Government – Scholz welcomes Meloni to government consultation – Politics

Berlin (dpa) – The German and Italian governments today met for joint consultations for the first time since 2016. The ministerial meeting at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin will be chaired by Chancellor Olaf Schoz (SPD) and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

The “Action Plan” is intended to deepen the relationship

According to the federal government, a joint “action plan” will be signed. This was arranged with Meloni’s predecessor, Mario Draghi, in December 2021 to deepen relations between the two countries.

The idea follows a friendship agreement previously signed between Italy and France with the aim of the two countries to cooperate more closely on issues such as the economy, security and migration policy. Details regarding the specific content of the now planned German-Italian agreement were not previously known.

Disputes over migration policy

Meloni and his right-wing nationalist party Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) have ruled the country since late October 2022, along with the conservative Forza Italia party and the right-wing populist Lega party. The politician came into government promising to control irregular immigration. In fact, this year there will likely be more boat refugees arriving in Italy via the Mediterranean than in previous years.

There has recently been a dispute with Berlin over German financial assistance to non-governmental organizations that rescue migrant boats from the Mediterranean to then bring them ashore in Italy. Meloni complained about this in a letter to Scholz in September.

Meanwhile, his tone was even more conciliatory

In early October, after a long dispute, EU countries agreed on a common position on the so-called crisis regulations in Europe’s asylum reform plan. Thereafter there was a more conciliatory tone between Germany and Italy. At a meeting between Scholz and Meloni on October 6 on the sidelines of an informal European Union summit in Granada, Spain, both referred to the “excellent cooperation” between Berlin and Rome, according to remarks from Meloni’s official residence.

Government consultations – that is, meetings between the head of government and several ministers from both parties – only take place with close partner countries or countries that are very important to Germany, such as China, India or Brazil. The last meeting with the Italian government took place seven years ago in Maranello, northern Italy.

Video link with Putin

But things will get interesting beforehand: Scholz will welcome Meloni to the Chancellor’s Office shortly before 1 p.m. The two will then take part in the virtual conference of the G20 heads of state and government at the end of India’s presidency. According to Moscow state television, Russian President Vladimir Putin will also take part. He may also see Western leaders there live in an online format for the first time in a long time.

At the last face-to-face meeting of the G20 after the start of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, Putin was represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:231122-99-34163/6

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