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G20 fails to deliver — but not for lack of Australia trying

The government was right to push for growth at the G20 summit but the minds of international leaders are no longer focused on the forum, write Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer.

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Playtime in parliament: meet the world’s youngest leaders

At 39, Italy’s new prime minister is the youngest in Europe. But as Crikey intern Luca Zuccaro discovers, the baby-faced PM is not even in the top five youngest leaders in the world.

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The bluff of Matteo: can the demolition man rebuild Italy?

Italy has sworn in its youngest prime minister, and Mattew Renzi has big plans. But Rome reporter Josephine McKenna asks: can the former Wheel of Fortune winner now win over a disaffected nation?

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Vladimir v Vladimir: meet the Italian transgender ex-MP who took on Putin

An Italian gay rights activist went to Sochi — and got thrown in jail. Crikey intern Luca Zuccaro profiles the former MP, who has had a colourful life — and more than one brush with Russian homophobes.

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Matteo Renzi, Italy’s next leader, a young man in a hurry

Italy’s new prime minister, until two months ago the 38-year-old mayor of Florence, is ambitious and models himself on Tony Blair. But he’ll have huge challenges ahead of him as he tackles Italy’s economic and electoral woes, and no parliamentary majority to aid his rule.

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

Australia is in the top 20% of performers among OECD countries in terms of well-being, but the GFC has had a profound effect. Plus other political snippets of the day.

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Why an ex-Qantas director faces fraud charges in Italy

Corinne Namblard and eight others will front court over fraud charges relating to a proposal to enlarge the Siena airport.Rome-based freelance journalist Desmond O’Grady investigates.

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Comedian holds balance of power in Italy, but no one’s laughing

Eight million Italians used their votes to send a message to the major parties by voting for comedian Beppe Grillo. But no one expected he would win. Rome-based journalist Josephine McKenna asks Italians: what now?

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Eurozone set for more pain — and it’s Italy’s fault

Italian voters have rejected austerity, opting instead for Berlusconi and comedian Beppe Grillo at the weekend’s election. This will not end well for the Italian economy, or the eurozone.

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Is another dollar-induced, Italian-inspired rate cut coming?

The Reserve Bank has flagged that there may be further interest rate cuts in response to the strong dollar. In the strongest possible terms, report Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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Italian-Australians could kick Berlusconi to the kerb once and for all

Italian-Australians will join the rest of Italy in going to the polls this week. The fate of Silvio Berlusconi — and EU financial markets — are at stake. Italian-Australian academic Dr Bruno Mascitelli writes on the choice.

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Bunga bunga actress stars in Berlusconi political encore

As Berlusconi launches into his daring bid to be prime minister for the fourth time, he is making his own kind of cameo. How does he get away with it? Josephine McKenna reports from Rome.

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‘The only thing that can save us from Berlusconi is his death’

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has ended months of speculation and dramatically declared a return to Italian politics. So what’s ‘Il Cavaliere’ up to, asks Josephine McKenna.

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Young Italians wrestle a job market that favours old, unfireable

The jobless rate for young Italians is now 35%. Some are starting companies, some swallowing their pride and taking jobs they hate — and some are turning to suicide, writes Josephine McKenna from Rome.

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Hold the champagne corks, Berlusconi ain’t leaving yet

Italy’s former PM Silvio Berlusconi had been sentenced to jail — yet he’s already discussing his political comeback. And he’s got some supporters, writes Josephine McKenna from Rome.

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Global fear on the rise as Europe continues to founder

Comments from the Italian Prime Minister overnight reflect the growing fear that Europe is dragging the global economy into the mire.

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Kohler: the elephant in the economic room

The Spanish bank bailout may have taken some heat out of the European crisis, but it’s likely to be short lived as Italy’s debt trap reminds the world why it should never have been admitted to the EMU.

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Euro crisis: oils aren’t oils in debt-hit Spain

Spain has a real head of steam up as it moves into the overtaking lane ahead of plunging past Greece, and out of the eurozone. Just look at the way financial markets traded overnight …

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Big trouble in Ital(ly) Chinatown

A Chinese shopkeeper and his nine-month-old baby Joy were brutally gunned down in a suburb of Rome in a robbery that went horribly wrong, writes Josephine McKenna, a freelance journalist in Rome.

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Eurozone crisis: new bailout under half the size of Oz economy

The question for the eurozone in 2012 is the pace of panic: a slow panic still grabs you in the end. Knowing Europe and the various governments there’s something out there with the capacity to bring on that feeling.

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Time | ECONOMY|

Can new leaders end the eurozone debt crisis?

Weeks of political upheaval resulted in both Greece and Italy getting new heads of government. But the replacements will have to face the same difficult economic circumstances that killed the political careers of their former leaders, says Michael S

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Crikey Blogs | ECONOMY|

What does an interest rate of 7% actually mean for Italy?

Last night Italian interest rates hit 7%. If it stays that high it would mean the Italian government would need to come up with an extra €60bn a year–an extra 4.3% of GDP in taxes, says Richard Farmer.

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New PM in Italy, but not yet; new PM in Greece, but not yet …

Europe remains — wait for it wait for it — yes, in crisis today, with the announcement that Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi will resign — but not yet, and announcements that Greece will soon announce a new prime minister and Cabinet — but not yet.

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The Daily Beast | EUROPE|

Berlusconi’s final week?

The demise of Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi now seems inevitable, writes Barbie Latza Nadeau. But don’t count out the sex scandal loving 75-year-old completely, he could make a comeback in the next elections…

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

A visit to Joyce’s beloved Trieste, the ‘mongrel city’

Its multi-national melting pot of rulers and ruled arguably explains the reputation of Trieste, Italy as a haven for distinguished exiles, misfits and eccentrics, notably writers and thinkers — of whom Trieste has hosted its fair share, says Grant Doyle.

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