Search

 

Cablegate: Bossi On Italian Politics, Devolution, Immigration

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ROME 003639

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/19/2012
TAGS: PGOV ECON PINR ELAB ECON PINR ELAB ECON PINR ELAB IT EUN ITPGOV EUN ITPGOV EUN ITALIAN POLITICS


SUBJECT: BOSSI ON ITALIAN POLITICS, DEVOLUTION, IMMIGRATION
AND THE EU


CLASSIFIED BY: A/DCM THOMAS COUNTRYMAN FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D)

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ROME 03639 01 OF 03 231626Z
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: NORTHERN LEAGUE LEADER (AND MINISTER FOR
REFORM AND DEVOLUTION) BOSSI MET WITH THE AMBASSADOR JULY 17
FOR A WIDE-RANGING DISCUSSION OF ISSUES, INCLUDING DOMESTIC
POLITICS, DEVOLUTION, IMMIGRATION AND THE FUTURE OF THE EU.
RELAXED AND STRAIGHTFORWARD, BOSSI EXPLAINED NEXT STEPS IN
THE DEVOLUTION PROCESS, THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THE BOSSI-FINI
IMMIGRATION LAW, AND HIS ECONOMIC CONCERNS REGARDING EU
ENLARGEMENT. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) THE AMBASSADOR MET JULY 17 WITH UMBERTO BOSSI, LEADER
OF THE LEGA NORD (LN), A LEADER OF THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT
COALITION AND MINISTER WITHOUT PORTFOLIO FOR REFORM AND
DEVOLUTION. A/DCM AND ECON COUNSELOR WERE ALSO PRESENT.

ITALIAN POLITICS AND ECONOMIC REFORMS
-------------------------------------

3. (C) BOSSI EXPECTS THE BERLUSCONI GOVERNMENT TO SERVE ITS
FULL FIVE-YEAR TERM. IN HIS VIEW, THE REALIGNMENT OF SEVERAL
FORMER CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTIES INTO THE NEW ""CHRISTIAN
DEMOCRATIC CENTER"" WAS NOT A REAL THREAT. WHILE THIS GROUP
(WITHIN AND OUTSIDE THE GOVERNING COALITION) WAS INTERESTED
IN RETURNING TO POLITICAL POWER, THEY DID NOT HAVE THE
STRENGTH TO STRIKE OUT ON THEIR OWN.

4. (C) BOSSI RECALLED THAT THIS GOVERNMENT HAD INHERITED A
COUNTRY WITH AN UNEXPECTEDLY HIGH FISCAL DEFICIT, 37 BILLION
LIRE (USD 18 MILLION) OVER THE ANTICIPATED LEVEL, WHICH
SOMEWHAT SLOWED THE NEW GOVERNMENT'S ABILITY TO MAKE
NECESSARY CHANGES. HOWEVER, MINISTER TREMONTI WAS A CREATIVE
MAN, AND HAD MOVED AHEAD WITH REFORMS NONETHELESS.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ROME 03639 01 OF 03 231626Z

5. (C) THE AMBASSADOR ASKED ABOUT THE LABOR SITUATION,
NOTING THAT THE GOI HAD COME TO AN AGREEMENT WITH THREE OF
THE FOUR MAJOR LABOR UNIONS. WHAT WERE PROSPECTS FOR AN
ACCORD WITH THE CGIL? BOSSI RESPONDED THAT HE SAW LITTLE
PROSPECT OF AN ACCORD UNTIL CGIL LEADER COFFERATI RETIRED IN
LATE SUMMER. COFFERATI'S SUCCESSOR SEEMED A MORE MODERATE
INTERLOCUTOR, AND WAS MORE LIKELY TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT.

6. (C) BOSSI EXPLAINED THAT MOST ITALIAN UNIONS HAVE FEW
WORKERS AND MANY RETIREES. ONLY ONE NORTHERN UNION CONSISTS
OF ONLY WORKERS. UNIONS, HE DECLARED, WERE INTERESTED IN
PROTECTING PENSIONS, NOT CREATING JOBS. TWENTY TO THIRTY
YEARS AGO, THE GOI HAD GIVEN UNIONS THE SOLE CONTRACT FOR
HANDLING PAPERWORK FOR WORKER AND PENSION BENEFITS. EVEN
THOUGH THE GOI HAD SPENT $2 BILLION RESTRUCTURING THE
GOVERNMENT'S INPS SOCIAL BENEFITS SYSTEM, ONLY UNIONS COULD
PROCESS THIS PAPERWORK -- FOR A FEE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT
FOR EACH DOCUMENT. THE UNIONS EARN AT LEAST $750 MILLION
ANNUALLY FOR THIS SERVICE.

7. (C) ""AS A RESULT, UNIONS ARE RICHER THAN POLITICAL
PARTIES IN ITALY,"" BOSSI EXPLAINED. ""TAKE COFFERATI AND
(CENTER-LEFT DS LEADER) FASSINO FOR EXAMPLE. THE CGIL'S
COFFERATI HAS MONEY TO PAY FOR BUSES TO TRANSPORT UNION
MEMBERS FOR MASS DEMONSTRATIONS. THE DS'S FASSINO DOES NOT
HAVE MONEY FOR THIS."" FURTHERMORE, BOSSI CONTINUED, THE
UNIONS WANT TO SET UP AND RUN PENSION FUNDS. BY DOING SO,
THE UNIONS WOULD BECOME FINANCIERS AND MANAGERS OF PENSION
FUNDS -- EVEN STRONGER FINANCIALLY AND POLITICALLY.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 ROME 03639 01 OF 03 231626Z
8. (C) COFFERATI WILL ENTER POLITICS AT THE END OF THE
SUMMER, WHEN HE RETIRES FROM THE CGIL, EXPLAINED BOSSI.
BOSSI EXPECTED COFFERATI TO RECONSTITUTE THE COMMUNIST POLE
IN ITALY, WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE REFOUNDED COMMUNISTS (RC).
(COMMENT: MAYBE. WE WOULD CERTAINLY AGREE THAT HE WOULD
ATTRACT THOSE ON ITALY'S LEFT, BUT WE THINK HE WOULD RATHER
BE AN ALLY WITH THE DEMOCRATIC LEFT (DS) THAN WITH THE RC.
END COMMENT.)

DEVOLUTION AND FEDERALISM
-------------------------

9. (C) BOSSI DETAILED THE DEVOLUTION PROCESS IN ITALY. HE
NOTED THAT THE PROCESS HAD BEGUN UNDER THE (1998-2000
CENTER-LEFT) D'ALEMA GOVERNMENT, WHICH TOOK THE FIRST STEP BY
MODIFYING TITLE V OF THE CONSTITUTION (THE PART OF THE
ITALIAN CONSTITUTION THAT SETS OUT CENTRAL AND REGIONAL
GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES). ""IT WAS DONE TO KEEP US (THE
LEGA) FROM JOINING BERLUSCONI,"" HE EXPLAINED. (NOTE: BOTH
ITALY'S CENTER-LEFT AND CENTER-RIGHT HAVE, IN THE PAST,
SOUGHT TO GAIN THE LEGA'S ALLEGIANCE. BOSSI SUGGESTED THAT
THE TITLE V REFORM WAS A LAST-DITCH EFFORT BY THE CENTER-LEFT
TO WOO HIS PARTY. END NOTE.) THIS GAVE REGIONS SOMEWHAT MORE
CONTROL OVER SCHOOLS, HEALTH CARE AND LOCAL POLICE (VIGILI
URBANI), ALBEIT WITH CONSIDERABLE ONGOING CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
OVERSIGHT IT WAS ONLY A SMALL STEP TOWARD DEVOLUTION,
HOWEVER. THE NEXT STEP -- IN 2003 -- WILL BE TO CHANGE THE

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ4581

PAGE 01 ROME 03639 02 OF 03 231627Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CA-01 CEA-01
CIAE-00 COME-00 CTME-00 INL-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00
PERC-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00
FBIE-00 VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 INSE-00
ITC-01 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 DCP-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OCS-03 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 VO-03 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 /018W
------------------CF2A6B 231627Z /38
P 231625Z JUL 02
FM AMEMBASSY ROME
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5040
INFO EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL MILAN
AMCONSUL NAPLES
AMCONSUL FLORENCE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 ROME 003639

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/19/2012
TAGS: PGOV ECON PINR ELAB ECON PINR ELAB ECON PINR ELAB IT EUN ITPGOV EUN ITPGOV EUN ITALIAN POLITICS
SUBJECT: BOSSI ON ITALIAN POLITICS, DEVOLUTION, IMMIGRATION
AND THE EU

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT BY ADDING REGIONAL GOVERNMENT
REPRESENTATIVES TO THOSE FROM THE PARLIAMENT, PRESIDENT AND
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ROME 03639 02 OF 03 231627Z
JUDICIARY. THE THIRD STEP WILL BE TO TURN THE ITALIAN SENATE
INTO A FEDERALIST BODY. ""THIS WILL BE A HISTORIC STEP IN THE
DEVELOPMENT OF A PRESIDENTIAL REPUBLIC. WE WILL DO IT IN OUR
LAST YEAR (2006), AS IT WILL REQUIRE IMMEDIATE ELECTIONS,"" HE
ADDED. THE CHAMBER WILL HANDLE ONLY THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF
THE ITALIAN CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS
WILL HANDLE REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES. THE SENATE WILL
HANDLE AREAS OF JOINT OR OVERLAPPING COMPETENCY. THE RESULT
WILL RESEMBLE THE FRENCH FEDERAL SYSTEM MORE THAN THE U.S.
FEDERAL SYSTEM. ""ITALY IS NOT MATURE ENOUGH FOR U.S.-STYLE,
STRONG FEDERALISM,"" BOSSI EXPLAINED.

10. (C) BOSSI CHARACTERIZED PRIME MINISTER BERLUSCONI AS
""PRESIDENTIAL - ALTHOUGH WE DO NOT HAVE A PRESIDENTIAL
SYSTEM."" BERLUSCONI IS A DECISIVE DECISION-MAKER AND
MANAGER, NOT A MAN OF COMPROMISE. HE WAS VOTED INTO POWER AS
THE GOVERNMENT LEADER. ""THE BALLOT HAD BERLUSCONI'S PICTURE
AND THE PARTY SYMBOL."" IN ITALY, STRESSED BOSSI, THE IDEAS
OF PRESIDENT AND FEDERALISM ARE CLOSELY ASSOCIATED IN THE
PUBLIC MIND.

11. (C) THE AMBASSADOR AND BOSSI THEN COMPARED THE PROBLEMS
OF ITALY'S SOUTH TO THOSE OF THE U.S. SOUTH MANY YEARS AGO --
ALSO AN AREA CHARACTERIZED BY AN AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY AND
HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT. THE AMBASSADOR EXPLAINED HOW SOUTHERN
LEADERS IN THE U.S. HAD OBTAINED INVESTMENT FUNDS AND
PERSUADED MANUFACTURING FIRMS TO SET UP IN THE SOUTH. BOSSI
CONTRASTED THIS TO SOUTHERN ITALY'S EXPERIENCE. ""WE IN ITALY
BORROWED A LOT FROM KEYNES, WHO INSPIRED OUR CASSA PER IL
MEZZOGIORNO (FUND FOR SOUTHERN ITALY). BUT HERE THE IDEA WAS
CHANGED FROM ONE OF CREATING BUSINESS TO A WELFARE STATE."" A
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ROME 03639 02 OF 03 231627Z
U.S. STATE CAN MAKE LAWS AND UNDERTAKE PROGRAMS, AND IS
RESPONSIBLE TO ITS CITIZENS FOR THE RESULTS. IN ITALY,
INSTEAD, HE EXPLAINED, ""THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT MAKES THE LAWS
AND PROVIDES THE MONEY, WHILE LOCAL POLITICIANS ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR NOTHING. ITALY SUFFERS FROM A LACK OF
INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY. ITALY HAD THE LARGEST COMMUNIST
PARTY IN THE WORLD, AND THE STATE PROVIDED MONEY FOR
EVERYTHING."" BOSSI DECLARED THAT BUSINESS NEEDED ""A STABLE
CURRENCY AND GOOD ROADS -- NOT WELFARE HANDOUTS."" THE
ITALIAN SOUTH NEEDS REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS WITH REAL POWER AND
RESPONSIBLE TO CITIZENS FOR THE RESULTS. ""THE PROBLEMS OF
THE SOUTH OF ITALY WILL NEVER BE RESOLVED UNTIL THE CITIZENS
AND POLITICIANS OF THE SOUTH ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN
FATES,"" HE ARGUED.

IMMIGRATION
-----------

12. (C) THE A/DCM ASKED ABOUT THE FINI-BOSSI IMMIGRATION LAW.
BOSSI REPLIED THAT HE HAD DRAFTED THE LAW EXACTLY ONE YEAR
AGO. HIS BASIC CONCERN IN DOING SO, HE EXPLAINED, WAS
NATIONAL SECURITY, A FEAR OF GROWING UNREST AMONG BOTH
ITALIAN YOUTH AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. BOSSI FEARED THAT
ITALY WOULD BE AT RISK IF ITS YOUNG PEOPLE COULD NOT OBTAIN
PERMANENT JOBS, BUT ONLY TEMPORARY, FIXED-TERM CONTRACTS. HE
EXPLAINED: ""IF YOU HAVE THREE APPLICANTS FOR EACH JOB, THEN
OK, THAT IS COMPETITION. BUT IF YOU HAVE 100 APPLICANTS FOR
EACH JOB, THEN YOU LEAVE ITALIANS -- PARTICULARLY YOUNG
PEOPLE -- WITHOUT HOPE. THIS IS AN INCREASINGLY DANGEROUS
SITUATION."" AT THE SAME TIME, HE ARGUED, ITALY FACES AN
INFLUX OF JOBLESS, HOMELESS IMMIGRANTS, WHO CAN EASILY FALL
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 ROME 03639 02 OF 03 231627Z
INTO A CRIMINAL LIFESTYLE TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES.

13. (C) MANY HAD SUGGESTED THAT THE PROBLEM OF RISING
IMMIGRATION COULD BEST BE RESOLVED THROUGH AID TO THE THIRD
WORLD. BOSSI DISAGREED. HE NOTED THAT HE STRONGLY OPPOSED
THE TOBIN TAX (NOTE: THIS IS A PROPOSED TAX ON CROSS-BORDER
CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS, INTENDED TO CUT DOWN ON CURRENCY
SPECULATION AND PROVIDE DEVELOPMENT FUNDS. END NOTE).
MOREOVER, HE WAS CONVINCED THAT MOST ORGANIZATIONS WORKING IN
THE THIRD WORLD USE 80 PERCENT OF THEIR FUNDING FOR THEIR OWN
IN-HOUSE EXPENSES, DOING LITTLE TO FIGHT THIRD WORLD POVERTY.

14. (C) BOSSI PREFERRED TO LINK SUPPLY AND DEMAND. THE LAW
CONDITIONS ENTRY OF IMMIGRANTS ON EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS. IN
THIS WAY, ONLY IMMIGRANTS WITH THE MEANS TO SUPPORT
THEMSELVES LEGALLY WILL ENTER ITALY. THIS SHOULD, HE HOPED,
IMPROVE JOB PROSPECTS FOR ITALIANS. THIS WAS BY NO MEANS AN
ANTI-FOREIGN OR RACIST PROVISION. RATHER, IT WAS INTENDED TO
SLOW THE ENTRY OF IMMIGRANTS TO A PACE THAT ITALY COULD
ABSORB. ""WE KNOW THE WORLD IS CHANGING. WE CAN ATTEMPT TO
CONTROL ONLY THE SPEED OF THAT CHANGE."" IT WAS IN NO ONE'S
INTEREST TO SEE RELIGIOUS CONFLICT, A CLASH OF CULTURES,
EXPLAINED BOSSI.

EU ENLARGEMENT AND THE CONVENTION
---------------------------------

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ4582

PAGE 01 ROME 03639 03 OF 03 231627Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CA-01 CEA-01
CIAE-00 COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 PERC-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00
VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 INSE-00 ITC-01
LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OCS-03
OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 VO-03
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/017W
------------------CF2A7F 231627Z /38
P 231625Z JUL 02
FM AMEMBASSY ROME
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5041
INFO EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL MILAN
AMCONSUL NAPLES
AMCONSUL FLORENCE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 ROME 003639

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/19/2012
TAGS: PGOV ECON PINR ELAB ECON PINR ELAB ECON PINR ELAB IT EUN ITPGOV EUN ITPGOV EUN ITALIAN POLITICS
SUBJECT: BOSSI ON ITALIAN POLITICS, DEVOLUTION, IMMIGRATION
AND THE EU

15. (C) BOSSI WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE EU BECOME A ""LOOSE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ROME 03639 03 OF 03 231627Z
CONFEDERATION."" HE IS CONVINCED THAT ""THE LEFT PLANS TO USE
THE CONVENTION TO CREATE A SUPERSTATE, A UNITED STATES OF
EUROPE, BUT I DON'T BELIEVE THEY WILL ACHIEVE THIS."" THE
PROCESS OF ENLARGEMENT, ADDING COUNTRIES, WILL PREVENT TIGHT
CENTRAL CONTROL AND LOWER THE RISK FOR CONFLICT WITH THE U.S.
THAT COULD RESULT FROM A MORE POWERFUL, CENTRALLY-GOVERNED EU.

16. (C) ENLARGEMENT, EXPLAINED BOSSI, WILL CAUSE ECONOMIC
PROBLEMS FOR EXISTING MEMBERS AND NEW ENTRANTS. THE EU
STRUCTURAL FUNDS HAVE POURED BILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THE
ITALIAN SOUTH, BOSSI NOTED, AND THIS WOULD END WITH EU
ENLARGEMENT. FEDERALISM WOULD BE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT -- IT
WAS ESSENTIAL TO MOVE DECISION-MAKING AND RESPONSIBILITY
CLOSER TO CITIZENS.

17. (C) THE INITIAL IDEA OF MANY IN THE EU, HE SAID, WAS THAT
NEW MEMBERS WOULD PROVIDE LARGE NEW MARKETS. IN BOSSI'S
VIEW, HOWEVER, MAASTRICHT TARGETS WILL PROVE DIFFICULT AND
EXPENSIVE TO MEET FOR THESE NEW ENTRANTS. ""HOW WILL A
COUNTRY SUCH AS POLAND LOWER ITS FISCAL DEFICIT TO THREE
PERCENT OF GDP, LOWER ITS DEBT?"" HE ASKED. NECESSARY
ECONOMIC MEASURES TO MEET THESE TARGETS MAY BE SO DIFFICULT
AND COSTLY THAT SOME CANDIDATES MAY CONSIDER EU MEMBERSHIP
TOO EXPENSIVE. BOSSI WAS IN FAVOR OF REVISING THE STABILITY
PACT TARGETS. HE STRESSED ""YOU CAN,T COMPETE WITH YOUR
HANDS TIED BEHIND YOUR BACK. THESE NEW COUNTRIES ARE FACING
THAT PROBLEM. MINISTER TREMONTI UNDERSTANDS THIS ENTIRE
ISSUE VERY WELL.""

18. (C) THE AMBASSADOR ASKED WHETHER THE CONVENTION WOULD
CHANGE EU DECISIONMAKING. BOSSI THOUGHT NOT. ""THE CURRENT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ROME 03639 03 OF 03 231627Z
SYSTEM GIVES EVEN SMALL COUNTRIES THE RIGHT TO VETO MEASURES
AGAINST THEIR INTERESTS. THIS VETO PREVENTS THE CREATION OF
THE EUROPEAN SUPERSTATE THAT THE LEFT WANTS."" NOTING THAT
THE TRADITION OF NATION STATES IS VERY STRONG IN EUROPE,
BOSSI SUGGESTED THAT MEMBER STATES NEEDED TO RETAIN A VETO IN
EU DECISIONS.

BOSSI'S VIEW OF PRESIDENT BUSH
------------------------------

19. (C) BOSSI SEVERAL TIMES EXPRESSED ADMIRATION FOR THE U.S.
FEDERAL SYSTEM AND, IN PARTICULAR, FOR PRESIDENT BUSH. HE
RECOUNTED THAT, IN 1999, THE GOVERNMENT HAD SENT HIM TO
BELGRADE TO TALK TO MILOSOVIC, TO PERSUADE HIM TO NEGOTIATE.
""MILOSOVIC WAS A VERY SMART MAN, BUT HE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE
THAT THE WORLD HAD CHANGED. HE NEVER ACCEPTED THE WESTPHALIA
TREATY. HE BELIEVED THAT EVERY KING HAD AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO
RULE HIS COUNTRY AS HE WISHED. I WENT, KNOWING THAT I'D LOSE
VOTES IF I FAILED. I KNEW I WAS BEING SET UP TO FAIL. I
HOPED, HOWEVER, TO BRING OUT AT LEAST ONE OF THE THREE
AMERICAN SERVICEMEN THAT MILOSOVIC WAS HOLDING. I FIGURED I
COULD GET AT LEAST ONE. THE IDEA WAS THAT I'D BRING HIM TO
ITALY, AND GOV. BUSH WOULD TAKE HIM TO THE U.S. FROM THERE.
BUT MILOSOVIC DID NOT MAKE A DEAL. AND HE GAVE THE AMERICANS
TO JESSE JACKSON."" BOSSI, BASED ON HIS CONTACT WITH FUTURE
PRESIDENT BUSH, BEGAN TO STUDY HIM. ""I FOUND MYSELF ATTRACTED
BY A MAN WHO EATS MEXICAN BEANS INSTEAD OF CHINESE FRIED RICE
LIKE CLINTON. I ADMIRE HIS WIFE'S DEDICATION TO WORKING ON
IMPORTANT SOCIAL ISSUES.""

COMMENT:
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 ROME 03639 03 OF 03 231627Z
--------

20. (C) BOSSI'S STATEMENTS ABOUT MOVING TO A PRESIDENTIAL,
FEDERALIST SYSTEM WERE TIMELY. IN RECENT DAYS, WE HAVE HEARD
DIVERSE OPINIONS ABOUT THIS PROPOSAL. BOSSI CLEARLY FAVORED
A STRONG PRESIDENTIAL FIGURE, BALANCED BY EQUALLY STONG
REGIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. HE PUT A POSITIVE SPIN ON
HIS RECENTLY-ENACTED IMMIGRATION BILL. THIS LEGISLATION,
WHICH TIGHTENED IMMIGRATION RULES, WAS SUPPORTED BY MANY WHO
RESENT FOREIGN COMPETITION FOR ITALIAN JOBS AND INFLUENCE ON
ITALIAN CULTURE AND VALUES.

21. (C) BOSSI WAS RELAXED AND STRAIGHTFORWARD DURING HIS
DISCUSSION WITH THE AMBASSADOR. HE CAME ACROSS AS A
PRAGMATIC BUT COMMITTED CONSERVATIVE LEADER IN A COUNTRY
STILL LARGELY TO HIS LEFT. HIS COMMENTS ON PRIME MINISTER
BERLUSCONI, WHOM HE CLEARLY RESPECTS, INDICATED THAT BOSSI
ACCEPTS HIS SECONDARY POSITION IN THE GOVERNMENT, AND
BELIEVES HIS CONTRIBUTION IS VALUED. HE REALIZES THAT HIS
FOUR PERCENT OF THE VOTE DOES NOT MAKE HIM EQUAL PARTNERS IN
THE COALITION, AND THAT HE CANNOT PUSH BERLUSCONI TOO FAR.
BOSSI SEEMS COMFORTABLE IN HIS CURRENT ROLE, AND MORE MATURE
AND REASONABLE THAN HIS OUTSPOKEN PUBLIC IMAGE WOULD SUGGEST.
SEMBLER

CONFIDENTIAL

>
2002ROME03639 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL

"

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>