Archive for the ‘ Italy ’ Category

Eurozone recession could end this quarter

Eurozone recession could end this quarter.

Analysts are hopeful that the eurozone’s recession could end in the third quarter, after official data showed that the region’s businesses had returned to growth for the first time in 18 months.

The Markit eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) recorded growth of 50.5 in July, up from an initial estimate of 50.4. Anything above the 50 mark signals growth. The sentiment survey of thousands of purchasing managers is widely seen as a reliable gauge of economic expansion.

The 17-nation bloc’s services sector rose to 49.8, up from an initial estimate of 49.6, while manufacturing surprised with a strong 50.3-point performance, pushing the combined measure into positive territory.

Job losses were the weakest in 16 months, as rates of decline eased in France, Italy and Spain, while Germany saw a modest return to job creation.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said that the news confirmed a welcome return to growth for the eurozone economy at the start of the third quarter, raising hopes that the region could claw its way out of its longest-running recession.

For Europe, the strong figures offer a glimmer of hope that the six consecutive quarters of economic contraction may finally be ending.

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Court declares Berlusconi a tax fraud

Court declares Berlusconi a tax fraud.

Humiliated former Premier Silvio Berlusconi raged at an Italian court this morning after it that declared him a tax fraud – and is now facing community service or house arrest after judges upheld jail term.

After years of tax scandals, the law seems to have finally caught up with Silvio Berlusconi after 12 judges in Italy’s Supreme Court convicted the billionaire mogul for hiding millions of Euros from his media empire in overseas slush funds.

Until today, Berlusconi had managed to dodge dozens of convictions on charges including bribery and tax fraud. Oftentimes, he managed to free himself thanks to changes in the law that he himself introduced as premier.

The 76-year-old will now face some form of house arrest or the humility of having to perform community service, probably for a year. Unfortunately for Berlusconi, the three-time premier will die with a criminal record.

Interestingly, Mara Carfagna, the former topless model who rose rapidly to become one of Berlusconi’s ministers, said the conviction showed that ‘there was a small part of the judiciary engaged in a war against Berlusconi’.

She also said that the verdict would not cause the government to collapse.

In a nine-minute video message, Mr Berlusconi said that “in exchange for the work I’ve done for nearly 20 years for my country… I get as my reward accusations and a sentence based on nothing that even takes away my personal freedom and my political rights”.

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