Nations must guard against revival of nationalism, xenophobia: Italian PM

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Berlin, Feb 8 (IANS/AKI) Nations must guard against any resurgence of nationalism, xenophobia or racism, Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday.

“The European model of an open society works and we must keep investing against a revival of nationalism or xenophobic or racist attitudes,” Gentiloni said in his address at the Humboldt University here.

“We absolutely cannot give up democracy and liberty,” he said during the speech on Italy’s relations with Germany.

Gentiloni cut short his official visit after German Chancellor Angela Merkel rescheduled their meeting when negotiations on a coalition government stretched into Wednesday from a weekend deadline.

He also said that Italy, France and Germany, three founder members of the European Union’s forerunner, have a “special responsibility” at a time of strong demand for “Europe”.

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“Italy, France and Germany have the responsibility to respond to a demand for Europe that cuts across the contemporary world, a special responsibility, even though it is not an exclusive one,” Gentiloni said.

Italy must not be France and Germany’s “jealous cousin” but should aim to play a leading role in Europe too by coming up with its own “proposals and ideas”, Gentiloni had said earlier.

–IANS/AKI

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