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Draghi stays away from Russia and China, anchors Italy in the West – EURACTIV.com


Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi made it clear that his country is aligned with the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance and issued a strongly worded message at the recent G7 and NATO summits, ending his predecessor’s ambiguity about Russia and China position.

Over the years, Italy’s populist and far-right parties have been in harmony with the autocratic regimes in Moscow and Beijing. Draghi’s remarks have brought Italy back to the democratic camp in the West.

For the former European Central Bank (ECB) president, Goldman Sachs and World Bank veteran, Italy is located in the center of the West, is part of the European family, and has like-minded democracies.

After the G7 summit with US President Joe Biden (Joe Biden) last weekend, Draghi criticized “China and all authoritarian countries that use false information…stop flying, kidnapping, killing, disrespect for human rights, and use forced labor.” .

According to the prime minister, the hard-line language “placed Italian diplomacy in its history” and broke the attitude of the previous government led by Giuseppe Conte, including the anti-establishment five-star movement (M5S) and the Maldives at the time. Theo Salvini’s far-right alliance.

Salvini, a former deputy prime minister, was an admirer of Russian President Putin and then U.S. President Trump. Speaking of Russian leaders, he said: “This country should have dozens of people like him who act in the interests of their citizens.”

In March 2019, under the leadership of the Conte government, Italy became the first G7 country to sign China’s new “Belt and Road” transportation and trade linkage project, which extends from Asia to Europe.

“Don’t be naive to China,” EU leaders told Italy

EU leaders showed China a united front on Friday (March 22) and warned of the consequences of signing a bilateral agreement between the Italian government and Beijing to become part of the new “Silk Road.”

During the visit of President Xi Jinping, it signed a “non-binding” agreement to participate in the project, which attracted the attention of Brussels and Washington.

When asked about the agreement on Sunday, Draghi promised to “carefully review.”

“No one questioned the fact that China has the right to become a large economy like other countries sitting at the table. But we are discussing the methods used by that country,” he told reporters.

The banker knows his amount

For Jean-Pierre Darnis, a scientific adviser at the Rome-based think tank Institute of International Affairs, the change in attitude is obvious.

“Mario Draghi has re-established a classic pro-European and pro-Atlantic policy under the leadership of the head of the Italian government,” he told AFP.

The former banker Draghi also knew how to calculate.

Although Italy is the main beneficiary of the EU’s 750 billion euro post-coronavirus recovery fund, before the global business model was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Italy had a trade deficit of 18.6 billion euros with China in 2019. The gap with Russia is 6.4 billion euros.

Official data show that in terms of countries that Italy exports, China and Russia rank 9th and 16th respectively, far behind Germany, France and the United States.

For Massimo Franco, a commentator for the “Evening Post”, Draghi’s comments on China and Russia were not only directed at Italy’s allies, but also at “information directed at political parties in his government”.

The M5S and the Alliance remain in the government as part of the National Unity Alliance, which covers almost all the major Italian political parties that have agreed to serve under Draghi’s leadership in response to the epidemic.

People have high expectations for the man who helped save the eurozone during the debt crisis during the European Central Bank, but this gave him a strong personal mission.

Salvini made no secret of his continued closeness with political leaders whose worldview differed from Draghi’s, especially his close relationship with Hungary’s Victor Orban.

Reporter Franco said that on the G7, the prime minister slid to those “political forces that often showed temptation—to make this country—slide into an ambiguous position, so as to give people a kind of dangerous relationship between NATO and Russia or China. Impression of isometric relationship “”.





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