Rome and Paris are on the same lines on finding a way out of the euro crisis. Both are confident that the new 26-country Treaty will be ready in time for the extraordinary EU Summit in Brussels on 30 January. This was the outcome of the meeting between Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and his French counterpart, Alain Juppé, which took place in Paris on 10 January 2012.
Many problems still need to be resolved before the new budgetary pact can be agreed, admitted the two Ministers. Europe is conducting “very intensive negotiations”, explained Terzi, “but we are confident that a solution will be reached in time for the European Council on 30 January. A solution with very clear, well-defined ideas and positions that will be acceptable to all 26 members, given that Great Britain has opted to stay out”.
“Italy is a natural partner, one that is very close to us. We have a lot to do together”, said Juppé. He echoed Terzi on the urgent timescale if Europe is to emerge from the crisis. “Italy and France hope that the EU treaties can be adopted as soon as possible”. Of the problems still to be resolved, Terzi mentioned in particular the “way in which the debt reduction should be defined”.
The two Ministers also discussed Syria, Iran and the Mediterranean. On the Iranian nuclear dossier, Terzi said he was in favour of new “gradual” sanctions against Tehran, even if they were to Italy’s detriment on the oil front. “Security is more important”, he stated. Juppé insisted on the importance of the role that Rome and Paris can play in strengthening cooperation between Europe and the countries of the southern shore of the Mediterranean in light of the recent rebellions. “We will support the transition in the Arab countries”, said the French Foreign Minister.