Imagine a world without scooters zipping through the center of the Eternal City. Christiane Amanpour has the story.
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By Mick Krever, CNN
Despite a dismal and worsening economic situation, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that his country could, in the next ten years, become “the leader of Europe.”
“I see there is in my country the possibility to create the future. But after twenty years of politics, discussions, [and] ideological crisis, we lost a lot of opportunities. Now I think for a politician, it's absolutely important, this message: We can lose the elections, but we cannot lose this opportunity.”
The 39-year-old Renzi, who took office in February, must first overcome extremely worrying economics.
In August, the country slid back into its third recession in six years; unemployment is over 12%; and youth unemployment is a staggering 44%, causing a massive brain drain of young professionals.
“We change a lot of times the prime minister” – four in the past five years – “but we don't change our country. And our country is an incredible country, very beautiful, with an incredible past, an incredible present – but we need a future.”
By Mick Krever, CNN
Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister of Italy, will never again be part of the Italian government, another former prime minister, Mario Monti, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.
“I definitely do not believe that this time around Mister Berlusconi can escape his fate,” Monti told Amanpour from Rome.
Berlusconi, the 77-year-old former leader convicted of tax fraud, backed down on Wednesday from trying to upend the coalition government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
Letta won a confidence vote in Italy’s parliament by a wide margin on Wednesday.
“In a sense [Berlusconi put up a brave face,” Monti said. “Certainly everybody but the sense that Mister Berlusconi lost out.”
“He has been pronounced defeated and out of politics many, many times in the past,” Monti said, “He has given proof of an incredible resilience, but I believe this time he will not.”
By Lucky Gold, CNN
In case you thought the United States was the only country flailing, and failing, at governing itself, imagine a world where the government can fall at the whim of a 77-year-old convict.
Italy, which held its umpteenth election just nine months ago, teeters on the brink of political chaos yet again, following a power play by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
By Mick Krever, CNN
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino on Wednesday injected a heavy dose of scepticism into the debate over whether the West should intervene in Syria in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“Selective intelligence has already been a cause of some other intervention, which didn’t prove very positive,” Bonino said, referring to the war in Iraq.
“I strongly believe that chemical weapons are a crime against humanity and what happened is really unacceptable, and the responsible have to be brought to be accountable,” she said, but added that it is not “wise” to intervene without United Nations Security Council approval.
“It’s also worrying that people are already preparing a coalition of the willing even before tabling a resolution at the UN,” she said. “Frankly, I don’t know what they – this coalition is really willing to do. Punish Assad? Ending the conflict? I don’t know. It’s totally not clear to me.”
By Mick Krever and Claire Calzonetti, CNN
An Italian parliamentarian who compared that country’s first-ever black cabinet minister to an orangutan “has to go,” Italy’s prime minister told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.
“It was a shock for Italy and for, of course, the public opinion,” Enrico Letta said. “You know, my choice to ask Cecile Kyenge to be minister was a choice very clear for the country. Italians have – they have to understand that the internal integration is one of the main issues for the future.”
Letta, who spoke with Amanpour in London after a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron, said he had asked Roberto Calderoli, the vice president of Italy’s senate, to step down.
“It’s a shame,” Letta continued. “It’s really a shame, and I will continue to ask him to resign.”
It’s a controversy soon into Letta’s first term. An unlikely candidate, he assumed the office in April essentially by default, after months of political deadlock.