World: Italy PM calls for fairer Europe, faces EU anger - PressFrom - US

WorldItaly PM calls for fairer Europe, faces EU anger

20:55  12 february  2019
20:55  12 february  2019 Source:

Italy's Di Maio says high speed rail link to France 'has no future'

Italy's Di Maio says high speed rail link to France 'has no future' Italy's high-speed rail link with France "has no future", Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Saturday, despite his fellow deputy premier in the coalition government saying the line would be completed. The projected 270 km (167 mile) line, which is estimated to cost some 26 billion euros ($30 billion) and will be partly paid for with French and European Union funds, has split the coalition government in Rome. Luigi Di Maio, leader of the 5-Star Movement, one of the two ruling parties, said in a video on the Corriere.

Italy PM calls for fairer Europe, faces EU anger© Reuters/VINCENT KESSLER Italy's Prime Minister Conte addresses the European Parliament during a debate on the future of Europe in Strasbourg

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called on Tuesday for a less austere European Union more in tune with popular demands for economic growth, but he faced a barrage of criticism after his keynote speech in the EU legislature.

Speaking to the European Parliament in Strasbourg as part of a series of contributions by national leaders to a debate on the future of the Union, Conte stressed the continued commitment of Rome's populist government to EU integration - a commitment some doubted after the coalition's election last year.

France recalls ambassador to Italy after yellow vest meeting

France recalls ambassador to Italy after yellow vest meeting France is recalling its ambassador to Italy amid mounting tensions after Italy's deputy prime minister met with French yellow vest protesters and a string of critical Italian comments toward French President Emmanuel Macron's government. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

But in renewing Italian calls for more flexibility in euro zone budget rules, common debt instruments for the EU currency area, an EU unemployment fund and a change in rules intended to avoid new bank collapses, he said years of austerity had driven a wedge between elites and people that endangered the project.

"The powerful opposition that the European people, in its various forms, is demonstrating in the face of the elites speaks to our consciences and reminds us that politics, too assertive on economic rationales, has not done its homework and has given up on its mission," Conte told the assembled lawmakers.

Insisting his administration was keeping its "accounts in order", he said it was also seeking to stimulate growth.

France recalls Italy ambassador over 'unprecedented' and 'repeated' criticism

France recalls Italy ambassador over 'unprecedented' and 'repeated' criticism France has recalled its ambassador from Italy for consultations over "unprecedented" and "repeated" criticism by Italian officials, the French foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday. "For several months, France has been the target of repeated criticism, baseless attacks and outrageous declarations that everyone knows about," it said. "This is unprecedented since the end of the war. To have disagreements is one thing, to exploit the relationship for electoral aims is another.

He called for the Union to end long arguments over how to handle migrants arriving by sea across the Mediterranean -- a longstanding Italian complaint -- and to play a stronger, more united role in global affairs while maintaining dialogue with other powers such as the United States, Russia and China.

But leaders of mainstream political groups, whose Italian allies found themselves excluded from power in Rome by the rise of the populist League and 5-Star Movement coalition, lined up to criticize Conte's government for straying from euro zone budget rules, passing measures against asylum-seekers or siding with Moscow to thwart EU support for the opposition in Venezuela.

The sharp exchanges with a prime minister who, as an academic and political novice, is seen as the moderate face of a government dominated by radical voices, illustrated themes that will be aired in elections to the EU assembly this coming May.

France, Germany compromise on Russia's Nord Stream II gas pipeline

France, Germany compromise on Russia's Nord Stream II gas pipeline France and Germany have struck a compromise allowing Berlin to remain the lead negotiator with Russia on the Nord Stream II gas pipeline to Europe, a proposed deal showed Friday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); France had said it would support European Union oversight of new offshore energy pipelines in a move that could have crippled the undersea pipeline plans between Russia and Germany.


After weeks of tension with France after senior figures in his government hailed protesters opposed to President Emmanuel Macron, Conte offered a veiled rebuff to Paris's complaints, which culminated in recalling the French envoy from Rome.

"We should not be afraid of conflict," he said. "We should show that we can control it. We should not oppose change with sterile and damaging conservatism," Conte said.

"Instead, we should allow conflict to emerge, to demonstrate -- in democratic forms -- its propulsive force."

Manfred Weber, the German leader of the main conservative bloc in the parliament, accused Conte of running an economic policy based on high borrowing and slow growth. Socialist leader Udo Bullmann accused it of showing "the ugly face of inhumanity" toward asylum seekers landing on Italy's shores.

Speaking Italian, former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, the liberal leader, said his "love for Italy", a founder member of the Union, made it "painful" for him too see what he called the country's "political disintegration" since the administrations of conservative Silvio Berlusconi.

Sea Watch rescue ship released by Italy coastguard.
Migrant rescue ship Sea Watch 3 has been given permission to leave Italy three weeks after it was detained for breaching safety and environmental laws, the coastguard said Friday. The Highest Paying Cashback Card Has Hit Market Learn More Ad Wise Bread The Dutch-flagged ship was blocked in the port of Catania at the start of February for "a series of non-compliances concerning both navigation safety and compliance with rules protecting the marine environment". "The vessel has been given permission to sail", Italy's coastguard said, adding that its destination was the port of Marseille.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!