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MessaggioInviato: 22 Ago 2018 04:30:00    Oggetto:
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by Alessandra Cardone

ROME, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Italy was poised to mourn prominent former president of the republic and central banker Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who died on Friday at the age of 95.

A day of national mourning will be declared on Monday, with Italian and European flag at half-mast all across the country, the Italian government announced.

Private funerals will be held the same day in the Italian capital, according to Ansa news agency.

Ciampi died in a hospital in Rome after a long illness, Ansa also reported.

"Our grateful thoughts go out to the man who has served Italy with passion," Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Twitter.

Renzi would pay a visit to the burial chamber of the former head of state inside the senate late on Saturday, according to the cabinet.

Ciampi was president of Italy from 1999 to 2006, playing a crucial role in bringing the country into the European Union (EU) single currency system.

He had previously served as head of Italy's central bank between 1979 and 1993, as prime minister from 1993 to 1994, and as treasure and finance minister between 1996 and 1999.

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni praised him as "an example of coherence, competence, and dignity."

The Central Bank of Italy, which Ciampi joined since after World War II, also highly commended his figure.

"Today, Italy and Europe have lost one of the protagonist of the European integration, a mission to which Ciampi has devoted his whole life," the Bank's board said in a statement.

Ciampi was highly respected at international level, and several top officials paid tribute to him.

"His death is a source of deep grief," current President Sergio Mattarella said.

"It is also thanks to men like Ciampi that Italy has gained, and deserved, a leading position at international level, from which our entire community is now benefitting," Mattarella said.

President Mattarella added his name was linked to the birth of the euro, and to Italy's "uncertain participation in the leading group" (of the single currency project).

Indeed, Ciampi has been key in bringing Italy into the euro. Always on a strong pro-European position, he pushed to make Italy adhere to the single currency project, despite the many concerns some major EU allies expressed at the time about the Italian public finance's instability.

Before Italy's adhesion to the euro, as treasure minister, he had played a crucial role in stabilizing the country's financial situation between 1996 and 1999.

He introduced a controversial "euro tax", making Italy's deficit fall from a peak of over 10 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in late 1980s to 2.7 percent in 1997, clearly below the 3 percent ceiling required to enter the euro system, local media reported.

"I have always felt a European citizen born on Italian soil," Ciampi said in January 1999, while celebrating the official birth of the European single currency.

Ciampi also led the country in one of its most difficult phases in recent history, when Italy was shaken by the repercussions of a huge corruption scandal involving most of political parties.

From that crisis, and under his presidency, a new political framework commonly known in Italy as the "second Republic" overall emerged.

"Today, we have lost a great Italian and a great European, a model of moral integrity, civil passion, and political commitment," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement.

Born in Livorno, Tuscany, in 1920, Ciampi served with the Italian army in Albania during the Second World War, and then joined the Italian partisans fighting against the Fascist regime.

After the war, he graduated in law and started working with the Bank of Italy in 1946.

, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The central parity rate of the Chinese currency, the yuan
, strengthened for the seventh working day to a 15-month high against the U.S. dollar Tuesday.

The central parity rate of yuan strengthened 298 basis points to 6.537 against the U.S. dollar Tuesday, the strongest level since May 2016
, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.

The adjustment came after a rise of 241 basis points Monday, and 101 basis points Friday
, when the rate hit below 6.6 for the first time since June last year.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was steady at 92.63 on Tuesday after losing 0.2 percent the previous day.

The rise of Chinese currency is on the back of a firming Chinese economy, said Wen Bin from China Minsheng Bank.

China's economy expanded 6.9 percent in the first half
, well above the target of around 6.5 percent for the year.

China's manufacturing activity expanded for the 13th consecutive month in August, providing fresh evidence of a firming Chinese economy.

China's service sector growth accelerated in August
, hitting a three-month high, according to the survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media.

The Chinese yuan will continue its momentum given a slew of positive economic indicators in coming months that will inject fresh impetus to the economy
, according to Sheng Songcheng with the central bank.

In China's spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day.

The central parity rate of the yuan against the U.S. dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

Leaders of BRICS countries pose for group photo before summit

Xi calls for solidarity among emerging economies
, developing nations

Leaders attend Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries

Chinese UN envoy condemns DPRK nuke test, calls for return to dialogue
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MessaggioInviato: 22 Ago 2018 04:30:00    Oggetto: Adv

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