ROME: Italian Justice Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri faced calls to resign yesterday over accusations she used her influence to get the ailing daughter of a former insurance magnate out of prison.
The loss of an influential minister could further destabilise Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s fragile right-left coalition, where tensions are already running high ahead of a vote to expel centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi from parliament later this month over his conviction for tax fraud.
The opposition 5-Star Movement said on Friday it would present a no-confidence motion against Cancellieri and the Democratic Party (PD), the largest bloc supporting the government, called on her to address parliament on the matter. Cancellieri stood firm against the resignation demands.
Georgian PM names successor
TBILISI: Georgia’s prime minister yesterday proposed his close ally, Interior Minister Irakly Garibashvili, to succeed him when he steps down in the next few weeks.
Billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili has said he will quit as premier after Georgy Margvelashvili is sworn in as president on November 17. The prime minister’s position is now the most powerful in the former Soviet republic under constitutional changes which transferred many of the president’s responsibilities.
Garibashvili still has to be nominated by parliament and approved by Margvelashvili, but both steps are a formality as Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition dominates the assembly and the president is an ally of Ivanishvili. Margvelashvili was elected last month to take over from pro-Western Mikheil Saakashvili, who spent a decade in power.
Greeks fear more violence
ATHENS: A brazen drive-by shooting that killed two young members of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party has shocked Greeks and prompted soul-searching about whether the crisis-hit country is slipping into a “cycle of violence”.
Greece’s anti-terrorism force is investigating whether Friday’s rush hour shooting outside the party’s offices in Athens was retaliation for a fatal stabbing of an anti-fascism rapper by a Golden Dawn supporter in September, police said. Rapper Pavlos Fissas’s death sparked protests across Greece and a government crackdown on Golden Dawn, which is widely considered neo-Nazi and is blamed for attacks against migrants. “We cannot let this cycle of violence continue,” Makis Voridis, a senior lawmaker in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy party, told Mega TV. “This must end here.”
Niger detains migrants after desert tragedy
NIAMEY: Niger has detained 100 migrants crossing the Sahara to Algeria, a security source said yesterday, in a crackdown on illegal migration after 92 people died trying to make the same journey. The migrants, who were mostly men but also included children, were rounded up in the desert and have been placed in police cells in the northern town of Arlit, a transit point for people seeking passage to Algeria, the source said. “The migrants are being held at the gendarmerie but we do not yet know what will become of them,” said the security source. According to an aid group in Arlit, the group were travelling on board two lorries and three pick-up trucks. Agencies