News 

Authorities detain figures accused of smuggling Egyptian artefacts to Italy

“According to the BBC, the former Italian consul in Egypt was the diplomat involved in smuggling the artefacts” writes Daily News Egypt for dailynewsegypt.com. The Prosecutor General accused Ghaly, along with another diplomat, of illegally smuggling 195 artefacts, and 21,660 coins, which were not documented at the ministry of antiquities, in a diplomatic bag which was caught at Salerno Costa D’Amalfi Airport in May 2017. Source: dailynewsegypt.com

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Italy could be about to challenge Trump over NATO spending

“Speaking at a NATO summit in 2017, Trump said: “Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defense than all NATO countries combined” writes unknown author for cnbc.com. If all NATO members had spent just 2 percent of GDP on defense last year, we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defense.”. There could be fresh tensions over NATO contributions with Italy’s defense minister suggesting the rules should be changed on how countries contribute to the military alliance.A spokesperson for Italy’s defense ministry was not…

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Six Nations 2019: Wales overcomes Italy in Rome

“The boot of Dan Biggar earned the visitors a seemingly commanding 12-0 lead in the first half, but Braam Steyn’s score and Tommaso Allan’s penalty saw that advantage cut to two” writes Sporting News for sportingnews.com. Italy belatedly got a foothold in the game and turned down a kickable penalty – a decision that was vindicated as it retained the ball from the line-out and worked it right for Steyn to barge over. Source: sportingnews.com

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Crypto News 

Italian Parliament Approves Bill Defining Distributed Ledger Tech, Blockchain Terms

“The Italian House of Representatives has approved a bill defining distributed ledger technologies (DLT) such as blockchain, Cointelegraph Italy reported on Feb. 7” writes Adrian Zmudzinski for cointelegraph.com. Maria Laura Mantovani, a member of the Italian Parliament in the Movimento 5 Stelle party, told Cointelegraph Italy that a favorable use case for blockchain is its application in online voting.This bill also establishes that digital records stored on blockchain will be considered a legal validation of documents at the time of registration.According to her, the M5S party is currently looking for…

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Gold lower as dollar flexes muscles

“Gold futures edged lower Thursday, building on a small weekly loss as the U.S. dollar continued a string of gains” writes Deputy Markets Editor for marketwatch.com. Gold for April delivery GCJ9, -0.08%  fell $1, or 0.1%, to $1,313.40 an ounce, while March SIH9, -0.13%  was off 1.1 cents, or 0.1%, to $15.69 an ounce.We believe that gold should remain in good demand – after all, the political risks appear to be increasing again,” wrote analysts at Commerzbank, in a note. Source: marketwatch.com

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‘Fragility in Italy’s economy needs to be addressed,’ EU warns as it slashes growth forecasts

“The 19-member bloc is set to grow 1.3 percent this year, from a previous forecast of 1.9 percent” writes Tiziana Fabi for cnbc.com. Italy’s economy is already in trouble, however, with the latest GDP data showing that the euro zone’s third-largest economy had entered its third recession in a decade.Dombrovskis’ comments come as the European Commission cut its forecast for Italy’s growth in 2019 to 0.2 percent, from a previous prediction (made last November) of 1.2 percent. Source: cnbc.com

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La dolce vita slips away again as country tumbles back into recession

“There was even less to laugh about on Thursday when figures revealed that Italy, which is saddled with a public debt of about 130% of GDP, had lurched back into recession for the third time in a decade” writes Phillip Inman for theguardian.com. At issue was the debt mountain and how the coalition planned to increase it in breach of EU rules. Source: theguardian.com

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The European Union’s subversion of democracy contributed to the recession in Italy

“Finally, the Conte government successfully persuaded the EC to approve a 2.0% fiscal spending deficit” writes Jim Edwards for businessinsider.com. They proposed a fiscal plan that would increase the spending deficit to 2.4% of GDP. The EU said no.To the surprise of no one, Italy has gone into a recession— two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth. Source: businessinsider.com

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Italian economy dips into recession in setback for the new anti-establishment government

“Italy’s economy contracted for the second consecutive quarter at the end of last year, data showed on Thursday, throwing the country into recession in a setback for the new anti-establishment government” writes Alessia Peirdomenico for cnbc.com. The average forecast in a Reuters survey of analysts had pointed to a 0.1 percent fall quarter-on-quarter, up 0.3 percent year-on-year.The coalition approved an expansionary budget in December aimed at heading off the growing threat of recession.A Reuters survey of 46 economists published this month forecast 2019 growth of 0.7 percent. Source: cnbc.com

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