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Rome to Brussels: Italian renaissance as new government takes its marks

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By Elena Cavallone
Rome to Brussels: Italian renaissance as new government takes its marks

For his first visit abroad following the formation of his new pro-European majority Giuseppe Conte couldn't resist the call of Brussels. The Italian prime minister met the leaders of the European institutions, starting with the president-elect of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen: a woman he has supported since the beginning.

In a Facebook post he shares his hope that a common ground can be found for a revision of EU fiscal rules, which would allow more public investment.

"We are not saying that we do not want public finances under control. Our goal is still debt reduction, but we want to do it with a reasonable economic growth, with productive investments," Conte told reporters.

The appointment of Paolo Gentiloni as Economic Affairs Commissioner could suggest that the European Commission will grant some flexibility to Rome.,

However he will work alongside Valdis Dombrovskis, vice president for the Economy. The watchdog of public finances embodies the spirit of northern Member states, that are reluctant to make too many concessions.

Migration was also at the centre of the talks. Rome pushes for a new effective mechanism to distribute migrants among member states.

"There is the awareness that those who do not participate will be significantly affected financially. If we are in Europe obviously everyone will have to participate in the distribution. A solidarity mechanism cannot be disregarded without paying a price," Conte remarked.

Rome and Brussels might have found the lost harmony, but the solution to long standing problems need the support of other European capitals.

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