Italy: Pope, others hail health workers on COVID anniversary
Pope Francis and Italy's president have marked the nation's first annual day to honor doctors, nurses and other health care workers, exactly a year after the nation's first known native case of COVID-19 emerged. (Paolo Giandotti/Italian Presidency via AP)ROME – Pope Francis and Italy’s president on Saturday marked a newly established annual day to honor doctors, nurses and other health care workers, exactly one year after the nation’s first known native case of COVID-19 emerged. Expressing gratitude to doctors, nurses and other health care workers, Francis likened their dedication to “a vaccine against individualism and selfishness.'' AdPresident Sergio Mattarella marked the first National Day of Health Care Personnel by mourning the many medical workers who contracted COVID-19 and died. More COVID-19 anniversary commemorations are scheduled for Sunday in Italy, especially in the hard-hit north, where the outbreak first pummeled the nation.
Italy: Holocaust survivor's plug for vaccine sparks hatred
Segre's efforts to encourage other older adults to receive the anti-COVID-19 vaccine as she did have triggered a wave of anti-Semitic comments and other invective on social media. (Yara Nardi/pool photo via AP, file)ROME – An Italian Holocaust survivor’s attempt to encourage other older adults to receive the anti-COVID-19 vaccine has triggered a wave of anti-Semitic comments and other invective on social media. Liliana Segre, 90, received the first of the two-shot vaccine series in Milan on Thursday. She urged people who reach her age “to not be afraid and to take the vaccine.”“I’m not afraid of the vaccine, I’m afraid of the illness," Segre remarked. Segre was one of the few Italian children to survive deportation to a Nazi death camp.
Italy's Draghi easily wins Senate backing for unity gov't
Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi attends a debate at the Senate, in Rome, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, before submitting his government to a vote of confidence. A confidence vote Thursday in the lower Chamber of Deputies is also expected to give Draghi broad backing, since he has secured support from across Italy's political spectrum. Ad“Today, unity isn’t an option, it’s an obligation,“ Draghi said to applause as he outlined his government program. Italy has one of the EU’s worst records on making use of designated EU funds, a trend Draghi seems intent on ending. Draghi quoted Pope Francis in calling for a new approach to preserving the environment and Italy’s cultural and natural treasures.
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.
Draghi forms new govt blending experts, political operatives
The formation of a broad-based government of national unity was widely expected after most political parties across the spectrum signaled their support for Draghi. Draghi also has the support of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right Forza Italia and former Premier Matteo Renzi's Italy Alive Party. The far-right Brothers of Italy party said it will remain in opposition, after Salvini and Berlusconi broke their right-wing alliance to back Draghi. Draghi, 73, replaces Giuseppe Conte, who resigned after a small party yanked support over the handling of the pandemic. For his 23-member Cabinet, Draghi also transformed the environment ministry into a more developmentally oriented post for ecological transition, tapping Roberto Cingolani, an expert in nanotechnology, to run it.
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.
Draghi brings market savvy, gravitas to tame Italy's crises
FILE - In this Thursday, July 4, 2013 file photo, President of European Central Bank Mario Draghi smiles during a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany. Because it is Mario Draghi,’’ the deputy manager of the leading Milan Daily Corriere della Sera, Daniele Manca, said on Wednesday. He took a pragmatic approach during the financial crisis. Draghi joined the ECB as its third chief in 2011, just as Italy was engulfed in a debt crisis. The largely ceremonial role proves key in helping manage Italy’s all-too-frequent political crises, which require deft negotiations and unassailable knowledge of Italy’s constitution and institutions.
Italy looks to 'Super Mario' Draghi to end political crisis
Former European Central Bank president Mario Draghi speaks to the media after accepting a mandate to form Italy's new government from Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Rome's Quirinale Presidential Palace, Wednesday Feb. 3, 2021. During his tenure at the European Central Bank, Draghi became known as “Super Mario" for using new and sometimes unorthodox policy tools to solve the vexing debt crisis and other problems. “As such, it will not vote in favor of a technical government headed by Mario Draghi,” Crimi said in a statement. “If they (the 5-Stars and the League) are going to somehow support Draghi then the government I think can be born," he said in an interview. “Now everyone of good will must welcome President Mattarella's appeal to support the government of Mario Draghi," he said Wednesday.
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.
Italian PM Conte works to cement majority after narrow vote
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attends the debate at the Senate prior to a confidence vote, in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. With a reduced majority, Conte will have to cobble together support from outside the current coalition to pass legislation, including aid to help Italy’s pandemic-battered economy. Conte’s government on Tuesday survived what amounted to a confidence vote with a 156-to-140 win, with 16 abstentions. “The numbers speak clearly,” said Giorgia Melloni, head of the small but rising Brothers of Italy party. In the lower Chamber of Deputies, where the 16-month-old government holds a more comfortable margin, Conte won a first confidence vote on Monday.
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.
Lidia Menapace, Italian Resistance member, dies at age 96
ROME – Lidia Brisca Menapace, a Resistance member during World War II who later was an advocate of pacifism and women’s rights and was elected to the Italian Senate on a Communist party ticket, has died. Italian state radio said she had been hospitalized for several days with COVID-19 in Bolzano, the Alpine city where she had lived in latter decades. As young woman, Lidia Brisca pedaled a bicycle to deliver medicine and messages to Resistance fighters, known as Partisans, based in the countryside of the northern Piedmont region of her birth. She was the first woman to be elected to the provincial legislature of Bolzano, another Alpine province. She remained proud of the Resistance spirit, remarking that she was still a Partisan, because “being so is a choice of life."
The Latest: Mexico mourns doctors on Day of the Dead
The state reported 103 infections that day, the largest single day increase in cases. France’s government has shut down all nonessential businesses and ordered people to stay indoors for the next month to slow accelerating virus infections, hospitalizations and deaths. The Geneva canton, or region, said the University Hospitals of Geneva on Sunday counted 474 people hospitalized with coronavirus infections, including 56 in intensive care. Iran has reported more than 620,000 confirmed virus cases in all. Montenegro recently has seen a surge in virus cases.
Italian virus survivor tells German leader: Germany saved me
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is flanked by Italian President Sergio Mattarella after visiting the Duomo gothic cathedral, in Milan, Italy, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)MILAN – An Italian coronavirus survivor from Bergamo warmly thanked Germany’s visiting president on Thursday for lifesaving treatment he received in the eastern Germany city of Leipzig. Frank-Walter Steinmeier met medical personnel who treated coronavirus patients during his visit to Milan, the capital of hard-hit Lombardy. ‘’If I hadn’t gone to Germany, I would have died,’’ Perani told Steinmeier, as Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella looked on. Perani said though they didn’t have a common language, the medical personnel in Germany ‘’spoke with their eyes.
Cesare Romiti, who steered Fiat in tense social times, dies
FILE -- May 31, 1988 file photo of Gianni Agnelli, right, chairman of Italy's auto giant FIAT, and chief operating officer Cesare Romiti, as they leave the Banca d'Italia (Bankitalia)in Rome. Romiti has died Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in his house in Milan at the age of 97, according to Italian media. In 1975, during the global oil crisis that rocked the automobile industry, Romiti joined Fiat, going on to become CEO and eventually chairman. Romiti helped Fiat launch new car models and close the historic Lingotto factory in Turin to put the company solidly on the path to profits. Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann, an Agnelli family member highlighted the significant role Romiti had played in the automaker's past.
Italy honors, remembers virus dead with Donizetti's Requiem
Italian President Sergio Mattarella, center, speaks in front of Bergamo's cemetery, Sunday, June 28, 2020. Italy bid farewell to its coronavirus dead on Sunday with a haunting Requiem concert performed at the entrance to the cemetery of Bergamo, the hardest-hit province in the onetime epicenter of the outbreak in Europe. The orchestra performed the unfinished Requiem funeral Mass of Bergamo native Gaetano Donizetti, one of Italys most important 19th century composers. Images in mid-March of an army convoy hauling caskets away because Bergamos cemetery and crematoriums were full came to epitomize the horrific toll of the virus in Italys north. Many of the more than 6,000 Bergamo dead never had a funeral celebrated in their honor, depriving their families of the chance to say goodbye.