Thursday

20th Feb 2020

Northern League launch campaign to revive lira

The Italian Northern League party launched a campaign to revive the lira at an 85,000-strong rally of its supporters on Sunday (19 June)

The party, which holds minister posts in Silvio Berlusoni's government, called for a revival of the lira as a "parallel currency" to the euro, which would remain the currency of the state budget, tourism and foreign trade.

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Under Italian law, a referendum must be held if half a million signatures are collected.

Many economists have branded the idea "bizarre", but not Stanford professor Ronald McKinnon.

Speaking at a European Central Bank conference in Frankfurt he said there is some credence to the view that maybe Italy should be split off and have its own currency. "Even if we know it would all go wrong", he said according to the Telegraph.

In June, Italy became the first country to face disciplinary action under the EU's adjusted stability pact because of a ballooning budget deficit.

Berlusconi attacks euro

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi called the euro a "rip-off" that "screwed everybody" in a vitriolic attack on opposition leader Romano Prodi.

Unhappy EU leaders begin budget haggle

EU leaders arriving at the Brussels summit criticised the budget proposal of EU Council president Charles Michel, as richer member states insisted holding onto their rebates, while poorer countries wanted to avoid deep cuts to their subsidies.

Net payer countries push back on EU budget plans

As EU budget negotiations enter a nasty phase, EU council chief Charles Michel tries to please two divided groups of member states, but Austria's Sebastian Kurz has warned net payers cannot be pushed for more.

Vietnam sent champagne to MEPs ahead of trade vote

A trade deal with Vietnam sailed through the European Parliament's international trade committee and after its embassy sent MEPs bottles of Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne over Christmas.

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

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