Monti hails partnership with Albania
'Italy top export partner'07 May, 15:15
"In the past decade, our combined contribution between aid and credit was 247 million euros," said the Italian premier. "In addition to those funds, we added another 51 million in 2010". Monti has said he will visit Berisha in Albania later this month to discuss the proposed Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which would transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy, and from there to Western Europe.
The project is a part of the EU's Southern Gas Corridor initiative, which aims to bring 60 to 120 billion cubic metres per year of natural gas directly to Europe.
Italy has endorsed Albania's candidacy to join the European Union, which currently recognizes it as a "potential candidate country" following its application in 2009. Italy's Albanian population is one of the largest immigrant groups in the country, which Monti said was becoming "more and more integrated". "Also for this reason Italy has strongly supported the process to open up more visas between Albania and the European Union," Monti said. photo: Albanian Premier Sali Berisha (l) with Italian Premier Mario Monti.