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Italian report Italian report
by Euro Reporter
2010-11-13 08:53:26
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Italy growth slows in third quarter

Italy’s economic growth rate slowed to 0.2 percent in the third quarter after expansion of 0.5 percent in the second quarter, the national statistics agency ISTAT said on Friday. The rate was half the analyst consensus forecast of 0.4 percent. “The 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter increase was marginally weaker than expected,” said Loredana Federico, an economist at Italy’s Unicredit bank, which had forecast a result of 0.3 percent. But Federico said the result was “overall in line with our expectations of a moderation in economic activity in the second half of the year.” GDP grew by 1.0 percent on a 12-month comparison, according to the preliminary estimates released by ISTAT.


No-confidence motion against Berlusconi

Italy's opposition has presented a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, setting the stage for a showdown in parliament that could spell the end of the government. The opposition Democratic Party and the allied Italy of Values party co-sponsored the motion in the lower Chamber of Deputies on Friday. No date has been set for it to be discussed. Berlusconi's government has been in a tailspin for months, fuelled most recently by allegations of his involvement with prostitutes and a 17-year-old Moroccan girl. But the political crisis accelerated over the weekend when his estranged ally Gianfranco Fini formally called on him to resign and remake a strengthened coalition.

The no-confidence motion will now force Fini and his allies, whose support is crucial to the premier, to choose whether to support him or bring the government down. Democratic Party leader Pierlugi Bersani urged Fini and his allied lawmakers to vote with the opposition, saying: "I would like to believe that all those who think that this phase is finished be coherent and this is the occasion to show it."

Italy's centre-left opposition has to date been unable to capitalise on mounting dissatisfaction with Berlusconi's efforts to pass a law that would spare him and other top office holders from prosecution while in office. But the 74-year-old Berlusconi's dalliances with younger women have now cost him support from some conservative supporters and appear to have been the final straw that prompted Fini to issue his weekend ultimatum: resign or face the consequences. Berlusconi still has an out that would keep him in power: In Italy's Byzantine politics, prime ministers can resign, and have done so, only to receive a new mandate with a strengthened coalition. Berlusconi himself did that during his previous stint in power from 2001 to 2006.


Famed Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis dead at 91

Italian cinema giant, Dino De Laurentiis, producer of more than 500 films spanning almost sixty years of cinema, passed away today in Los Angeles at age 91. De Laurentiis produced a number of Italy's best-known films including works by Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini. The Oscar-winner produced several famous films in the United States, including Serpico with Al Pacino in 1973, Hannibal with Ridley Scott in 2001, and Three Days of the Condor with Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway in 1975.

The son of pasta makers, De Laurentiis was born on August 8, 1919 in Torre Annunziata, Italy. He moved to the United States in the 1960s. His career in film begin at age 20 and he became a leading producer of Italy's post-war cinema. He was also a leading producer of the neo-realist genre including the classic Riso Amaro (Bitter Rice) by Giuseppe De Santis.

De Laurentiis won an Academy Award in 1956 for Federico Fellini's La Strada, and was nominated a record-breaking thirty-eight times. He received the highly coveted Irving G. Thalberg Award in 2001 for his contribution to film.

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