THE NEWS WRAP: Italian debt fears mount

The Federal Government and Opposition have clashed over the issue of cheap foreign imports, after Coalition leader Tony Abbott backed calls to give Australian manufacturers a “fighting chance” on the global stage.


Abbott said that the Coalition would help manufacturers lodge anti-dumping claims so that Australian businesses were “competing on a level playing field”.


However, the Government claims that such a move would “wreck” Australia’s standing in the World Trade Organisation.


Italian debt fears mount


Italy’s borrowing costs have risen to worrying levels, amid calls for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to step down in order to help solve the country’s debt crisis.


The interest rate on 10-year Italian bonds rose to a record 6.64% overnight, with investors concerned that Italy will become the latest country to destabilise the Eurozone.


Stocks rose on rumours that Berlusconi was set to quit. However, the flamboyant Italian leader used his Facebook page to deny the rumours.


Google+ launches service for businesses


Google+ has finally opened its service up to businesses, allowing them to create their own pages on the social networking platform.


The Google+ Pages facility will allow businesses to promote themselves free of charge, with Google promising not to put ads on the pages.




The Dow Jones industrial average fell 3.67 points, or less than 0.1%, to 11,979.57. The Australian dollar rose slightly, to 103.66 US cents



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