In this week’s show, we hear from diplomatic editor James Blitz on the UK defence cuts, Tobias Buck in Jerusalem on the latest in the Middle East peace process, Christian Oliver on the currency wars and get the latest on the Vatican bank’s Italian court case from Guy Dinmore, hosted by David Blair.
Italy’s top court yesterday ruled that a law granting Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi immunity from prosecution while he is in office violates the constitution. We spoke to Guy Dinmore, correspondent for the Financial Times, to find out what yesterday’s ruling means for Berlusconi and his government… click here to listen
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi began his first visit to Italy today. His four-day visit includes an address to the Italian Senate, and a meeting with some of the 20,000 Italians who were expelled from Libya in 1970, when Italian occupation of the north African country ended. Relations between Italy and Libya have warmed over the last few years, capped by an Italian compensation deal for Libyan occupation. In return, Libya agreed to a new immigration accord under which Italy repatriates migrants who set off from the Libyan coast.
The Vatican, the UN and refugee groups have criticized the agreement. We spoke to Guy Dinmore, Correspondent for the Financial Times here in Rome.
Eu leaders should take a “measured approach” to Russia after the Georgia crisis, says Fulvio Conti, chief executive of Italian power utility Enel, given that 35% of European oil and gas comes from Russia. he tells Guy Dinmore, Rome correspondent, at the Ambrosetti economic forum in northern Italy that opportunities remain great to invest in Russia’s electricity system.
The interview was recorded on September 7th 2008
A transcript of the highlights of the FT’s interview with Romano Prodi, Italy’s prime minister, in Rome on November 5:
Financial Times: As president of the European Commission in 2004 you were a strong proponent of enlargement, when directive 38 governing the movement of EU citizens was passed. The Italian interior minister, Giuliano Amato, has criticised aspects of this directive. With the benefit of hindsight do you think the European Union failed to anticipate the consequences of opening its borders in this way to countries like Romania and Bulgaria, and that this was a mistake?
ROMANO PRODI: No I don’t think it was a mistake because it was a shared view of all the EU countries. Clearly the so called enlargement was not a short term sighted decision. It was a long term historical decision and clearly everybody knew how difficult was the process and I think that this process has been much more positive, taken together, than anyone could think in terms of changing institutions of the new countries and especially in terms of democracy. I think the results we had through enlargement are unique in the world. I used to repeat that is the only way of exporting democracy
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, chairman of employers’ body Confindustria, spells out to Guy Dinore his anti-Mafia message to Italian business and says he doesn’t rule out a foreign buyer for the debt-brudened flag carrier.