Italian government coalition split on US air base in Vicenza


Vicenza

From Italian news agency ANSA:

Govt split over US base in Vicenza

Expansion plans prove a fresh headache for Prodi

ROME – Premier Romano Prodi was struggling to maintain unity in his centre-left coalition on Monday as a rift deepened over possible plans to enlarge a US base at the northern city of Vicenza.

The project, which would create the biggest American military base outside the US, is firmly opposed by left-wing and pacifist elements in Prodi’s disparate, nine-party coalition.

But several other parties, including the centrist, Catholic UDC and the Radicals, are equally convinced it should go ahead to prevent damage to Italo-US relations.

Both UDC and Radical party in Italy have a dodgy past, including co-operation with the Berlusconi Right and apologism for cult-like authoritarian groups.

ANSA continues:

But the Democratic Left (DS), the largest government party, and others including the Greens, the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) and the Italian Communists’ Party (PDCI) renewed their protests on Monday.

The DS underscored surveys showing that 70% of Vicenza residents are against enlarging the base.

The PRC, the third largest party in government, said that a green light would imply “incomprehensible support for the disastrous policies of the Bush administration” and would be a continuation of the foreign policies of the previous government headed by Silvio Berlusconi.

The Greens argued that the project would have a “terrible impact” on the surrounding urban environment.

Other critics said Vicenza citizens should be allowed to decide for themselves via a referendum.

See also here.

Update: here.

And here.

6 thoughts on “Italian government coalition split on US air base in Vicenza

  1. VICENZA SABATO 17 FEBBRAIO 2007

    Il CNJ aderisce, partecipa ed invita tutti a partecipare alla

    MANIFESTAZIONE INTERNAZIONALE
    CONTRO LA GUERRA E LE BASI DI GUERRA, PER LA PACE E LA GIUSTIZIA

    http://www.cnj.it/iniziative/NODALMOLIN/

    – NO DAL MOLIN: appello manifestazione 17 febbraio
    – Convegno nazionale “Disarmiamoli” il 10 febbraio 2007 a Bologna
    – NO DAL MOLIN: sostieni il Presidio Permanente
    – La manifestazione del 2 dicembre 2006 a Vicenza
    – Un ultimatum dei militari statunitensi al governo italiano sulla
    vicenda della costruzione della nuova base “Dal Molin”
    – Base Usa Vicenza, Prodi: decisione del governo è definitiva
    – Rossi (Officina Comunista): “La vicenda di Vicenza è come per la
    guerra in Jugoslavia”
    – Dal Molin, ovvero: IL RE E’ NUDO (Comitato Disarmiamoli)
    – La posta in gioco (Rete dei Comunisti)
    – Interpellanza alla Camera sull’allargamento della Base “Dal Molin”
    – DA KABUL A BEIRUT, PASSANDO PER VICENZA (Comitato Disarmiamoli)
    – Curzio Bettio: Sulla questione del raddoppio della base USA di Vicenza
    contiene:
    – Dopo Vicenza, Sigonella: alloggi per 6.800 militari
    – Basi militari americane Una storia di crimini e soprusi

    … e numerosi altri link a documenti importanti, alla pagina:

    http://www.cnj.it/iniziative/NODALMOLIN/

    Like

  2. Bonino offers to quit over pensions
    Prodi rejects resignation but tensions remain
    (ANSA) – Rome, July 17 – European Affairs Minister Emma Bonino offered to quit from Premier Romano Prodi’s government on Tuesday as tensions in his centre-left coalition over pension reform began to boil over.

    Prodi immediately sent Bonino a letter saying the government still needed her “precious contribution” and refusing the offer to resign.

    “I have written a letter to Prodi, leaving to him the judgment on my continued presence in the government,” said Bonino, who hails from Italy’s liberal and libertarian Radical party.

    The minister said she expected Prodi to announce soon what direction he intended to take on pensions, implying that if he moved in the direction asked by the Left there would be no sense in her remaining.

    Bonino has been at loggerheads with leftwing allies over pensions for several weeks and at a press conference on Tuesday evening she slammed their “conservative positions”.

    “We are facing a crucial moment for the country,” she said, claiming that pressure from unions and left wing parties risked jeopardising the future financial stability of the country.

    Bonino argues that a reform passed by the previous centre-right government, raising the minimum retirement age from 57 to 60 as of 2008, should be kept.

    This would enable the state to save 10 billion euros a year from 2010, producing a general improvement in state accounts and helping Italy meet its budgetary commitments to the European Union.

    In the run-up to 2006 elections the centre left promised it would do away with the jump from 57 to 60. Since coming to power Prodi’s government has promised to make the increase in the retirement age more gradual.

    Bonino’s opposition to this approach is shared by several centrists in the ruling coalition, including former premier Lamberto Dini.

    Bonino has also horrified unions and the Left by saying that the standard retirement age for women should be raised from 60 to 65 to put them in line with men. CRITICAL WEEK.

    Prodi admitted on Monday that the coming week would be decisive for efforts to forge an agreement on pension reform, both with unions and within his centre-left alliance.

    Asked whether the week ahead would also be crucial for the survival of his government, the premier avoided responding. Some political analysts are suggesting that the divisions in the government on pensions are so deep that Prodi’s administration could collapse without an agreement soon.

    Welfare Minister Paolo Ferrero, a communist, said he was “sorry” when informed about Bonino’s move and said he hoped she would change her mind. He stressed that the Left had only ever asked for the programme signed by all parties before 2006 elections to be respected.

    The centre-right opposition said the offer to quit was a sign the government was on its last legs.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Fight against US military base in Italy continues | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: European Union armed forces against popular opposition? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Big anti US military base demonstration in Vicenza, Italy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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