Italian PM urges politicians to safeguard citizens’ interests

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Rome, March 20 (IANS/AKI) Italian politics are “in a transitional phase” and it is crucial to keep “the general interests of citizens” to the fore at this time, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Tuesday.

“We are in a phase of political transition and it is essential to always keep the general interests of citizens centre-stage,” Gentiloni said during the presentation at Italy’s lower house of parliament of an annual environmental report.

“Citizens are asking two at least two things: firstly, not to waste the efforts made in these years by families and companies to emerge from the economic crisis.

“They also want us to use the good results achieved to heal society’s still-open wounds and to look to the future – the coming years, not the next few days,” he said.

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A new government has yet to be formed in Italy after a national election on March 4 failed to produce an outright winner. The populist Five-Star Movement, which won the largest share of votes, and the far-right League – the leading party in a conservative coalition that won most parliamentary seats – both say they have the right to govern.

About the report, Gentiloni said that growing evidence exists that climate change is affecting Italy and its rulers need to know the “enormous” opportunities that the green economy offers in combatting this threat.

“It is increasingly clear that climate is not merely a global issue impacting Africa or the Artic but is impacting our own country,” he said.

“It is important that those who have the responsibility of governing Italy – at all levels – be aware of this threat and of the enormous opportunities it presents,” Gentiloni said, adding that a low-carbon economy plays to Italy’s strengths and can boost rather than cause unemployment.

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“The green economy doesn’t take away jobs and has the potential to create new ones. This is a sector in which Italy is highly competitive,” he said.

–IANS/AKI

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