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Cablegate: Italian Senate Approves Funding for Military

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 000638

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR PREL PGOV MOPS EAID MCAP IZ IT IRAQI FREEDOM
SUBJECT: ITALIAN SENATE APPROVES FUNDING FOR MILITARY
MISSIONS ABROAD


1. ON FEBRUARY 18, THE ITALIAN SENATE APPROVED THE
GOVERNMENT DECREE EXTENDING UNTIL JUNE 30, 2004, FUNDING
FOR ITALY'S PARTICIPATION IN ALL THE MILITARY MISSIONS IN
WHICH IT IS CURRENTLY ENGAGED ABROAD, INCLUDING IRAQ.
WHILE APPROVAL OF THE DECREE WAS ASSURED BY THE GOVERNING
COALITION'S SOLID MAJORITY, THE DEBATE OVER CONTINUED
PARTICIPATION IN IRAQ WAS HEATED AND CONTENTIOUS. THE
FINAL VOTE WAS 153 IN FAVOR, 42 AGAINST, AND ONE
ABSTENTION, IN ERROR. ALTHOUGH 83 SENATORS DID NOT
PARTICIPATE IN THE VOTE, THEY DID NOT WALK OUT, AS
THREATENED, EITHER. (A WALK-OUT COUNTS AS A VOTE AGAINST
UNDER SENATE RULES.) THE DECREE WILL NOW GO TO THE CHAMBER
OF DEPUTIES FOR DEBATE AND APPROVAL, WHICH IS TENTATIVELY
SCHEDULED FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 8. PARA 5 PROVIDES A LIST
OF THE MISSIONS FOR WHICH FUNDING WAS APPROVED BY THE
SENATE.

2. THE SENATORS WHO VOTED IN FAVOR WERE ALL FROM THE
CENTER-RIGHT MAJORITY, SAVE RARE EXCEPTIONS. THOSE WHO
VOTED AGAINST INCLUDED, AS EXPECTED, THE GREENS, COMMUNIST
RENEWAL (RC), THE COMMUNIST PARTY (PDCI), AND THE LEFT WING
OF THE LEADING OPPOSITION PARTY, DEMOCRATS OF THE LEFT
(DS). UNEXPECTEDLY, THE NO'S ALS INCLUDED 16 MAINSTREAM
DS SENATORS AND FOUR FROM EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT PRODI'S
PARTY, THE DAISY. THE 83 WHO DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE
VOTE WERE ALL FROM WHAT IS COMMONLY REFERRED TO HERE AS
PRODI'S "TRICYCLE", I.E. THE COALITION WITHIN THE CENTER-
LEFT OF DS, SOCIALISTS SDI, AND THE DAISY. THEY DID NOT
WANT TO FORMALLY ABSTAIN, BECAUSE IN THE SENATE FORMAL
ABSTENTIONS ARE COUNTED AS NEGATIVE VOTES. THEY DID NOT
WALK OUT, BECAUSE THAT WOULD HAVE BLATANTLY SUGGESTED THE
TROOPS DID NOT HAVE THEIR MORAL SUPPORT. THEY STAYED,
WITHOUT VOTING, TO SIGNIFY THEIR DISAGREEMENT WITH THE
GOVERNMENT POSITION ON IRAQ. THEY WANT THE UN TO
IMMEDIATELY TAKE ON A LEAD ROLE IN IRAQ, A DEMOCRATIC
CONSTITUTION NOW, A FIRM ELECTORAL CALENDAR TO BE
ESTABLISHED, AND MULTINATIONAL TROOPS UNDER UN AUSPICES IN
PLACE. THEY ALSO WANT THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT TO ADMIT THAT
THE WAR WAS A MISTAKE AND THAT SENDING THE TROOPS HAS
FUELED TERRORISM INSTEAD OF STOPPING IT.

3. THE OPPOSITION WOULD HAVE PREFERRED TO VOTE ON FUNDING
FOR THE IRAQ MISSION SEPARATELY FROM THE OTHER MILITARY
MISSIONS; IT WOULD THEN HAVE APPROVED ALL THE MISSIONS
EXCEPT IRAQ, AS IT DID DURING THE PREVIOUS VOTE EXTENDING
FUNDING IN JULY 2003. THE GOVERNMENT REJECTED THAT
COMPROMISE APPROACH THIS TIME AND INSISTED ON ONE VOTE ON
THE ENTIRE PACKAGE. AS CENTER-RIGHT FORZA ITALIA SENATE
GROUP LEADER SCHIFANI TOLD THE FLOOR, ITALY DID NOT FIGHT
THE WAR IN IRAQ, NOR DID IT AUTHORIZE THE USE OF ITS BASES
FOR DIRECT ATTACKS ON IRAQ. ALL THE MILITARY MISSIONS
ITALY IS CURRENTLY ENGAGED IN, HE SAID, ARE PEACE MISSIONS,
AND ALL SERVE TO HOLD WAR BACK. HENCE THE REASON FOR THE
GOVERNMENT'S DECISION NOT TO SPLIT THE VOTE IN TWO.

4. COMMENTING ON THE RESULTS OF THE VOTE AND THE DIVISIONS
IT PRODUCED WITHIN THE CENTER-LEFT, MOD MARTINO REGRETTED
THERE WAS NOT WIDER CONSENSUS, SAYING THE OPPOSITION WAS
STILL LOOKING AT THE PAST, INSTEAD OF PROJECTING ITS VISION
TO THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE. MARTINO CITED GERMAN FM
FISCHER, WHO AT THE 40TH MUNICH CONFERENCE ON SECURITY
POLICY FEBRUARY 7 SAID, "REGARDLESS OF OUR OPINION OF THE
WAR, WE HAVE TO WIN THE PEACE TOGETHER, BECAUSE OTHERWISE
WE WILL LOSE TOGETHER. WE HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD.... THE
FORCES OF VIOLENCE AND TERROR IN IRAQ MUST NOT WIN THE
UPPER HAND."

5. THE SUM TOTAL APPROVED BY THE SENATE IS A LITTLE OVER
EURO 550.640.000 (ABOUT USD 700,415,000). BREAKING IT
DOWN, FUNDS FOR THE MILITARY MISSION IN IRAQ BY ITELF
AMOUNT TO A LITTLE OVER EURO 209.000.000 (ABUT USD
265,848,000), WHILE FUNDS FOR THE HUMANITRIAN AND
RECONSTRUCTION MISSION THERE TOTAL A LITLE OVER EURO
11.627.000 (ABOUT USD 14,789,500). MILITARY PARTICIPATION
IN ALL THE OTHER INTERNATONAL MISSIONS ADDS UP TO JUST
UNDER EURO 293.000000 (ABOUT USD 372,696,000). BELOW IS A
LIST OF THE MILITARY, CIVILIAN, AND POLICE MISSIONS FOR

ROME 00000638 001.2 OF 002

30, 2004, FUNDING
FOR ITALY'S PARTICIPATION IN ALL THE MILITARY MISSIONS IN
WHICH IT IS CURRENTLY ENGAGED ABROAD, INCLUDING IRAQ.
WHILE APPROVAL OF THE DECREE WAS ASSURED BY THE GOVERNING
COALITION'S SOLID MAJORITY, THE DEBATE OVER CONTINUED
PARTICIPATION IN IRAQ WAS HEATED AND CONTENTIOUS. THE
FINAL VOTE WAS 153 IN FAVOR, 42 AGAINST, AND ONE
ABSTENTION, IN ERROR. ALTHOUGH 83 SENATORS DID NOT
PARTICIPATE IN THE VOTE, THEY DID NOT WALK OUT, AS
THREATENED, EITHER. (A WALK-OUT COUNTS AS A VOTE AGAINST
UNDER SENATE RULES.) THE DECREE WILL NOW GO TO THE CHAMBER
OF DEPUTIES FOR DEBATE AND APPROVAL, WHICH IS TENTATIVELY
SCHEDULED FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 8. PARA 5 PROVIDES A LIST
OF THE MISSIONS FOR WHICH FUNDING WAS APPROVED BY THE
SENATE.

2. THE SENATORS WHO VOTED IN FAVOR WERE ALL FROM THE
CENTER-RIGHT MAJORITY, SAVE RARE EXCEPTIONS. THOSE WHO
VOTED AGAINST INCLUDED, AS EXPECTED, THE GREENS, COMMUNIST
RENEWAL (RC), THE COMMUNIST PARTY (PDCI), AND THE LEFT WING
OF THE LEADING OPPOSITION PARTY, DEMOCRATS OF THE LEFT
(DS). UNEXPECTEDLY, THE NO'S ALSO INCLUDED 16 MAINSTREAM
DS SENATORS AND FOUR FROM EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT PRODI'S
PARTY, THE DAISY. THE 83 WHO DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE
VOTE WERE ALL FROM WHAT IS COMMONLY REFERRED TO HERE AS
PRODI'S "TRICYCLE", I.E. THE COALITION WITHIN THE CENTER-
LEFT OF DS, SOCIALISTS SDI, AND THE DAISY. THEY DID NOT
WANT TO FORMALLY ABSTAIN, BECAUSE IN THE SENATE FORMAL
ABSTENTIONS ARE COUNTED AS NEGATIVE VOTES. THEY DID NOT
WALK OUT, BECAUSE THAT WOULD HAVE BLATANTLY SUGGESTED THE
TROOPS DID NOT HAVE THEIR MORAL SUPPORT. THEY STAYED,
WITHOUT VOTING, TO SIGNIFY THEIR DISAGREEMENT WITH THE
GOVERNMENT POSITION ON IRAQ. THEY WANT THE UN TO
IMMEDIATELY TAKE ON A LEAD ROLE IN IRAQ, A DEMOCRATIC
CONSTITUTION NOW, A FIRM ELECTORAL CALENDAR TO BE
ESTABLISHED, AND MULTINATIONAL TROOPS UNDER UN AUSPICES IN
PLACE. THEY ALSO WANT THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT TO ADMIT THAT
THE WAR WAS A MISTAKE AND THAT SENDING THE TROOPS HAS
FUELED TERRORISM INSTEAD OF STOPPING IT.

3. THE OPPOSITION WOULD HAVE PREFERRED TO VOTE ON FUNDING
FOR THE IRAQ MISSION SEPARATELY FROM THE OTHER MILITARY
MISSIONS; IT WOULD THEN HAVE APPROVED ALL THE MISSIONS
EXCEPT IRAQ, AS IT DID DURING THE PREVIOUS VOTE EXTENDING
FUNDING IN JULY 2003. THE GOVERNMENT REJECTED THAT
COMPROMISE APPROACH THIS TIME AND INSISTED ON ONE VOTE ON
THE ENTIRE PACKAGE. AS CENTER-RIGHT FORZA ITALIA SENATE
GROUP LEADER SCHIFANI TOLD THE FLOOR, ITALY DID NOT FIGHT
THE WAR IN IRAQ, NOR DID IT AUTHORIZE THE USE OF ITS BASES
FOR DIRECT ATTACKS ON IRAQ. ALL THE MILITARY MISSIONS
ITALY IS CURRENTLY ENGAGED IN, HE SAID, ARE PEACE MISSIONS,
AND ALL SERVE TO HOLD WAR BACK. HENCE THE REASON FOR THE
GOVERNMENT'S DECISION NOT TO SPLIT THE VOTE IN TWO.

4. COMMENTING ON THE RESULTS OF THE VOTE AND THE DIVISIONS
IT PRODUCED WITHIN THE CENTER-LEFT, MOD MARTINO REGRETTED
THERE WAS NOT WIDER CONSENSUS, SAYING THE OPPOSITION WAS
STILL LOOKING AT THE PAST, INSTEAD OF PROJECTING ITS VISION
TO THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE. MARTINO CITED GERMAN FM
FISCHER, WHO AT THE 40TH MUNICH CONFERENCE ON SECURITY
POLICY FEBRUARY 7 SAID, "REGARDLESS OF OUR OPINION OF THE
WAR, WE HAVE TO WIN THE PEACE TOGETHER, BECAUSE OTHERWISE
WE WILL LOSE TOGETHER. WE HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD.... THE
FORCES OF VIOLENCE AND TERROR IN IRAQ MUST NOT WIN THE
UPPER HAND."

5. THE SUM TOTAL APPROVED BY THE SENATE IS A LITTLE OVER
EURO 550.640.000 (ABOUT USD 700,415,000). BREAKING IT
DOWN, FUNDS FOR THE MILITARY MISSION IN IRAQ BY ITSELF
AMOUNT TO A LITTLE OVER EURO 209.000.000 (ABOUT USD
265,848,000), WHILE FUNDS FOR THE HUMANITARIAN AND
RECONSTRUCTION MISSION THERE TOTAL A LITTLE OVER EURO
11.627.000 (ABOUT USD 14,789,500). MILITARY PARTICIPATION
IN ALL THE OTHER INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS ADDS UP TO JUST
UNDER EURO 293.000.000 (ABOUT USD 372,696,000). BELOW IS A
LIST OF THE MILITARY, CIVILIAN, AND POLICE MISSIONS FOR

ROME 00000638 002 OF 002

SION TO GUARANTEE CONDITIONS OF SECURITY FOR THE
HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION AND THE STABILIZATION PROCESS.
-- BOSNIA: JOINT FORGE AND OVER THE HORIZON FORCE.
-- BOSNIA AND KOSOVO: MULTINATIONAL SPECIALIZED UNIT (MSU).
-- KOSOVO AND FYROM: JOINT GUARDIAN (INCLUDES KFOR).
-- FYROM: NATO HEADQUARTERS SKOPJE (NATO HQS).
-- KOSOVO: UN MISSION IN KOSOVO (UNMIK) AND CRIMINAL
INTELLIGENCE UNIT (CIU).
-- ALBANIA: ALBIT, ALBANIA 2, AND NATO HEADQUARTERS TIRANA
(NATO HQT).
-- TERRITORIES: TEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE IN HEBRON
(TIPH2).
-- ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA: UN MISSION IN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA
(UNMEE).
-- AFGHANISTAN: ENDURING FREEDOM, ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR,
RESOLUTE BEHAVIOR, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCE
(ISAF).
-- EX-YUGOSLAVIA: EU MONITORING MISSION (EUMM).
-- SOMALIA AND SUDAN: PARTICIPATION IN PEACE NEGOTIATIONS
AND MONITORING MISSION ON SUDAN'S NUBA MOUNTAINS.
-- ALBANIA AND BALKANS: STATE POLICE PARTICIPATION IN
POLICE COOPERATION PROGRAMS.
-- BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: STATE AND MILITARY (CARABINIERI)
POLICE PARTICIPATION IN EU POLICE MISSION (EUPM).
-- FYROM: STATE AND MILITARY (CARABINIERI) POLICE
PARTICIPATION IN EU MISSION (EUPO PROXIMA).

6. CPA BAGHDAD MINIMIZE CONSIDERED.

SKODON

NNNN
2004ROME00638 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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