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Italian govt 'lacks backing' to support France in Mali

Foreign minister says issue will be raised again after election

28 January, 12:34
Italian govt 'lacks backing' to support France in Mali (ANSA) - Rome, January 28 - Outgoing Premier Mario Monti said Monday that the Italian government's plan to provide France with logistical support for its military intervention in Mali had been dropped for the moment because the measure does not have the necessary backing from political parties.

Monti said the three main parties that backed his emergency technocrat administration before one, ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, withdrew its support last month, had either said no to supporting the French or "had an attitude of great caution".

"We don't have the support of the three (main) parties that would be necessary in parliament for a legislative measure to authorise the government to do this," Monti told La7 television.

Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said, however, that the issue would probably be raised again after next month's general election.

"It is definitely a priority for the next parliament. We are confident the issue can be addressed," Terzi said. "But at the moment the political conditions are not there with a government that is leaving office".