A ticking 'debt clock' in Rome's Termini station. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP The third largest economy in the eurozone, Italy is weighed down by €2.3 trillion of public debt. Here are five things to know about the country's debt mountain as far-right and anti-establishment leaders close in on a coalition deal following two months of political deadlock. Italy is the EU's second most indebted country Italy's €2.3 trillion of debt is 132 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), the highest ratio anywhere in Europe apart from Greece. EU regulations suggest that the ratio should stay below 60 percent, but according to the Bank of Italy, since 1980 Italy's has exploded to its current rate from 54 percent. How will it develop from here? That depends on the policies that will be implemented by a new government. The Oxford Economics Institute estimates that the basic income, drastic reduction of income tax and pension reform proposed by anti-establishment Five Star … [Read more...] about What will Italy’s next government mean for its mountain of debt?
The Five Star Movement's Luigi Di Maio after talks at the presidential palace. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP The leaders of Italy's two political upstarts, the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League, say they have largely agreed on the final draft of a contract that lays out their vision for a 'government of change'. While the make-up of the cabinet remains to be decided, after days of intense negotiations members of the two populist parties all but finalized their programme on Wednesday night, according to M5S spokesperson Rocco Casalino. "At the end there was applause and we all hugged each other," he said. The 40-page document contains more than 20 sections, of which a handful – "six points, barely six lines", according to Casalino – still have a question mark over them. M5S leader Luigi Di Maio and the League's Matteo Salvini will have the final say, reviewing and signing the document before presenting it to President Sergio Mattarella. The head … [Read more...] about M5S and League agree contract for Italy’s ‘government of change’
THERESA MAY’s government was yesterday accused of surrendering to IRA terrorists by vowing to never put hi-tech cameras up on the Irish border post-Brexit. Furious Labour veteran Kate Hoey challenged Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley after she told MPs the threat of violence meant new “physical infrastructure” along the border would be impossible. Ms Hoey stormed: “Are you saying we might not consider putting up or using cameras away from the border … because of some blackmailing and threats by dissidents who might actually decide that they are going to start killing people? “Are we really saying that? As that what it sounds like.” Ms Bradley insisted the government was just being “practical” about what it could and couldn’t achieve as it looks to solve the chaos around what happens to the Irish border once the UK leaves the EU. Speaking to MPs on the cross-party European Scrutiny Committee yesterday Ms Bradley repeated … [Read more...] about Theresa May’s government accused of surrendering to terrorists over Irish border
A law enforcement source said in a new report Wednesday that he leaked financial records about President Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen because two key goverment reports on Cohen's financial activity were missing. One week after Michael Avenatti released financial records indicating Cohen used the same shell company to pay his client Stormy Daniels and receive payments from firms, The New Yorker published a bombshell report by Ronan Farrow detailing why those records were leaked. The reports about the payments to Cohen drew largely on a "suspicious activity report" or SAR, filed by First Republic Bank. The shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, also did business through First Republic Bank. After the release by Avenatti and new media, AT&T and Novartis soon confirmed they paid Cohen hundreds of thousands of dollars for his insights. AT&T's Randall Stephenson calls hiring Trump attorney Michael Cohen "big mistake" Novartis lawyer steps … [Read more...] about Report: Source who leaked Cohen financial info claims key government reports were missing
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the release by Las Vegas police of witness statements and officer reports in the investigation of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history (all times local):5:30 p.m.A man who met Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock less than a month before the Oct. 1 attack told authorities that Paddock had ranted against the government and warned that law enforcement and the military would start confiscating guns.In a jailhouse interview with police and the FBI, the man said Paddock called Federal Emergency Management Agency "camps" set up after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 "a dry run for law enforcement and military to start kickin' down doors and ... confiscating guns."The man, whose name was redacted in reports released Wednesday, quoted Paddock saying somebody has to wake up the American public and get them to arm themselves.The man said he met with Paddock outside a Las Vegas sporting goods store after posting an online ad to sell schematics to … [Read more...] about The Latest: Jailed man said Paddock railed about government