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Renzi Told to Put Italy First and Stop 'Being a Servant to Other Countries'

© AP PhotoItalian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a media conference after an emergency EU summit at the EU Council building in Brussels.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a media conference after an emergency EU summit at the EU Council building in Brussels. - Sputnik International
The Italian government has become 'subordinate to the EU, Germany and US,' and should reassert national sovereignty rather than seeking to build bridges with Brussels, vice-speaker of the Italian Senate Maurizio Gasparri told Sputnik Italia.

(L-R) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi arrive for a press conference ahead of talks following the Brexit referendum at the chancellery in Berlin, on June 27, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to the Mediterranean island of Ventotene for a trilateral meeting on the future of Europe, Italy's RAI News reported on Monday.

The conference is intended to strengthen that triumvirate within the EU in the aftermath of Brexit, and follows a previous meeting on June 27, when Merkel invited Hollande and Renzi to Berlin.

"They will be coming to discuss how to relaunch Europe from the bottom up, there's a big need," Prime Minister Renzi said on Sunday.

The three leaders are set to discuss ways to boost economic growth and cut unemployment in the EU, as well as measures to tackle migration. They are keen to avoid further damage to the European Union project, in the aftermath of the UK's decision to leave the bloc.

"The goal must first of all be to preserve the status quo and to prevent a further disintegration of the EU-27," one EU diplomat said about the meeting.

However, vice-speaker of the Italian Senate Maurizio Gasparri told Sputnik Italia that the Italian government is making a mistake by staking its future on that of the EU. 

He said that Italy must reassert its own foreign policy independent of Brussels and Washington, and that the forced imposition of anti-Russian sanctions is one example of a lack of national sovereignty.

"EU countries have become blind, they are acting contrary to their interests. Italy punished those sectors of its economy which have always exported to the Russian market – textiles, fashion, agricultural products. It is necessary to hold a dialogue regarding the difficult situation in Ukraine, and not try to change Russian politics with sanctions," Gasparri said.

"It is an expression of our government's subordination to the EU, Germany and US. Renzi recently held meetings with Putin, he talked about a change in policy but in reality nothing has changed. There is an absolute lack of courage and initiative."

Gasparri expressed frustration that Italian politics is being dictated from elsewhere, and said that Renzi's administration is less assertive than previous ones.

"Italy does not have a foreign policy, and therefore Renzi is a servant of other governments, while Berlusconi's government was able to play an active political role and engage in dialogue with both Russia and the US."

Turin, capital of the Italy's Piedmont region - Sputnik International
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Gasparri, a center-right politician, served in Berlusconi's cabinet as Minister for Communications from 2001-2005. He said that Renzi is facing a difficult referendum on constitutional reform this fall, and thinks the incumbent is not the right person to take the country forward.

"This (referendum) is also an overall judgment of the degree of democracy and ability of our government. With Renzi, we are not going anywhere because of a lack of authority. This also concerns government appendages, such as the useless Mogherini who is supposed to deal with security and defense policies in the EU. This person has no political role, or credibility," Gasparri said.

Europe should end anti-Russian sanctions, and enter into dialogue with Russia, "which is vital not only for our economy, but for our freedom" in the face of Islamic terrorism, Gasparri said.

"We are not obliged to follow the Western order. The very idea of using Crimea as a reason for sanctions is ridiculous. Crimea has been a part of Russia for longer than Texas has been a part of the US."

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