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Italian officials have revealed that divers scouring the site of the Costa Concordia wreck off the coast of Italy have recovered what could be more human remains.
It comes days after Italy’s civil protection agency said it had found remains that could belong to the last two missing victims of the disaster.
All the remains have been sent for DNA testing.
The cruise ship ran aground and partially sank off Giglio island last year with the loss of 32 lives.
Divers scouring the site of the Costa Concordia wreck off the coast of Italy have recovered what could be more human remains
It was raised upright last month in a major salvage operation.
“Other remains have also been found and are currently undergoing DNA tests,” the agency’s chief Franco Gabrielli told reporters on Wednesday.
“We are waiting for the results of the analysis,” he added.
Costa Concordia’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is on trial over the disaster.
Francesco Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship, but says he is being made a scapegoat for the errors of others.
Two people were reported missing, presumed dead, after the disaster – Indian waiter Russel Rebello and Italian passenger Maria Grazia Trecarichi.
It was thought they had been trapped beneath the ship and the rocks, correspondents say.
Italy’s deepening political crisis has impacted the financial markets.
The Italian market fell more than 2% and the euro fell to the lowest level since June against the Swiss Franc.
Italy’s 10-year bond yield – an indication of how much the government has to pay to borrow money – rose as high as 4.66%, the highest level in more than 3 months.
PM Enrico Letta plans to hold a confidence vote on Wednesday, to seek the backing of Italy’s parliament.
PM Enrico Letta plans to hold a confidence vote on Wednesday after five ministers from Silvio Berlusconi’s party stepped down
Enrico Letta was forced to make that move after five ministers from Silvio Berlusconi’s party stepped down at the weekend.
But those ministers have now given mixed signals as to whether they are actually leaving the government.
The crisis follows weeks of worsening ties between Silvio Berlusconi’s party and Enrico Letta’s grouping.
Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PDL) objects to a planned increase in sales tax, which is part of wider government policy to reduce big public debts.
The Italian economy is in a dire state.
It is forecast to shrink by 1.4% this year according to the national statistics agency.
The Italian Football Federation has announced they will play Argentina in a friendly match to honor the soccer-loving Argentinean Pope Francis.
The match will be held August 14 in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
Pope Francis will watch the match not far away from the Vatican with audiences from both sides, according to the Associated Press.
It’s a long-awaited announcement for Italian manager Cesare Prandelli. The 55-year-old stated outwardly back in March that he would be ecstatic over a matchup of these two countries for the pope.
The Italian Football Federation has announced they will play Argentina in a friendly match to honor the soccer-loving Argentinean Pope Francis
“We’ve played friendlies with all the best national teams, only Argentina is missing,” Cesare Prandelli said back on March 27 following a World Cup qualifier with Malta.
“If we could arrange it, it would be nice to have an audience with the pope, who comes from Buenos Aires and loves football, and then go all together with both squads on one bus to the stadium. I couldn’t dream of anything better.”
The matchup has plenty of meaning for the religious Cesare Prandelli. He brought his whole coaching staff out on a trio of half-hour long nighttime trips to a Polish monastery during the European championships last year.
It’s been a while since these two sides met. Their last meeting was in 2001, also a friendly where Argentina came out on top 2-1. Prior to that, Argentina knocked out Italy in the semifinals of the 1990 World Cup on penalties, led by Diego Maradona.
Thousands of protesters, led by trade unionists, have rallied in Rome against the policies of Italy’s new coalition government.
Wielding red flags and placards, they urged the centre-left prime minister, Enrico Letta, to scrap austerity measures and focus on job creation.
Public trust in his fragile coalition with the centre-right is dropping, opinion polls suggest.
Italy is experiencing its longest recession in more than 40 years.
National debt is now about 127% of annual economic output, second only to Greece in the eurozone.
Unemployment is at a record high of 11.5% – 38% for the under-25s.
Before taking office, Enrico Letta vowed to make job creation his priority, but critics are unhappy that he has focused on property tax reform.
The issues of social justice and poverty came up when German Chancellor Angela Merkel had talks with the new Pope, Francis, at the Vatican on Saturday.
Organized by the metalworkers’ union FIOM and the CGIL union, Saturday’s peaceful march and rally drew supporters from across Italy. The turnout was unclear but 50,000 people had been expected to attend.
“We ask the government to change [former Prime Minister Mario] Monti’s and [former Prime Minister Mario Silvio] Berlusconi’s politics,” said Maurizio Landini, leader of the FIOM.
“If they don’t change, as the country asked for with its vote, we are going nowhere.”
A controversial poster depicted Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is seen as typifying austerity
One of the protesters, Enzo Bernardis, told Reuters news agency: “We hope that this government will finally start listening to us because we are losing our patience.”
Soon after being appointed, Enrico Letta met other eurozone leaders to convey growing public unrest over austerity measures in Italy.
But the new prime minister has to maintain a delicate balance between the policies of his own supporters and those of the centre-right, led by Silvio Berlusconi.
Italy’s coalition was only formed after two months of post-election deadlock.
Among the demonstrators in Rome were radical leftists.
A controversial poster depicted Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is seen as typifying austerity, in mock-Nazi uniform.
On Thursday, Pope Francis said in a speech that the global economic crisis had made life worse for millions in rich and poor countries.
Speaking after her private meeting with the pontiff, Angela Merkel told reporters: “Crises have blown up because the rules of the social market have not been observed…
“It is true that economies are there to serve people and that has by no means always been the case in recent years.”
Angela Merkel said she and Pope Francis had spoken mainly about globalization, the European Union and the role of Europe in the world.
“Pope Francis made it clear that we need a strong, fair Europe and I found the message very encouraging,” she added.
While she is not a Catholic herself, Angela Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran minister, leads a party with a strong Catholic component.
Enrico Letta appears set to become Italy’s new prime minister, after being asked by President Giorgio Napolitano to form a broad coalition government.
The appointment of Enrico Letta, currently deputy leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, could see the end of two months of parliamentary deadlock.
An inconclusive general election in February left the country in political limbo.
Enrico Letta, 46, said he would aim to change the course in Europe on austerity.
“European policies are too focused on austerity which is no longer enough,” he said, following the closed-door meeting with the president in Rome.
He also said he had accepted the post knowing that it was an enormous responsibility and that Italy’s political class “has lost all credibility”.
Enrico Letta must now form a cabinet that can win cross-party support and a vote of confidence in parliament, possibly this weekend.
Factions from across the political spectrum, including former PM Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing People of Freedom Party (PDL), have indicated that they are ready to form a coalition under a figure like Enrico Letta.
However, Silvio Berlusconi’s party and the Democratic Party (PD) differ on a number of issues.
Enrico Letta appears set to become Italy’s new prime minister, after being asked by President Giorgio Napolitano to form a broad coalition government
PDL National Secretary Angelino Alfano warned that his group would not take part in a government unconditionally.
Enrico Letta, once a member of the former centre-right Christian Democrats, is seen as moderate of the left. His uncle, Gianni Letta, has been Silvio Berlusconi’s chief-of-staff for 10 years.
A broad political alliance would again make Silvio Berlusconi a major influence.
This awkward coming together of bitter rivals is seen as the only way to end the parliamentary stalemate and put an administration in place.
But it is a forced political marriage that may not last long.
Enrico Letta’s candidacy for prime minister came about after the PD leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, announced his resignation last week.
He had ruled out working with Silvio Berlusconi and faced a party rebellion over his choice for Italian president.
The third strongest political force to come out of February’s election, former comedian Beppe Grillo’s Five Star movement, could not be persuaded to join a coalition and is expected to be in opposition.
With the Italian economy still struggling, the new government will be expected to try to implement a limited range of economic and institutional reforms.
Among its priorities will be an effort to re-shape the current election law. The aim would be to ensure that future general elections would deliver more emphatic, clear-cut results.
Enrico Letta’s appointment follows the swearing-in on Monday of President Giorgio Napolitano, who berated his country’s feuding politicians.
Taking up an unprecedented second term, he told the assembled MPs that they had been guilty of a long series of failings and that their inability to implement key reforms had been “unforgivable”.
Giorgio Napolitano has threatened to resign if no administration is formed.
Italian and Spanish 10-year bond yields have been rising ahead of a summit of eurozone finance ministers on Monday.
The yield on Spanish 10-year bonds, which are taken as a strong indicator of the interest rate the government would have to pay to borrow money, rose above 7%, while Italian bond yields rose to 6.1%.
Yields above 7% are considered to be unsustainable in the long term.
Details of the bailout of Spain’s banks are expected from eurozone ministers.
Their meeting will continue on Tuesday.
The high yields on Spanish and Italian bonds were in contrast to the rates at a short-term German bond auction on Monday.
Italian and Spanish 10-year bond yields have been rising ahead of a summit of eurozone finance ministers on Monday
The yield on six-month German bonds fell to a record low of -0.03%, meaning that investors were paying the German government to lend money to them.
It is the second time that German bond yields have been negative. The auction was oversubscribed, despite the negative yield.
Investors have been flocking to German debt as a safe haven from the problems elsewhere in the eurozone.
Eurozone officials have been reported as warning that not too many quick decisions should be expected from the finance ministers’ meeting, which is supposed to add detail to the agreements from the eurozone leaders’ summit on 29 June.
The communiqué from that summit said it expected the finance ministers “to implement these decisions by 9 July”, although many analysts say that now looks optimistic.
Leaders have already agreed to lend Spain’s banks up to 100 billion Euros ($123 billion) and independent audits have said that they will need up to 62 billion Euros.
The finance ministers are likely to confirm the size of the bailout and which conditions will be applied to the loans, both for the banks and the government.
Among the key agreements from the 29 June summit were moves towards banking union with the European Central Bank (ECB) acting as a supervisor and allowing European bailout funds to buy bonds to try to reduce countries’ borrowing costs.
But since the summit, there have been signs that Finland and the Netherlands would oppose the use of bailout funds in this way.
There is expected to be discussion of the new Greek government’s policies. At the end of a three-day debate, the Greek government, as expected, won a vote of confidence on Sunday.
Another area of discussion for the eurozone finance ministers will be choosing a new leader.
Jean-Claude Juncker has been co-ordinating the Eurogroup of finance ministers since 2005. His term of office ends on 17 July, but it may be extended.
Also on Monday, ECB president Mario Draghi will be appearing before the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs to give his views on the state of the currency bloc’s economy.
The New York Times: Rising Borrowing Costs Put Pressure on European Finance Ministers
Spain wins Euro 2012 final after beating Italy with 4-0 and claiming a successive European crown to add to their 2010 World Cup triumph.
Vicente del Bosque’s side staged a compelling claim to be the greatest international side of all time as the Euro 2012 final was transformed into an exhibition with Italy – who performed creditably for long periods – passed brutally into submission.
David Silva’s header was reward for Spain’s early supremacy and new Barcelona recruit Jordi Alba doubled the lead just before half-time with a blistering run and finish.
The scoreline was emphatic at the conclusion but Italy performed with great resolve. Once they were reduced to 10 men after losing third substitute Thiago Motta to injury, however, they were ruthlessly exposed by masters of the passing art.
Fernando Torres emerged as a late substitute to make a powerful impact; steering home Spain’s third then setting up Chelsea team-mate Juan Mata to inflict the final wound on a bedraggled Italy.
Spain’s virtuoso performance was a decisive answer to a growing band of critics who had forced coach Vicente Del Bosque and his players to defend themselves against allegations that they had been “boring” throughout Euro 2012 at the pre-match media conference.
Spain wins Euro 2012 final after beating Italy with 4-0 and claiming a successive European crown to add to their 2010 World Cup triumph
And even Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, in a spectacularly ill-timed contribution, wrote that Spain “have betrayed their philosophy and turned it into something more negative”.
Every quality that has led to them dominating world football since they won Euro 2008 and the World Cup in South Africa two years later was brought to bear.
It was a heartbreaking night for Italy and coach Cesare Prandelli but there was no shame in being beaten by a team of such quality. They can reflect with satisfaction on their work before this chastening evening.
Spain, perhaps stung by the words of criticism aimed in their direction, started with a pace and tempo of passing that the Italians found impossible to live with.
The warning signs were posted for Italy when a long spell of possession ended with Xavi shooting just over – but it was not long before they were ahead.
Cesc Fabregas was employed in the so-called “False Nine” role as Del Bosque played without a conventional striker. The former Arsenal star proved the tactic is a positive force rather than a negative one.
He collected the masterly Andres Iniesta’s pass and outflanked Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini before delivering perfectly for Silva to head beyond keeper Gianluigi Buffon.
It was Chiellini’s final contribution as he swiftly succumbed to the thigh injury that has been troubling him in the later stages of the tournament and was replaced by Federico Balzaretti.
Italy’s response to Silva’s goal and the early Spanish onslaught was commendable as Antonio Cassano twice had shots saved by keeper Iker Casillas but a goal of brilliance in creation and execution made their task mountainous.
Alba demonstrated exactly why Barcelona were so keen to bring the graduate of their famous La Masia youth academy back to the Nou Camp from Valencia when he finished a blurring run on to Xavi’s perfect pass with a composed finish past Buffon.
Prandelli acted during the interval, sending on Antonio Di Natale for Cassano. Twice he almost got the goal that could have halted Spain, heading just over before bringing a fine save out of Casillas.
Italy’s third and final change came when Motta replaced Riccardo Montolivo but Italy’s luck was summed up when he suffered a hamstring injury within minutes and the Azzurri were reduced to 10 men.
Spain were now winning with something to spare and Del Bosque took the opportunity to remove the outstanding Fabregas and introduce Chelsea striker Torres for the closing stages.
It was an opportunity he took, adding the final flourishes by steering home Spain’s third and unselfishly setting up Mata’s finish to round off a spectacular performance.
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