Silvio Berlusconi, scandal-scarred ex-Italian leader, dies at 86
Italian media are reporting that Silvio Berlusconi, the boastful billionaire media mogul who was Italy’s longest-serving premier despite scandals over his sex-fueled parties and allegations of corruption and bribery, has died at age 86.
German rescue ship enters Sicilian port, disembarks minors
Italy allowed a humanitarian rescue ship carrying 179 migrants to enter a Sicilian port and begin disembarking minors early Sunday, while refusing to respond to requests for a safe harbor from three other ships carrying another 900 people in nearby waters.
Thousands commemorate Italy's fascist dictator Mussolini
Several thousand black-clad fascist sympathizers chanted and sang in praise of Benito Mussolini as they marched to the slain Italian dictator’s crypt Sunday, 100 years after Mussolini entered Rome and completed a bloodless coup that gave rise to two decades of fascist rule.
EXPLAINER: Is Meloni a far-right firebrand or moderate?
As Giorgia Meloni becomes Italy’s first female premier, the world is watching closely to see if she will emerge as a firebrand leader of a far-right party with neo-fascist roots or the more moderate right-wing politician who succeded in capturing 26% of the vote.
First female premier poised to take helm of Italy government
A party with neo-fascist roots has won the most votes in Italy’s national election, setting the stage for talks to form the country’s first far right-led government since World War II, with Giorgia Meloni at the helm as Italy’s first female premier.
EXPLAINER: Who gains or loses, what's next in Italy crisis
Italian Premier Mario Draghi's decision to turn in his resignation after his “unity” coalition broke apart dramatically in Parliament was the latest step in a political crisis that could take months before a new government is solidly in place to lead the European Union's third-largest economy.
Italy's president, 80, is recruited to stay on for 2nd term
Italian President Sergio Mattarella has been pulled away from his impending retirement and reelected to a second seven-year term as the country’s head of state, ending days of political impasse as party leaders struggled to pick his successor.
Populist leaders meet, seek 'European renaissance'
The trilateral meeting brought Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Italy's former interior minister, Matteo Salvini, to Hungary's capital of Budapest. The event came two weeks after Orban’s ruling Fidesz party finalized a break with its center-right European political family, the European People’s Party (EPP). As Italy's interior minister, Salvini worked to ease EU sanctions on Russia. But Poland's ruling party shares Fidesz's disaffection with the EU, with both parties arguing Brussels has infringed on their sovereign decisions. AdOn Thursday, Morawiecki echoed Orban's calls for a European political force that “respects national sovereignty and freedom" and defends traditional values.
Italy court blocks Bannon-linked plans for populist academy
The Council of State ruled that the Culture Ministry was correct in cancelling the concession it had given to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, or Human Dignity Institute. The ruling overturned an earlier decision by a regional administrative tribunal that had sided with the institute. AdBannon had said he would bring in teachers and raise money for the academy, which had been dubbed a “gladiator school" for the alt-right. AdBannon said Tuesday the court decision was a politically motivated “joke" that was befitting of a developing country. Prosecutors in New York say the money instead went to pay a campaign official’s salary and personal expenses.
Conte's last hurrah? Italy's 'simple citizen' plots return
FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 file photo, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels. But thats hardly likely to be Contes last hurrah in politics. But that’s hardly likely to be Conte’s last hurrah in Italian politics. But a return to the ballot box could come sooner, given Italy's fluctuating political dynamics. ”What's important is to have a political trajectory, cultivate a political path to offer to the voters and to the country."
Draghi takes helm in Italy, focused on pandemic recovery aid
Italian President Sergio Mattarella had tasked the former European Central Bank president with trying to form a government up to managing the the health, economic and social crises of the coronavirus pandemic. AdDraghi’s most-quoted words so far have been those uttered in 2012 when the euro-zone risked collapsing in a crisis of confidence and he vowed the European Central Bank would do “whatever it takes” to rescue the euro. The current head of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, tweeted her congratulations. Italy's health minister through the pandemic, Roberto Speranza, kept his post, the sole minister from a small left-wing party. ___This story has been corrected to show that employees applauded for Conte, not Draghi.
Italy's Draghi wins support of 2 rival parties for new govt
Leader of the Five-Stars Movement Vito Crimi, 2nd from right, addresses the media at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. Draghi, 73, the former president of the European Central Bank completed a first round of talks with political parties this week. Another round is expected early next week on potential Cabinet ministers and a synthesis from Draghi of his vision for the new government. AdItaly's president tapped Draghi this week to form a government after the resignation of ex-Premier Giuseppe Conte, who lost support of a small but key coalition party. Salvini’s move to support Draghi puts him at odds with the far-right Brothers of Italy party and its leader, Giorgia Meloni.
Italy's Conte: Draghi's new government should be political
Outgoing Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte waves as he leaves after meeting journalists outside Chigi palace Premier's office in Rome, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. Draghi must rely on political support to pass measures aimed at helping Italy emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and revive its economy, already stagnant before being pummeled by lockdown measures. “I hope for a political government that is solid and has sufficient cohesion to be able to make political choices, because the urgencies of the country need political choices, they can’t be entrusted to technocrats,” Conte said. Conte also pitched to two other parties from his unraveled coalition, the center-left Democrats and the leftist Free and Equal Party. His call for a political alliance appeared to indicate Conte intended to stay in politics, even while out of office.
Italian premier resigns, setting off scramble for new allies
Italian Premier Conte was meeting Tuesday, Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)ROME – Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte resigned Tuesday after a key coalition ally pulled his party’s support over Conte’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, setting the stage for consultations this week to determine if he can form a third government. Conte’s coalition government was thrown into turmoil earlier this month when a junior party headed by ex-Premier Matteo Renzi yanked its support. But Conte would need Renzi's support to form a new governing coalition or the backing of independents and the center-right Forza Italia party. Conte's first government starting in 2018 was a 5-Star alliance with the right-wing League party led by Matteo Salvini that lasted 15 months.
Italy: Conte clears hurdle to retain power, bigger one ahead
Premier Giuseppe Conte delivers his speech at the lower chamber of Parliament, in Rome, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Conte lost his coalition majority with the defection of Cabinet ministers belonging to former Premier Matteo Renzi’s tiny but key Italia Viva (Italy Alive) party, that threatened to collapse his government. But a much tougher hurdle looms Tuesday in the Senate where Renzi’s party has 18 members, meaning Conte would seek support from outside his wobbly coalition to stay in power — even if Renzi's party again abstains in that vote. Even should Conte's government survive in terms of numbers in Parliament, Renzi's party pullout last week highlighted the coalition's fragility. Renzi acted after Conte unveiled a plan to manage the EU recovery funds himself, which was widely seen as accumulating too much power.
EXPLAINER: Italy faces a political crisis amid a pandemic
The Italian cabinet was in crisis on January 13, 2021 following the resignations of ministers Teresa Bellanova and Elena Bonetti, members of former premier Matteo Renzi's Italia Viva party. Renzi orchestrated the resignations of two ministers from his tiny but key Italia Viva party. “Italia Viva did not start the crisis. CONTE’S NEXT MOVEWith the resignation of the Italia Viva ministers, Conte is working to shore up support in parliament among independent lawmakers. And it is still possible that Italia Viva will restore its backing.
Tunisians fleeing economy, not COVID, cause tension in Italy
The number of Tunisians migrating clandestinely to Italy has risen to levels not seen since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. Their arrivals have strained the ability of Italy’s southern regions to take them in amid the coronavirus pandemic, given Italy’s quarantine requirements for anyone arriving from outside the EU. She blamed the increase in Tunisian arrivals on the country’s socio-economic problems that have been exacerbated by COVID-19, and has offered Italian assistance to address them. Tunisian migrants fleeing their country’s worsening economic situation aren’t generally considered eligible for asylum. The year before that, Tunisians only accounted for 5% of arrivals, with Nigerians topping the list.
New Italian government lets migrant rescue ship dock
The vessel, called Ocean Viking, rescued 50 migrants from a shipwreck off the coast of Libya on September 8. He wrote: "The Government assigns a safe haven to #OceanViking and migrants will be welcomed in many European countries. Former Italian Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini, who is well known for his anti-migrant stance, reacted to the post, tweeting: "The new government reopens the ports, Italy turns into a REFUGE FIELD of Europe. The move comes just days after a new Italian coalition government, comprised of the populist 5 Star Movement and the left-wing Democratic Party, was sworn in. While the Democratic Party strongly supports it, the 5 Star Movement often criticizes it.
Spain sends ship to collect migrants stranded off Italy
Sky News via CNN(CNN) - Spain said on Tuesday that it was dispatching a ship to collect migrants on a rescue vessel that has been stranded off Italy for 19 days, after at least 10 people jumped overboard in an attempt to swim ashore. The rescue ship is moored 800 meters off the coast awaiting permission to dock. According to the NGO, Proactiva Open Arms, the man was rescued by the Italian coast guard. Italian Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said on Tuesday the country was "working to unblock the Open Arms situation as soon as possible" because the situation on board has become "unsustainable." But Proactiva Open Arms said it was not possible for the rescue ship to sail to a further port for another three days with adverse weather conditions.
Unaccompanied minors will be allowed to get off migrant ship in Italy
The Open Arms has been at sea for more than two weeks. ROME - The 27 unaccompanied minors aboard a Spanish humanitarian ship will be allowed to disembark in Italy following a bitter political standoff between Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. But ... changing a clear position of your Prime Minister ... is a clear example of disloyal collaboration, yet another to tell the truth, which I cannot accept." The Spanish charity that operates the Open Arms confirmed it has been allowed to dock at the Lampedusa port. The conflict over the Open Arms has intensified the divide between Salvini's far-right League and Conte's Five Star Movement, which together comprise Italy's coalition government.
Italian court allows migrant ship to dock, Salvini fights ruling
Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini defended the ban that placed a $57,000 fine for migrant rescue ships in Italy, saying that he only targets ships at risk for trafficking. ROME - An Italian court ruled Wednesday that a ship carrying 147 rescued migrants should be allowed to dock in Italy -- in defiance of a ban by Italy's far right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. The ruling has drawn the ire of Salvini, whose office said the Interior Ministry would propose an urgent appeal. The Spanish humanitarian ship Open Arms, which was waiting off the Italian island of Lampedusa and has been at sea for 13 days, has been appealing for a place to dock. "There is a plan to go backward and open Italian ports, to make Italy return to being Europe's refugee camp," he said on Facebook.
Police: US teen accused in Italian officer's death brought knife into country
Two 19-year-old Americans have been arrested while on vacation in Rome over the death of an Italian police officer, Italian police told CNN. General Francesco Gargaro, of the Provincial Carabinieri Command, said the weapon was brought to the country by the 19-year-old suspect, Finnegan Lee Elder. Deputy Italian Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who has called for life-long prison sentences for the accused teens, attended the service. After being sold crushed aspirin instead of cocaine, officers allege that the Americans stole a backpack off the man. Both Americans are accused of assaulting the policemen, who reportedly identified themselves as law enforcement officers during the meeting early on Friday morning.
US teen suspected in killing of police officer blindfolded by police in Rome
CNN image(CNN) - Italian police have launched an investigation into a shocking image that shows one of the two young Americans arrested over the killing of an Italian police officer, blindfolded at a police station in Rome. The provincial Carabinieri command of Rome is quickly carrying out investigations to locate who is responsible," police said in a statement Sunday. Officer Rega, 35, was stabbed eight times at 2 a.m. local time on Friday, in the Prati neighborhood of Rome, near the hotel where the two young men were staying, police said. The two Americans, both from San Francisco, were arrested inside their hotel room in Rome. Slain police officer Rega had only recently returned to work from his honeymoon after getting married on June 13 in his hometown of Somma Vesuvianna, near Naples.
Migrant rescue ship arrives in Italian port in defiance of Salvini
LAMPEDUSA, Italy - The rescue vessel Alex docked Saturday in the Italian port of Lampedusa, carrying more than 40 shipwrecked migrants despite being banned by Matteo Salvini, the country's far-right Interior Minister. Mediterranea said it was pleased the rescued migrants were finally receiving medical attention after several hours waiting in port, but called the investigation "baseless." The Alex was the second migrant boat to arrive in Lampedusa in recent days. Last week, a migrant boat belonging to Sea-Eye entered Italian waters in defiance of the ban applied by Italian authorities. Germany is ready to welcome some of the migrants who are on board the two German NGO ships, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said.
Migrant ship captain arrested after entering Italian port
The migrant rescue vessel Sea-Watch 3 was stopped outside the island of Lampedusa by Italian authorities on Wednesday after it defied an order from Rome blocking it from coming ashore. LAMPEDUSA, Italy - Italian police have arrested the captain of a rescue ship carrying dozens of migrants rescued near Libya, after a weeks-long standoff between the vessel and authorities came to a climax off the island of Lampedusa. Carola Rackete, the German captain of Sea-Watch 3, was led off the ship in handcuffs after forcing the vessel into the Italian port without permission in the early hours of Saturday morning. Sea-Watch 3 was one of the first migrant rescue vessels to test new Italy's newest hardline migration laws. Under Salvini, the country closed its ports to migrant rescue vessels in June 2018.