People take part in a rally calling for lower taxes and better protection for small enterprises in downtown Rome

For how long will the “C” factor work for Italian prime minister-in-waiting Matteo Renzi? The “C” in question stands for “culo” (arse) which co(...)

A van carrier transports a container at the harbour of Hamburg. German economic growth unexpectedly accelerated to 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013 thanks to a rise in exports and capital investment, seasonally-adjusted data showed today. Photograph: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters

Economic growth across the euro zone was stronger than expected at the end of 2013, according to official figures, rais(...)

Pope Francis: the reason the pontiff gave for choosing to live in the Santa Marta residence was that he did not want to become isolated, instead wished to continue to lead a normal life. Photograph: Giampiero Sposito/Reuters

Is Pope Francis about to spring another little surprise? Since his election last March, Francis has defied pontifical custom and practice in many ways(...)

Italian businessman Marcello Di Finizio displays a banner to protest against austerity measures, on the dome of St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi

Lest anyone had any doubts, two reports in the last two days indicate the devastating(...)