The US President is in Italy as part of what is being billed as his farewell tour of Europe. George W Bush will hold talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Pope Benedict the 16th over the next few days. With rock-bottom approval ratings at home, Bush is keen to forge a foreign policy legacy defined by more than the unpopular war in Iraq. But his arrival in Rome unhappily coincided with a major anti-war demonstration in the centre of the city.
“I came here to protest against Bush,” said one demonstrator. “I think he is a traitor to the American people and has been since the day he was elected.” “We want to show Bush, the Italian government and the entire world that Italians do not support the politics of Bush and the politics of war.” said another.
Bush is pressing his allies to agree on fresh punitive measures against Iran over its nuclear programme, but insists other options remain on the table. EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana will travel to Tehran this weekend to present a revised package of incentives for Iran to give up uranium enrichment.