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Berlusconi Turns To G8 And Gaddafi For Comfort

Writer: By Michael Day in Milan
Mr oil & gas industry trends Berlusconi will say that the economic disaster and the need for larger monetary regulation, meals supplies for growing international locations and local weather change are the important thing issued facing the informal however exclusive gathering of the world’s seven richest nations, plus Russia, to be held in earthquake-torn L’Aquila from eight to 10 July.

A spokesman for Mr Berlusconi mentioned the summit had been moved from the Sardinian resort of La Maddalena to the devastated town in Abruzzo, central Italy, partly to bring a level of “sobriety” to proceedings in a time of international crisis.

Occasions in Iran, the Middle East battle, and international security issues will probably be high on the agenda. Voices at residence and abroad are asking, nevertheless, if Mr Berlusconi’s personal home political crises will detract from his skill to deal with such weighty global points.

Yesterday, it emerged that Giam-paolo Tarantini, the Bari businessman accused of procuring call women for the seventy two-12 months-outdated media mogul’s notorious parties in Rome and Sardinia, is under investigation for supplying cocaine.

Meanwhile, the head of the Bank of Italy warned that the domestic economy was growing “ever more fragile”. And following assaults on the prime minister by senior church figures, it was reported yesterday that Mr Berlusconi’s approval ranking had slipped under 50 per cent for the primary time since he won another term as premier. However, a spokesman for the Prime Minister insisted that, “with two G8s already under his belt”, he would carry expertise and drawback-solving capability to the summit.

Ceramic crossThe G5 nations China, Brazil, Mexico, India and South Africa, plus Egypt, which Italy regards as “an vital, Arab, Muslim and Center-Japanese country” will also be represented. The Libyan chief Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who this month made a excessive-profile state visit to Rome, will appear at L’Acquila on day three to head a delegation of the African Union.

Thirty leaders will appear over three days. However there are daunting obstacles to Berlusconi’s diplomatic ambitions.

On day two of the summit, Mr Berlusconi is due to co-chair the key Economies Discussion board session on local weather change with the US President. However the Italian premier doesn’t have the close relationship with Barack Obama that he loved with George Bush. His infamous description of the US President as “suntanned” after Mr Obama’s election victory did not get the relationship off to a flying begin.

This weekend, an Israeli paper quoted Mr Berlusconi as telling the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on a visit to Rome, that Mr Obama was “weak” on Iran. Italy additionally angered EU and US by this yr stepping up its participation in the South Stream Russian gas pipeline, which competes with the Europe-backed Nabucco venture designed to scale back Europe’s reliance on Russian supplies.

Mr Berlusconi thinks these components provide alternatives: he is keen to promote himself as a key mediator between Russia and the US, even Israel and the US. And whereas Mr Netanyahu’s government is at loggerheads with the Obama administration, Rome was Mr Netanyahu’s first European port of call after his re-election.

Whether all this will change the way bizarre Italians see him is unknown. But his spokesman, Marco Ventura, said: “He is match and searching forward to saying the G8 programme. The day after, he’s off to Libya to satisfy Colonel Gaddafi.”

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