Sunday

15th Dec 2019

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.

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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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EU Africa envoy: Europe needs to look beyond migration

Europe's obsession with migration from Africa means it risks losing out the continent's potential when it comes to trade, says the EU's ambassador to the African Union, Ranier Sabatucci. "Africa is a growing continent, it is the future," he says.

EU agrees 2020 budget deal

EU governments and the parliament agreed in marathon talks ino next year's budget - which will boost spending on climate, border protection, and the European satellite system. It will also be a benchmark if there is no long-term budget deal.

EU and China agree to defend 'gastronomic jewels'

Manchego cheese, Panjin rice and Polish vodka will all be protected under a new EU-China agreeement. But the two trading giants continue to struggle over other trade-related deals.

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