Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Italy pledges to move July G8 to quake-hit area
Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:42am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Giuseppe Fonte and Antonella Cinelli
L'AQUILA, Italy (Reuters) - Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi pledged to move July's G8 summit to the quake-hit area of central Italy on Thursday in a show of solidarity that also deals with the original island venue's logistics problems.
The surprise decision ends more than two years of planning for the event on the sun-soaked, remote island of Maddalena and allows Berlusconi to maintain the focus on the earthquake, his hands-on response to which has boosted his popularity ratings.
"What seat would be more appropriate than a land wounded by the earthquake?" Berlusconi told a news conference in L'Aquila, after his cabinet met in the quake-hit area to allocate eight billion euros for rebuilding.
The 220 million euros needed for summit security and infrastructure in Sardinia could be invested in the quake-hit region this way, and protesters would be hesitant to stir trouble in a "land wounded" by the quake, said Berlusconi.
"The 21 heads of government who come will be able to see first hand the wounds caused by this earthquake," Berlusconi said, calling it a "message of hope" for the region.
Government officials said other G8 members would be asked to approve the change but Berlusconi seemed determined.
"I think it could work out very well," he said.
Local officials in the quake-hit area have welcomed plans to host the G8 summit but there have been signs of dissent within Berlusconi's cabinet over the move, with at least one minister saying it would be "implausible" and difficult to pull off.
Italian media have said the July 8-10 Maddalena summit was turning into a logistics nightmare, with difficulty finding the right-sized cruise ships to house delegates and complicated arrangements to ferry around press and security forces.
Maddalena was partly picked as the venue because its remote location would have deterred protesters. One protester was killed in clashes the last time Italy hosted a G8 summit, which was held in Genoa in 2001.
The prime minister also announced that U.S. President Barack Obama had asked Italy to host an environment summit in Maddalena in autumn.
It was not immediately clear how the mediaeval mountain city of L'Aquila itself-- now strewn with rubble, collapsed buildings and ringed by blue tent camps holding tens of thousands of newly homeless -- would accommodate thousands expected for the summit.
The area is, however, only some 70 miles from Rome, which would make it possible for heads of state to stay in the Italian capital and be shuttled to the new G8 venue.
The April 6 earthquake in the central region of Abruzzo -- Italy's worst in three decades -- killed 296 people, flattened entire areas of some towns and made some 63,000 people homeless. Continued...
View article on single page
Rich nation greenhouse gas emissions rise in 2007
also on reuters
Blog: Apple raises ruckus with baby-shaking app
"Banker to the poor" gives New York women a boost
Video: "Best job in the world" a marketer's dream
More International News
ANC takes strong lead in South African election
Millions of Indians vote in new round of mammoth poll
Afghans welcome security, wary of U.S. tactics
Sri Lanka struggles to cope with war zone refugees
Turkey, Armenia agree on framework to normalize ties
More International News...
Italy pledges 8 billion euros to rebuild quake-hit zone
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Lewis testified that U.S. urged silence on Merrill deal: report | Video
Freddie Mac CFO in apparent suicide: police source | Video
Clinton says Cheney not a "reliable source"
Global economic crisis hits German sex industry
Clinton says Pakistan is abdicating to the Taliban | Video
Obama triggers firestorm in CIA interrogation case
Bra deflects bullet aimed at woman
U.S. credit card bill advances on eve of Obama meet | Video
European Factors -- Futures point lower after US falls; CS eyed
"Banker to the poor" gives New York women a boost
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
"Best job" a marketers dream
Obama touts green jobs on Earth Day
Freddie Mac acting CFO dead
Business Update: Britain's Budget
Clinton: Pakistan abdicating Taliban
Smallest earth-like planet found
IMF: Global recession is severe
Credit card controversy
Terror suspects trial in Germany
Zuma hopeful in S. Africa elections
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.