Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, in answer to a question at her New Year’s press conference on Jan. 4, declared that her decision to exit the Belt and Road Initiative was because the memorandum had brought no advantage to Italy since it was signed in 2019. Worse, she then based her statement on an EU Commission claim that the China-EU bilateral trade was imbalanced. She gave the rationale that the BRI memorandum “guaranteed maximum reciprocity, but there is no maximum reciprocity yet—I am not the one saying this, but it is the European Commission saying that between China and the European market there is no reciprocity.”
Well, the issue here is not maximum reciprocity, but the maximum confusion in Meloni’s head, who mixes Europe with Italy. Furthermore, her arguments are wrong, as EIR has often demonstrated.
Showing a total underestimation of the damage caused to Italian interests by exiting the BRI, she still maintains that she will fulfill her promise to visit China on the invitation of President Xi Jinping this year, insisting that Italy’s exit from the BRI damages Italy-China relations. Meloni said that she intends “to relaunch relations with China. I intend to honor my commitment to go to China, on invitation by President Xi Jinping, as soon as possible. I believe we can make more agreements outside the Silk Road, as all other European countries have demonstrated.”