Sabato, 20 Luglio 2019
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Italy to sign Silk Road memorandum says Conte

Italy to sign Silk Road memorandum says Conte

(ANSA) - Rome, March 15 - Premier Giuseppe Conte on Friday
confirmed that his government intends to sign a memorandum of
understanding with the Chinese government for its Belt and Road
The huge infrastructure plan aims to create a sort of modern
Silk Road, with rail, road and port projects.
"Yes, the memorandum will be signed," Conte said.
"The memorandum is a non-binding framework agreement. It is
not an international accord".
The moved came despite government tension between senior
partner the 5-Star Movement (M5S), which welcomes the deal, and
junior partner the League which has warned against alleged
Deputy Premier and Labour and Industry Minister Luigi Di
Maio, the M5S leader, said that signing up for China's
infrastructure initiative to create a sort of modern Silk Road
will boost Italy's sovereignty rather than reduce it.
"Today the Made in Italy brand wins," Di Maio said after a
meeting with Premier Conte and other senior government
"Italy has decided to be more sovereign with the Belt and
Road Initiative.
"It is not a political agreement with China but a trade
"Indeed, the United States remains our main ally and NATO is
our natural home.
"The US have no cause to be concerned, they remain our main
ally. I admired Trump when he said America First, and I say
Italy First, we want to safeguard the interests of our
entrepreneurs who want to take Made in Italy around the world.
"This is a surge forward by Italy, a change of pace towards
the future".
M5S sources said the government would give the green light to
the memorandum, to be signed with visiting President Xi Jinping
later this month, "without any major modifications to the
framework agreement".
But League sources said "checks" would have to be made on how
far the deal affects Italy's telecommunications and ports
"National security comes before everything else," they told
"Only then does the interest of the Italian economy come into
it," they said.
Conte sought to allay fears, saying that "we are the only
ones to have stressed respect for EU rules" and underscoring
that "we will reinforce golden power to reinforce national
He stressed that "strategic assets are not covered in the

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