Giorgia Meloni: The far-Right 'fatty' who could become Italy's first female prime minister
Abandoned by her father and bullied by other children for being chubby, life was not too rosy for Giorgia Meloni when she was growing up in a scruffy working-class district of Rome. Thirty years on, she is having the last laugh. The leader of the hard-Right Brothers of Italy party could, conceivably, become Italy’s first ever woman prime minister, which would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Brothers of Italy, which is the modern-day heir to Italy’s fascist movement, was then a fringenews.yahoo.com
Italy at crisis point as Mediterranean migrant numbers surge nine-fold
Italy’s government is under huge pressure to staunch the arrivals of migrants from the coast of North Africa as the country recorded a nine-fold increase in the number of asylum seekers reaching its shores since 2019. Latest figures show the migration landscape shifting with many more attempts to reach Spain and Italy than Greece, which has adopted hardline policies. On Friday, Greece’s migration minister said the government had adopted the measures so “we don’t send the wrong message of incentinews.yahoo.com
Situation on Italian island of Lampedusa 'explosive' after 2,000 migrants arrive in 24 hours
The situation on the tiny Mediterranean island of Lampedusa is “explosive” after more than 2,000 migrants landed in just 24 hours, as smugglers switch away from rubber dinghies in favour of steel-hulled fishing boats that can carry hundreds of asylum seekers. It was the largest number of migrants to arrive on Italian shores in a single day so far this year. The surge was seized on by Matteo Salvini, the head of the nationalist League party, who criticised the ruling coalition despite being a part of it. He demanded an emergency meeting with Mario Draghi, Italy’s prime minister, to discuss ways to deter migrant boats from arriving. He said Italians, exhausted by the pandemic, successive lockdowns and a drop in GDP of around nine per cent in the last year, were in no mood to be welcoming. “With millions of Italians in economic difficulty, we cannot look after thousands of clandestine migrants, with 12,000 already having arrived so far this year,” Mr Salvini said. Giorgia Meloni, the head of the hard-Right Brothers of Italy party, which is fast catching up with the League in popularity, called for Italy to organise a “naval blockade” to prevent smugglers’ boats reaching land. “The situation on Lampedusa is literally explosive,” said Domenico Pianese, the secretary-general of a police union.news.yahoo.com
Migrant arrivals by sea on Italian island swell past 2,100
Several hundred more migrants reached a tiny Italian island before dawn on Monday, swelling to past 2,100 the number of arrivals in around 24 hours and fueling calls from across the political spectrum for the Italian government to strengthen its migration policies. Italian state radio said four boats arrived at Lampedusa island after being escorted the last miles to port early Monday by Italian coast guard or custom police vessels. The 635 latest arrivals followed more than 1,400 who arrived on Sunday.news.yahoo.com
More than 1,200 migrants reach Italian island on boats
More than 1,200 migrants in several decrepit, overcrowded fishing boats on Sunday reached a tiny Italian island in a span of 12 hours, as human traffickers exploited calm seas and warm weather to launch multiple vessels, the mayor said. The first of the migrants arrived at 5 a.m., Lampedusa Mayor Salvatore Martello told Sky TG24 TV at 5 p.m. It was the biggest number of migrants to come ashore this year in a single day at an Italian port this year. Italian news reports said Italian coast guard and customs police boats escorted the vessels to Lampedusa after they were spotted in the Mediterranean a few miles offshore.news.yahoo.com
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.
Italy's accidental prime minister? Giuseppe Conte has lasted longer in power than many expected
Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attends RAI's broadcast talk Show Porta a Porta on January 08, 2019 in Rome, Italy. Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis | Corbis News | Getty ImagesIn June 2018, Giuseppe Conte — a lawyer and academic with no political experience — became Italy's prime minister because of a compromise. The move backfired, however, with the M5S and Democratic Party agreeing to form a new government and Conte remaining prime minister. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (R), flanked by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini (L), delivers a speech at the Italian Senate, in Rome, on August 20, 2019, as the country faces a political crisis. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a press conference on July 7, 2020 in Rome, Italy.cnbc.com
Why populist world leaders are fearing a Trump election loss
Stephanie Keith | Getty Images News | Getty ImagesThe upcoming U.S. election is being keenly watched by world leaders who have looked to President Donald Trump for favor and friendship, and who share his political ethos. "Populist leaders seek to alter their country's status in the international order by challenging systemic constraints, and they need allies to do this," she added. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 seemed to come at the height of a populist wave through global politics. Bolsonaro, a Trump admirer who fashioned his successful election campaign after the American president's, traveled to Florida to meet with business leaders and Trump himself. 'Friend in the White House'While an election loss for Trump could put a brake on a populist trend in global politics, it's unlikely to derail it.cnbc.com
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.
Italians head to the polls in crucial test for the coalition government following the pandemic
Italians are heading to the polls this weekend for regional elections, and to vote on changes to the constitution, in what is seen as a key test of public support for the government after the country was ravaged by the coronavirus. It's the regional elections — that will see 35% of Italy's electorate go to the polls — that are more unpredictable, according to experts. Four out of seven regions — Apulia, Marche, Tuscany and Campania — are currently governed by the center-left Partito Democratico (PD), the party currently in a national coalition government with the Five Star Movement (M5S) and junior partner, Italia Viva. The vote is currently too close to call, polls suggest. BNP Paribas' analysts noted that a loss for the PD could have repercussions on the leadership of the party.cnbc.com
Italy's M5S 'annihilated' in regional vote which pressures an already fragile government
Italy's center-left Democratic Party (PD) has faced down a strong challenge from the right-wing Lega party during a widely-watched regional election that firebrand Lega leader Matteo Salvini had hoped could collapse the country's precarious coalition government and precipitate fresh national elections. At the time, his effort to scupper the government was intended to provoke fresh national elections in which his party looked likely to triumph. But a surprising pact that formed between the M5S and center-left Democratic Party obviated the need for fresh polls. Last year Umbria, another traditionally PD-supporting region, was indeed swayed by Salvini's campaign arguments and voted in favor of Lega. And a Democratic Party loss of Emilia-Romagna, which has voted reliably left of center since World War II, might have prompted some national lawmakers to seriously rethink their already tenuous partnership with M5S.cnbc.com
Italy's government is still weak, despite election blow to rival Salvini
MIGUEL MEDINA | AFP | Getty ImagesItaly's fragile coalition government is breathing a sigh of relief after Matteo Salvini, a prominent right-wing politician, failed to win a closely-watched regional election at the weekend. But the vote has exposed the weak dynamics underpinning the government in Rome. The opposition anti-immigration Lega party, led by Salvini, lost in the vote in Emilia-Romagna to the incumbent center-left Democratic Party (PD) on Sunday. The candidate for the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) had secured less than 5% of the vote, according to preliminary results from the region. "However, the likely thin margin of the center-left win in this traditionally leftist stronghold shows once again that Conte's PD-Five Star Movement (M5S) coalition government rests on rather shaky foundations," he noted.cnbc.com
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.
Italy's government on the brink of collapse as deputy leader calls for elections
Political turmoil has returned to Rome with one of the country's deputy prime ministers calling for snap elections and declaring that the coalition government is unworkable. The coalition has been on a rocky path since it first came to power in June 2018. There has been clear confrontation between the two-party coalition formed of the leftist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the anti-immigration, populist Lega party. "Let's quickly give the say back to the voters," Matteo Salvini, deputy prime minister and Lega leader, told the media Thursday evening. M5S has, meanwhile, seen its support drop and is currently polling third at 17%.cnbc.com
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.
American teens arrested in murder of Italian officer accused each other, officials say
Two Americans arrested in connection with the death of an Italian paramilitary officer had blamed each other for committing murder, court documents sent to reporters show. The dispatcher agreed to send an officer to meet the victim. A detention order says Natale-Hjorth, who can understand Italian, confirmed that Rega identified himself as a Carabiniere officer. Elder, who doesn't speak the language, denies the officer revealed who he was. Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini tweeted that anyone concerned about the treatment of those arrested should remember the only real victim is the officer who died.cnbc.com
U.S. student confesses to killing Italian policeman: media
ROME (Reuters) - A 19-year-old U.S. student has confessed to killing a policeman in central Rome, in a crime that has shaken Italy, national news agency ANSA reported on Friday. ANSA reported that one of the two had confessed to the killing. Police murders are rare in Italy and politicians of all parties expressed their horror and outrage. The person being followed accused the two men of later stealing his bag, containing his phone and a small amount of cash, police said. One of the two men pulled a knife and stabbed Cerciello Rega, the 35-year-old policeman, who was in civilian clothes and had married less than two months ago.feeds.reuters.com
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.