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ITALY

Italian firm gets Qatar World Cup contract

Qatar has awarded Italian firm Salini Impregilo a €770 million ($859 million) contract to build and operate a stadium for the 2022 World Cup, the company said on Thursday.

Italian firm gets Qatar World Cup contract
Foreign labourers work at the construction site of a new stadium in Qatar. Photo: Marwan Naamani / AFP

The company will build Al Bayt stadium in al-Khor city, north of Doha, shaped after the Bayt al-Shaar black and white traditional bedouin tent.

The Italian firm said on its website it had beaten competitors from France, Austria and Asia for the contract to build a stadium that could accommodate 70,000 spectators.

The contract includes €716 million euro for construction and over €53 million euro for operations and maintenance, it said.

In addition, the company won a contract worth €300 million to build main urban infrastructures in Shamal, some 100 kilometres (186 miles) from the capital.

Salini Impregilo is already working on building part of Doha Metro and a water project.

Energy-rich Qatar is undergoing a huge spending splurge on infrastructure, worth around $200 billion, much of it related to the World Cup.

Qatar's successful bid was originally to host the tournament in the months of June and July but a Fifa decision earlier this year decided on an unprecedented switch to play the tournament in the months of November and December 2022 because of the extreme summer temperatures in the Gulf.

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ITALY

Italy’s Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report

Ex-PM Matteo Renzi would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister of Italy, a party source told Reuters on Sunday.

Italy's Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report
Matteo Renzi. Image: Andreas Solaro/ POOL / AFP

“I would say that is one of our proposals,” confirmed the source, who declined to be named.

The Italian government collapsed last week when PM Giuseppe Conte resigned. The former coalition allies are currently trying to come to an agreement and sort out their differences.

The centre-left government had been in turmoil ever since former premier Matteo Renzi withdrew his Italia Viva party earlier this month, a move that forced Conte to step down this week.

During the past year, Renzi frequently criticised Conte’s management of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Italy’s La Stampa newspaper also reported on Sunday that President Sergio Mattarella was considering Draghi for the prime ministerial role. However, Mattarella’s office promptly denied this, saying there had been no contact between them.

So far, there has been no comment from Draghi, who hasn't been seen much in the public eye since 2019.


Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, gave ruling parties more time on Friday to form a new government, after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 

Coalition parties Italia Viva, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement must come to an agreement to allow the government to heal. 

Renzi, a former prime minister himself, has pubilcly stated that he does not want to talk about who should lead the next government at this stage, reasoning that the parties need to agree on a way forward first.

“Any effort today to fuel a discussion about Draghi is offensive to Draghi and above all to the president of the republic,” Renzi said in an interview published on Sunday with Corriere della Sera.

A senior Italia Viva lawmaker also told Reuters that “If the president gives a mandate to Draghi, we would certainly support this”. 

Renzi, whose party is not even registering three percent support in opinion polls, quit the coalition over Conte’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for spending more than 200 billion euros from a European Union fund to help Italy’s damaged economy.

READ ALSO: Why do Italy's governments collapse so often?

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