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Meloni nominated to be prime minister as Italians vote By Reuters

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© Reuters. A man with ballot papers walks inside a polling station during early elections in Rome, Italy, September 25, 2022. REUTERS/Stoyan Ninove

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Written by Crispin Palmer and Keith Weir

ROME (Reuters) – Italians voted on Sunday in an election expected to restore the country’s most right-wing government since World War Two and pave the way for Georgia Meloni to become the first woman prime minister.

The right-wing coalition led by Meloni’s Brotherhood of Italy seemed poised for a clear victory when the latest opinion polls were published two weeks ago.

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But with a blackout on the polls taking effect in the two weeks leading up to the election, there is still room for surprise.

Polls opened at 7 am (0500 GMT) and voting will continue until 11 pm (2100 GMT) when opinion polls are published.

However, the complex calculations required by the hybrid proportional/first-place electoral law mean that it can take several hours before the composition of the new mini-parliament is known.

“Long live democracy,” said Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, one of Meloni’s main allies, as he cast his votes in Milan on Sunday morning.

Meloni will be the clear candidate for prime minister as the leader of a coalition that also includes former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

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Berlusconi, 85, also voted in Milan, wearing one of his model double-breasted suits. Meloni was expected to vote in her hometown of Rome later in the day.

One Roma resident said he hoped the right would win.

“The left, from what I hear, has no serious statement and parties alone, while the right at least has a coalition,” said the voter, whose name was Paolo.

Turnout was around 19% at noon local time, according to provisional data, broadly in line with the 2018 national elections. There was speculation that a significant number of Italians would choose not to vote after a low-key summer campaign.

Even if there is a conclusive result, it is unlikely that the next government will take office before late October, as the new parliament will not meet until October 13.

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Meloni’s rise

The victory was the maximum noticeable rise for Meloni, whose party won just 4% of the vote in the last national election in 2018.

Meloni, 45, plays down her party’s post-fascist roots as a major conservative group. She has vowed to support Western policy on Ukraine and not take undue risks with an economy hit hard by rising prices.

Italy’s first autumn national election in more than a century erupted into the infighting between parties that toppled Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s broad national unity government in July.

Italy has a history of political instability, and the next prime minister will lead the country’s 68th government since 1946 and faces a host of challenges, particularly rising energy costs.

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The result of the vote will also be watched with concern in European capitals and financial markets.

European Union leaders, eager for unity after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, worry that Italy will be a more unpredictable partner than it was under former European Central Bank chief Draghi.

As for the markets, there are constant concerns about Italy’s ability to manage a debt pile of around 150% of GDP.

(1 dollar = 1.0252 euros)

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.