VATICAN CITY — An Italian industrialist tried to curry favor by donating $100,000 worth of truffles. A Mercedes-Benz executive hoped for an audience to suggest improvements to the Popemobile. But in the final years of the papacy of Benedict XVI, others sent very different messages, desperate for the pope’s ear.
ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s government submitted its 2013 draft budget Monday, outlining enormous spending cuts as the country’s foreign lenders returned to resume talks over a broader austerity package in exchange for the rescue money the country needs to meet expenses.
BERLIN — As gridlock among Greece’s political parties made new elections and another month of uncertainty there all but inevitable, European markets dropped significantly Monday amid concerns that Greece’s departure from the euro was near, and right behind it a new round of financial instability for Europe and the outside world.
ATHENS, Greece — A day after Greece’s two dominant parties collapsed at the polls, the leader of the center-right New Democracy party announced Monday that he had failed to form a governing coalition, pushing the mandate to the second party amid growing uncertainty about Greece’s political stability and staying power inside the eurozone.
ROME — With political turmoil still plaguing Greece and descending upon the much larger economy of Italy on Monday, the fate of the euro and market stability worldwide hinged on whether two of Europe’s most tangled and unresponsive political cultures could deal with their tightening fiscal gridlock.
ROME — A tabloid tidal wave washed over Italy on Tuesday as newspapers published wiretapped conversations from a nightclub dancer who said she had dallied with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as a minor, but whether it would sweep Berlusconi out to sea was still anyone’s guess.
For months, the staid newspaper of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Avvenire, steered largely clear of the major topic of conversation here: the spicy personal life of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Close on the heels of the pope’s rehabilitation of a group of schismatic bishops, including one who denied the Holocaust, a second scandal has compounded a searching debate within the church over whether Pope Benedict XVI’s focus on doctrine and perceived insensitivity to political tone are alienating mainstream Catholics and undermining the church’s moral authority.