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Cablegate: Ministers Approve Fresh Funding for Italian

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

UNCLAS ROME 000109

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP BTIO PREL ECON IZ IT IRAQI FREEDOM
SUBJECT: MINISTERS APPROVE FRESH FUNDING FOR ITALIAN
EXPERTS IN IRAQ

REF: ROME 80

1. (U) LUIGI MACCOTTA, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE MFA IRAQ TASK
FORCE, REPORTED TO ECONOFF JANUARY 12 THAT ITALY'S COUNCIL OF
MINISTERS APPROVED EURO 11 MILLION IN IRAQ FUNDING AT ITS
JANUARY 9 MEETING. THE FUNDS, PART OF THE EURO 200 MILLION
PLEDGED BY ITALY AT THE MADRID DONOR'S CONFERENCE, WILL
PROVIDE CONTINUING SALARY SUPPORT FOR ITALY'S LARGE
CONTINGENT OF EXPERTS IN IRAQ AND CPA. THE COUNCIL HAS NOT
YET DETERMINED HOW THE REMAINDER OF ITALY'S EURO 200 MILLION
PLEDGE WILL BE ALLOCATED.

2. (SBU) ACCORDING TO MACCOTTA, THERE IS STRONG POLITICAL
PRESSURE TO LINK THE USE OF THE MADRID FUNDING "TO
ITALY-SPECIFIC PROJECTS." IN HIS ESTIMATION, THERE IS A
STRONG SENTIMENT WITHIN THE GOI THAT ITALY "DOES NOT, AS YET,
HAVE ANYTHING TO SHOW FOR ITS ENGAGEMENT AND SACRIFICES IN
IRAQ."

3. (SBU) COMMENT: MACCOTTA'S CLAIMS ECHO THOSE OF FM
FRATTINI IN HIS RECENT LETTER AND NON-PAPER TO AMBASSADOR
SEMBLER (REFTEL), IN WHICH FRATTINI CALLED FOR A GREATER
ITALIAN ROLE IN IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION. WHILE IT IS TOO EARLY
TO SAY FOR CERTAIN, THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS' ALLOCATION AND
MACCOTTA'S STATEMENT SUGGEST THAT THE GOI WILL TEND TO TIE
ITS MADRID PLEDGE FUNDING TO PROJECTS OR ACTIVITIES THAT
DIRECTLY BENEFIT ITALIAN CITIZENS AND SUPPLIERS. END COMMENT.
SKODON


NNNN
2004ROME00109 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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