Rift raises hopes for Prodi

Rift raises hopes for Prodi

Leading article: Blair the lobbyist?

ENFIN, un chef de gouvernment anglais qui parle le francais! Mais rappellez-vous, nos chers francais, ce que le petit caporal nous a appelles une nation de commercants. Ce matin nous nous demandons: ce M Blair, est- il vraiment notre premier ministre ou - deguise - un espece de negociant, un agent d'influence etrangere, le delegue d'une societe privee, l'enterprise internationale geree par Rupert Murdoch.

Farmers see sliver of hope

Farmers were yesterday given a glimmer of hope following the turmoil of the last few weeks, when the European Commission agreed to speed up moves to lift the ban on exports of British beef.

Communists set to revive Prodi's rule

Italy's communist leader, Fausto Bertinotti, said yesterday his party would support Prime Minister Romano Prodi's 1998 budget, effectively ending the country's political crisis.

It's not Whitehall, but it's farce

After the collapse of the Italian government, the soap opera of resolving the crisis is in full swing. What is going on? Andrew Gumbel tries to make sense of a weekend of ordinary madness.

Politician hands out free hashish

Marco Pannella, the Italian politician who was convicted last month of giving away hashish, was back at it yesterday - distributing free bags of the drug to a crowd in Rome's central Piazza Navona.

Italy facing new elections as far-left rejects budget plans

The Italian government was on the verge of collapse last night as the far-left party Rifondazione Comunista gave its final thumbs-down to the 1998 budget.

Italian opposition unite in protest over welfare cuts

Even before full details of the centre-left coalition's 1998 budget had been published, the Italian government's hard-left allies and the opposition centre-right bloc were already howling in protest.

Italy unveils its prescription for EMU status

The Italian government yesterday unveiled a package of budgetary pain aimed at meeting criteria for European monetary union on time but the measures looked more like accounting tricks than real cuts and highlighted the growing weakness of Italy's attempt to be included in the European A-stream.

Small fish, big bite

Profile; Emma Bonino; John Lichfield on the radical Italian who could put the Government on the line

Berlusconi learns to love his enemies

When Silvio Berlusconi first swept into Italian politics three years ago, his mission was "to save the country from the communists". These days, though, the people he calls communists - in reality the Social- Democrat successors to the old Communist Party known as the PDS - are some of the best friends he has.

Flat Earth: Po-faced Bossi

Italy seems to be suffering from a collective sense of humour failure over Umberto Bossi. He is the man who wants to split away the richer north from the rest, but since he can't find any linguistic or ethnic borders for the proposed independent nation of "Padania", it has been delineated in socio-economic terms, which might or might not take it almost as far south as Rome.

Italy's Olive Tree coalition begins to crack

Having taken 50 years to reach power, one might have thought the Italian left would be content to govern in peace, concentrate on lasting the full five-year parliamentary term, introduce real and lasting reforms, and above all avoid the kind of fratricidal inter-party squabbling that undid so many coalition governments in the bad old days of the Cold War.

The fishermen's unlikely friend?

PROFILE: EMMA BONINO; Europe's fisheries commissioner is not afraid to tell it like it is.

Italy's Mr Clean keeps politicians guessing

Is Italy's champion corruption-busting magistrate about to enter politics, and if so when and with whom?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us