see are the US documents, which are completely and utterly barred to all members of the public. Continue reading »
- World Reserve Currencies: What Happened During Previous Periods Of Transition? (Economic Reason, Aug 11, 2014):
The decline of the US dollar hegemony is ever so clear today and this article aims to provide the reader with what exactly happened during past periods of reserve currency transitions. Historically, when a reserve currency transitioned over to a new one, it marked a pivotal change for the world. The economic paradigm shifted and the rules of the game changed. This time will be no different when the US dollar loses its status as the reserve currency!
The transition process of the world reserve currency brings much uncertainty
- Italy Moves Into Recession & the End of Democracy (Armstrong Economics, Aug 7, 2014):
Italy has entered that phase of zero-point growth. Italy’s people have been beaten by Europe and no longer expect recovery. But then, yesterday, the Statistical Office of the economic data for the second quarter of 2014 released economic numbers that ??froze a dumb look even on the faces of the hardcore pessimists. For the second time this year, Italy experienced a slump of its gross domestic product by 0.3% year on year. The economic data is so bad to the point it has not been seen for 14 years, that everyone no matter what side of the political fence is whispering or shouting the same world – “Recession!”
The advantage of Italy and its legendary corruption has been its equally inefficient government that has allowed the people to just ignore it and get along with life in the real world of the underground economy. When you look at the numbers at the gross level, one cannot imagine how Italy has functioned economically. However, looking closer one sees the vibrant underground economy that has allowed the people to make their own living and still prices, taxes and debt per capita are much lower than everywhere else in Europe, Italy’s real problem – it joined the Euro which did not benefit the Italians and only increased their national debt in “real terms” as the Euro rallied to excessively high levels in this wave of deflation. Continue reading »
- The European “Recovery” Is Over: Italy “Unexpectedly” Enters Triple-Dip Recession (ZeroHedge, Aug 6, 2014):
Goodbye European recovery, we hardly knew you. It must have come as a huge shock to all hypnotized lemmings aka “sophisticated investors” who have been following the manipulated, artificial yields in the Italian 10Y relentlessly declining and thus suggesting at least some economic stability, when an hour ago instead of reporting a 0.1% increase for its Q2 GDP as widely expected, Italy “unexpectedly” reported a sequential contraction of -0.2% down from a -0.1% drop in Q1, and officially the start of yet another, its third since Lehman, recession. Then again, considering Italy’s youth unemployment of over 40% just hit a record high, we use the term “unexpectedly” rather loosely.
- The Italian Government Owes Over $100 Billion To Private Suppliers (ZeroHedge, July 27, 2014):
Much has been said in the popular press about Italy’s surprising economic recovery (which based on recent data is starting to lose steam), as well as its much improved fiscal picture (even if the country’s public debt hits record highs quarter after quarter and the bad debt within its banking system just rose by 24% from the prior year, to €169 billion the highest since 1998). Little has been said about just how Italy managed to pull this economic miracle off. The answer: robbing private suppliers to pay Paul, or rather, the public sector.
According to Reuters, the Italian state owes some 75 billion euros ($102 billion)to private suppliers, as reported by the Bank of Italy. The unpaid bills have starved companies of cash and triggered layoffs, factory closures and bankruptcies.
- 9 EU countries ready to block economic sanctions against Russia (RT, July 15, 2014):
France, Germany, and Italy are among EU members who don’t want to follow the US lead and impose trade sanctions on Russia. US sanctions are seen as a push to promote its own multibillion free-trade pact with Europe.
“France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, and EU President Italy see no reason in the current environment for the introduction of sectorial trade and economic sanctions against Russia and at the summit, will block the measure,” a diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS. Continue reading »
- “Megablizzard” forecast for eastern Australia (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):
“Best snowfalls in a decade.” Maybe the “storm of the century.”
- Aleutian volcanoes waking up (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):
Five volcanoes now simultaneously active, the most activity in 26 years.
- Record snowfall in Norway (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):
First time since records began that snow has been recorded in June.
- Surprise Snowstorm Clobbers Rockies (Ice Age Now, June 23, 2014):
June 20, 2014 – “A bizarre June snowstorm hit Glacier National Park in Montana and parts of Utah and Idaho this week,
- Confirmed – Earth’s protective magnetic shield is weakening (Ice Age Now, June 22, 2014):
The most dramatic declines are occurring over the Western Hemisphere, says European Space Agency. Continue reading »
Tags: Alaska, Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Barack Obama, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Climate Change, Environment, Estonia, Europe, Finland, Global Cooling, Global News, Global Warming, Italy, Montana, Mount Etna, New Zealand, NOAA, Norway, Obama administration, Politics, Russia, Science, Seattle, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, U.K., U.S., Utah, Volcano, Wyoming
From the article:
“Therefore Renzi will have a greater margin this year to spend” without breaching the deficit limit, he said.
- Hookers And Blow: How Changing The Definition Of GDP Officially Jumped The Shark (ZeroHedge, May 22, 2014):
A year ago it was the US which first “boosted” America’s GDP by $500 billion – literally out of thin air – when it arbitrarily decided to include “intangibles” to the components that ‘make up’ GDP (in the process cutting over 5% from the US Debt/GDP ratio). Then Spain joined the fray. Then Greece. Then the UK. Then Nigeria, which showed those deveoped Keynesian basket cases how it is really done, when it doubled the size of its GDP overnight when it decided to change the base year of its GDP calculations. Now it is Italy’s turn, and like everything else Italy does, this latest “revision” of the definition of GDP easily wins in the style points category. As Bloomberg reports, “Italy will include prostitution and illegal drug sales in the gross domestic product calculation this year.” Yup: blow and hookers. And that, ladies and gents, how it’s done. Continue reading »
- Angela Merkel On The Ledge: “This Is Not Fair… I Am Not Going To Commit Suicide” (ZeroHedge, May 11, 2014):
What is most remarkable about the following detailed FT profile of the Cannes November 3-4, 2011 G-20 summit (when Europe, knowing well virtually every other option had been exhausted and was forced to grovel for Chinese cash)…
…is not that Obama, facing an election and fearful of what a Eurozone disintegration and depression would mean to the US economy and more importantly, to his re-election chances, managed to bring German chancellor Angela Merkel to tears, which he did…
To the astonishment of almost everyone in the room, Angela Merkel began to cry.
“Das ist nicht fair.” That is not fair, the German chancellor said angrily, tears welling in her eyes. “Ich bringe mich nicht selbst um.” I am not going to commit suicide.
For those who witnessed the breakdown in a small conference room in the French seaside resort of Cannes, it was shocking enough to watch Europe’s most powerful and emotionally controlled leader brought to tears.
But the scene was even more remarkable, those present said, for the two objects of her ire: the man sitting next to her, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and the other across the table, US President Barack Obama. Continue reading »
- Italian Court Upholds Ban on Monsanto MON810 Corn Cultivation (Sustainable Pulse, April 24, 2014):
A regional court in Italy has upheld the country’s national ban on the planting of Monsanto’s MON810 corn.
The ruling cites the precautionary principle, which allows governments to take protective measures without having to wait for the risks to become fully realised.
Information from GM Watch
The court case was brought by a farmer from the Friuli region, Giorgio Fidenato, in an attempt to overturn the ban on planting MON810.
- Define Austerity: Spanish, Italian And Greek Debt/GDP Rise To Record Highs (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2014):
Ask any European why their standard of living is so atrocious (after years of freeflowing debt-funded largesse) and the answer is well-known: austerity.
Also ask any European if austerity means public debt should go up or down and the answer is also as clear: down.
Which is why most Europeans will likely be confused to very confused when presented with the latest Eurostat data according to which not only did Eurozone debt rose remain just shy of all time record highs and certainly increasing from a year ago, but those PIIGS nations which are the first to blame austerity for everything, such as Greece (net of the debt wiped out as part of its 2012 bankruptcy of course), Portugal, Spain and Italy, all saw their public debt hit all time highs.
Total Eurozone debt closed 2013 at a level of 92.6%, just shy of its all time high and up from 90.7% a year ago, 87.4% two years ago, and so on. Continue reading »
- More than 40% of Italians want to quit euro (The Local, March 31, 2014):
As Europeans prepare to go to the polls in the EU elections in May, the study, conducted by Ixè institute for the Italian broadcaster Rai3, found that 43 percent of Italians would like to return to the Italian lira, the news agency Ansa reported.
The survey, which polled 1,000 people, found that the majority of those in favour (70 percent) were voters of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement and 56 percent supported Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.
Meanwhile, just 28 percent of voters of the centre-left Democratic Party wanted out of the euro.
- Politicians ‘wasted €2m’ on fine wine and caviar (The Local, March 31, 2014):
Sixty-four politicians from the regional council of Lombardy, one of Italy’s wealthiest regions, have been accused of squandering almost €2.14 million worth of public funds on everything from premium wine and caviar to jars of Nutella and placing bets.
In the latest expenses scandal to hit Italian politics, prosecutors in Milan discovered that between 2008 and 2011, the politicians, mainly from Silvio Berlusconi’s former party, the People of Freedom (Pdl), claimed reimbursements worth 70 percent of their wining and dining costs.
The expenses included eating out in the priciest restaurants, hosting banquets for hundreds of people and quaffing wine worth €1,094 a bottle.
- 89% Of Venetians Vote For Independence From Italy, Will Withhold Taxes To Rome (ZeroHedge, March 23, 2014):
Inspired by Scotland’s hopes for independence and hot on the heels of Crime’a 95% preference for accession to Russia, 89% of the citizens of Venice voted for their own sovereign state in a ‘referendum’ on independence from Italy. As The Daily Mail reports, the proposed ‘Repubblica Veneta’ includes the five million inhabitants of the Veneto region and has been largely driven by the wealthy ‘who are tired of supporting the poor and crime-ridden south’ (Venice pays EUR71bn in taxes and receives only EUR21bn in services and investment). The ballot appointed a committee of ten who immediately declared independence from Italy. Venice may now start withholding taxes from Rome. Wonder why the US, Europe, and Japan have not announced the referendum “illegal” and announced sanctions yet?
- The Phone Call (ZeroHedge, March 2, 2014):
The phone-calls are flying. On the heels of yesterday’s Obama-Putin “discussion”, today has seen Merkel drop him a line (with the resultant claim that Putin has accepted a “fact-finding mission” despite all evidence to the contrary); and then Merkel, Obama, and Cameron got on a party-line to discuss “sanctions”.
In the face of this seriousness, we suspect, however, any of the calls to Putin all had a similar dialogue… Continue reading »
- Near-Bankrupt Rome Bailed Out As Italy Unemployment Rises To All Time High, Grows By Most On Record In 2013 (ZeroHedge, March 1, 2014):
A few days ago, we reported that, seemingly out of the blue, the city of Rome was on the verge of a “Detroit-style bankruptcy.” In the article, Guido Guidesi, a parliamentarian from the Northern League, was quoted as saying “It’s time to stop the accounting tricks and declare Rome’s default.” Of course, that would be unthinkable: we said that if “if one stops the accounting tricks, not only Rome, but all of Europe, as well as the US and China would all be swept under a global bankruptcy tsunami. So it is safe to assume that the tricks will continue. Especially when one considers that as Mirko Coratti, head of Rome’s city council said on Wednesday, “A default of Italy’s capital city would trigger a chain reaction that could sweep across the national economy.” Well we can’t have that, especially not with everyone in Europe living with their head stuck in the sand of universal denial, assisted by the soothing lies of Mario Draghi and all the other European spin masters.” And just as expected, yesterday Rome was bailed out. Continue reading »
- Rome Is On The Verge Of Detroit-Style Bankruptcy (ZeroHedge, Feb 27, 2014):
With European peripheral bond yields collapsing every single day to new all time lows (primarily driven by Europe’s near-certainty that a US-style QE is imminent as we first showed here in November, despite Mario Draghi’s own words from November 2011 that a QE intervention is virtually impossible), increasingly more of Europe is trading just as safe, if not more, as the United States. And in keeping with the analogies, considering a major US metropolitan center, Detroit, recently went bankrupt, it is only fair that Europe should sacrifice one of its own historic cities to the gods of negative cash flows. The city in question, Rome, which as the WSJ reports, is “teetering on the brink of a Detroit-style bankruptcy.”
Rome, the eternal city, which survived two millennia of abuse from everyone may be preparing to lay its arms at the hands of unprecedented corruption, capital mismanagement and lies. Continue reading »
- Italians beg Swiss: please buy Sardinia (The Local, Feb 26, 2014):
Could Sardinia become Switzerland’s 27th canton? In a bid to ease Italy’s economic woes, a Facebook campaign has been set up to sell the southern Italian island of Sardinia to the Alpine country.
The “Maritime Canton” (“Canton Marittimo”) Facebook group has gained more than 3,500 members attracted to the debate of selling Italy’s second-largest island to the wealthy Swiss.
“We are investigating the willpower of Sardinians of allowing Italy to sell Sardinia to Switzerland, to repay part of the public debt and restart the national economy,” the group description reads.
- “Money Launderer Until Proven Innocent” – Italy Imposes 20% Tax Withholding On All Inbound Money Transfers (ZeroHedge, Feb 16, 2014):
While the propaganda surrounding Europe’s “recovery” has reached deafening levels, what is going on behind the scenes is quite the opposite, and in the latest example that Europe is increasingly formalizing a regime of implicit capital controls, we learn that Italy has just ordered banks to withhold a 20% tax on all inbound wire transfers: a decree which on to of everything will apply retroactively to February 1. As Il Sole reports, “the deductions will be automatic (unless prior request for exclusion), and then it will be up to the taxpayer to prove that the money is not in the nature of compensation “income.” In other words, as of this moment, but really starting two weeks ago, all Italians are money launderers unless proven innocent. Continue reading »
- 20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire (Economic Collapse, Feb 14, 2014):
If you have been waiting for the “global economic crisis” to begin, just open up your eyes and look around. I know that most Americans tend to ignore what happens in the rest of the world because they consider it to be “irrelevant” to their daily lives, but the truth is that the massive economic problems that are currently sweeping across Europe, Asia and South America are going to be affecting all of us here in the U.S. very soon. Sadly, most of the big news organizations in this country seem to be more concerned about the fate of Justin Bieber’s wax statue in Times Square than about the horrible financial nightmare that is gripping emerging markets all over the planet. After a brief period of relative calm, we are beginning to see signs of global financial instability that are unlike anything that we have witnessed since the financial crisis of 2008. As you will see below, the problems are not just isolated to a few countries. This is truly a global phenomenon.
Over the past few years, the Federal Reserve and other global central banks have inflated an unprecedented financial bubble with their reckless money printing. Much of this “hot money” poured into emerging markets all over the world. But now that the Federal Reserve has begun “tapering” quantitative easing, investors are taking this as a sign that the party is ending. Money is being pulled out of emerging markets all over the globe at a staggering pace and this is creating a tremendous amount of financial instability. In addition, the economic problems that have been steadily growing over the past few years in established economies throughout Europe and Asia just continue to escalate.
The following are 20 signs that the global economic crisis is starting to catch fire: Continue reading »
Tags: Australia, China, Collapse, Economy, EU, Europe, Fed, Federal Reserve, Ghana, Global News, Government, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Politics, Real Estate, Society, Spain, Stock Market, Turkey, U.S., Ukraine, Unemployment, Venezuela
- Italian Stocks & Bonds Fall As Government Collapse Looms (ZeroHedge, Feb 13, 2014):
Having rallied yesterday and totally ignored the fact that Letta’s 10-month-old government was about to collapse, Italian equity and sovereign bond markets are falling this morning by their most in two weeks. The main bone of contention for Renzi-Letta fight is jobs and growth – there is none of either – and while Prime Minister Letta assures that the Italian economy grew in Q4 (GDP data to be released tomorrow) for the first time in 10 quarters, as Bloomberg’s Niraj Shah notes, real GDP is still smaller than it was in 2000. Letta has just canceled his UK visit (planned for 2/24) and did not take part in the Democratic Party meeting with a Renzi friend saying “[Letta] will resign.”
- Italy Unveils Most Bizarre Bank Bailout Yet (ZeroHedge, Feb 1, 2014):
The biggest problem facing European banks – one we highlighted most recently yesterday when we showed the latest 20% surge in Spanish Banco Popular Non-Performing Loans to a fresh record – and one we have been covering since 2010, which as of 2012 amounted to some $4.5 trillion that needs to be “remedied” – is the staggering amount of bad debt on the books of Europe’s numerous banks, the bulk of which especially in the periphery are cojoined with their sovereign host in an unbreakable bond which despite Europe’s theatrical attempts to sever, only keeps getting stronger.
- If You Are Waiting For An “Economic Collapse”, Just Look At What Is Happening To Europe (Economic Collapse, Jan 8, 2014):
If you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the “economic collapse”, just open up your eyes and look at what is happening in Europe. The entire continent is a giant economic mess right now. Unemployment and poverty levels are setting record highs, car sales are setting record lows, and there is an ocean of bad loans and red ink everywhere you look. Over the past several years, most of the attention has been on the economic struggles of Greece, Spain and Portugal and without a doubt things continue to get even worse in those nations. But in 2014 and 2015, Italy and France will start to take center stage. France has the 5th largest economy on the planet, and Italy has the 9th largest economy on the planet, and at this point both of those economies are rapidly falling to pieces. Expect both France and Italy to make major headlines throughout the rest of 2014. I have always maintained that the next major wave of the economic collapse would begin in Europe, and that is exactly what is happening.
The following are just a few of the statistics that show that an “economic collapse” is happening in Europe right now:
“The system of banking [is] a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction… I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity… is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
- Thomas Jefferson
“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
- Thomas Jefferson
“Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money.”
- Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England (appointed 1928) and reputed to be the 2nd wealthiest man in England at that time
“It [the depression] was not accidental. It was a carefully contrived occurrence worked out as one works out a mathematical equation. The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so that they might emerge as the rulers of us all.”
- Louis McFadden
“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves.”
- Andrew Jackson
- Italy’s Pitchfork Movement Slammed For “Delirious” Nazi-Like Comments (ZeroHedge, Jan 2, 2014):
Italy’s anti-austerity Pitchfork movement, who described Italy as being “enslaved by wealthy Jewish bankers,” has come under fire for “shamelessly recall[ing] a historical period characterised by death, violence and denial of the most elementary rights.” The nation’s Jewish community, writing in La Repubblica, said the Pitchfork leader’s remarks demonstrate a “deeper sense of discomfort” fuelled by “the most violent and grimmest anti-Semitic stereotypes”. Despite Italian stock and bond markets surging to multi-year highs, IB Times notes that mass demonstrations continue to rile the company’s economy as Pitchfork followers demand the total removal of the ruling political class.
Italy’s Jewish communities have hit back at the spokesman of the anti-austerity Pitchfork movement, who described Italy as being “enslaved by wealthy Jewish bankers”.
The Pitchfork protestors’ spokesman, Andrea Zunino, who made the anti-Semitic comments, represents thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets in towns and cities across Italy to voice anger at austerity measures.
Renzo Gattegna, representing the Jewish community, said the words were “delirious”.
“[Those words] shamelessly recall a historical period characterised by death, violence and denial of the most elementary rights,” he told daily La Repubblica.
Conspiracy theories regarding Jews and banking were popular during the rise of National Socialism and the Nazis.
Earlier, Zunino had claimed: “We want government resignation. We want sovereignty over Italy which is now the slave of bankers, like the Rothschild: it is odd that five or six among the world’s richest people are Jews.”
Continue reading »
- Poverty In Italy Rises To All Time High (ZeroHedge, Dec 31, 2013):
What can one say but: “because of the recovery?”
As Italy’s ISTAT reported yesterday, poverty in Italy has reached its highest level in at least 16 years “as the economic crisis has bitten, driving up unemployment and cutting wages, according to a report on social cohesion issued on Monday. Relative poverty, defined as a family of two living on a monthly income of 991 euros (847.61 pounds) or less, affected 12.7 percent of families, the highest level recorded since the current series of data began in 1997, the report by statistics agency ISTAT said.”
It was immediately unclear if this beat expectations of a 13% print, and thus was bullish for the Stalingrad and Propaganda 500.
The report, a compendium of data on issues ranging from employment to demographics, said poverty had deepened in all areas of Italy between 2011 and 2012. Relative poverty rose from 4.9 percent to 6.2 percent in the richer north and from 23.3 percent to 26.2 percent in the poorer south.
More from Reuters:
The report painted a grim picture of the impact of the country’s worst post-war recession, with joblessness at record levels, incomes squeezed and permanent, full-time employment declining. “As one of the countries most affected by the crisis, Italy registered a progressive decline in the main macroeconomic and social indicators in 2012,” Labour Minister and former ISTAT chief Enrico Giovannini said in the introduction to the report.
“Nonetheless social cohesion has held up, enabling the country to support sacrifices aimed at recovering financial stability and passing important reforms,” he said.
Well as long as “social cohesion” has held up, i.e., no civil war has broken out yet, all is well. Then again, some disagree: Continue reading »
- Bailout Of World’s Oldest Bank In Jeopardy, Rests On Hope That “Ship Does Not Sink” (ZeroHedge, Dec 28, 2013):
The ongoing debacle of Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi (BMPS) took a turn for the worst today. The bank’s largest shareholders (MPS Foundation) approved (read – forced through) a delay in a EUR 3 billion capital raise, which the bank needs to avoid nationalization, until May. The delay (which will cost the bank EUR 120 million in interest) allows MPS more time to liquidate their 33.5% holding before their stake is massively diluted. Management is ‘considering’ resignation and is “very annoyed,” but the city Mayor is going Nationalist with his delay-supporting comments that “we cannot let the third biggest bank in this country fall prey to foreign interests.” So Europe is recovering but they can’t even raise a day’s worth of POMO to save the oldest bank in the world?
Italy’s third-biggest bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena was forced to delay a vital 3 billion euro ($4.1 billion) share sale to raise capital until mid-2014 because of shareholder opposition, plunging its turnaround plan into uncertainty.
- Italian Families’ Spent 11% Less On Christmas Gifts In 2013 (ZeroHedge, Dec 26, 2013):
According to pundits, 2012 was the worst year for the Eurozone’s peripheral economies, only worse than the just as tumultuous 2011, while 2013 was – if only listens to Europe’s propaganda masters – a year of recovery thanks to the ECB’s “whatever it takes” mentality. Which fails to explain why families in recession-battered Italy spent 11.4% less on gifts this Christmas than last year and one in five households did without presents completely, according to the consumers’ group Federconsumatori estimated on Thursday. Continue reading »
- Europe’s Peak Youth Unemployment Gets Peak-er (ZeroHedge, Nov 29, 2013):
Despite a ratings ‘upgrade’ Spain’s youth unemployment rate has re-surged to a record 57.4% (just below that of Greece which still tops the scary chart list at 58%). Italy and Portugal also saw notable rises (despite the former’s record low short-dated bond yields) at 41.2% and 36.5% respectively. Ireland and France saw modest improvements but overall the Euro-zone’s youth unemployment just keeps rising. In spite of all the rhetoric from Merkel, Van Rompuy, and Barroso, 24.4% of Europe’s under-25 population is unemployed…
- Italy Senate expels three-time ex-Premier Berlusconi (USA Today/AP, Nov 27, 2013):
ROME — The Italian Senate on Wednesday expelled three-time ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi from Parliament over his tax fraud conviction, ending, for now, his two-decade legislative run but not his political career.
Berlusconi has warned that the unprecedented move would embarrass Italy internationally. He maintained his defiance as the Senate voted, declaring Wednesday a “day of mourning for democracy” before thousands of cheering, flag-waving supporters outside his Roman palazzo.
Even though Berlusconi won’t hold a seat in Parliament, he is expected to remain influential in Italian politics. He has relaunched his Forza Italia party and he still commands millions of loyal supporters.