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The Foreign Ministry informs that this morning the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, communicated to the Italian Ambassador in Austria that, for the time being, he is unable to go to Vienna for one of the customary bilateral meetings proposed by the Austrian Foreign Minister.  

The reason is the recurring statements about the Austrian Government studying an ad hoc bill of law to confer Austrian citizenship and passports to the German- and Ladin-language Italian citizens of Alto Adige. This initiative disrupts the climate of mutual harmony and confidence that is the essential premise for the successful outcome of meetings of this type.   

It was once again explained that Austria’s eventual unilateral initiative raises emotions in different segments of Italian public opinion and appears to be in and of itself particularly inopportune ahead of the elections in Alto Adige.

Moreover, the initiative proves to be especially difficult to understand if we consider that all Austrians and all Italians already share the common citizenship of the European Union, a status that is clearly highlighted in a specific inscription on the cover of their passports. It is therefore truly bizarre that an initiative of this type is being discussed precisely in the State – Austria – that currently holds the rotating EU presidency. 

Lastly, it is regretful to see that precisely on the centennial of World War I, which so sorrowfully shed the blood of so many Italians and Austrians, said initiative risks potentially taking on the character of an anachronistic revanchism.


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