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MARINES “ABDUCTED”: “Committed to bringing them home”

In Minister Giulio Terzi’s report to the Lower House, following that of the Upper House, he informed the parliament on the government’s line of action in incidents in Nigeria and India and, more in general, with regard to all Italians still being held by kidnappers: “transparency” on the procedures the government intends to adopt and “sharing” of information at the government’s disposal with the parliament. And all this in the continuing effort to achieve the goal of bringing home the two Italian servicemen being detained in India and all other “abducted” Italians. Speaking before the Lower House, Terzi also underscored that “adequate funds are needed in order to properly complete these delicate and complex tasks. We must therefore find them in order to ensure the safety of our fellow nationals abroad”. The foreign ministry’s resources, the minister pointed out, “have been shrinking more rapidly and to a greater extent than commonly believed by informed observers. The loss of staff has been over 40% over just 4 years. In the last 2 years the number of full-time personnel has been reduced by 1000; another 1300, out of 4900 employees, will be lost in 2012 and 2013 as a result of a turnover freeze and for other reasons”. Budget allotments for the Crisis Unit, the minister asserted, have been cut from over €7.5 million in 2006 to approximately €5 million in 2011, and supplements earmarked by the missions decree have been reduced from €15 million in 2009 to the current €11 million, of which €10 million are absorbed by protection and escort missions”.

After reporting to the Lower House on the dynamics of the blitz in Nigeria, with particular reference to the timing of communications between Great Britain and Italy, Terzi confirmed that his British colleague William Hague, with whom he had “agreed to share all information that can facilitate reconstruction” of the blitz, would be in Rome in the coming days, while also offering additional information regarding the incident concerning the two Italian servicemen being held. There will be a hearing by the Kerala High Court, “but we do not think it will be conclusive”; moreover, the Italian authorities are “still waiting for the ballistics report” on the bullets that killed the two Indian fishermen, whose deaths are being blamed on the sharpshooters of the San Marco battalion detained in India.


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