Today in Italy: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Today in Italy: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Italian farmers are following the lead of French protesters calling for lower taxes. Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP.

Protesting farmers, Italy's postal service put up for sale, Albania approves Italy migrant deal, and more news from around Italy on Tuesday.


Italy's top story on Tuesday:

Farmers' protests were set to continue in parts of Italy on Tuesday after tractors partially blocked the A1 motorway exit at Orte, north of Rome, for a second day running on Monday, following on from numerous other protests held in Piedmont, Sicily, Molise, Calabria and Venice over the weekend.

The demonstrations in Italy came on the back of a wave of protests by farmers around Europe in recent weeks, including huge demonstrations in Germany and roadblocks in France.

The Europe-wide protests are connected to the implementation of policies under the EU's 'Green Deal' as well as to varying national laws and local issues affecting each country, with farmers' complaints generally centred on low incomes, high taxes and costs, and increased price pressures.

Italian farmers' association Comitati riuniti agricoli (CRA) on Sunday accused the government of raising taxes for the agricultural sector, including by not renewing an income tax exemption this year.

Italy puts postal service up for sale

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is putting Italy's postal service - which she once described as the country's "crown jewel that must remain in the hands of Italians" - up for sale, AFP reported on Monday.

Meloni's government reportedly hopes to raise 20 billion euros by 2026 by selling a private stake in Poste Italiane, though has pledged to keep the service under majority state control.

Her party has come under fire from members of the opposition, with Andrea Orlando, an MP from the centre-left Democratic Party, complaining on Sunday that the government "always claims to be for the homeland and today... is starting to sell the homeland," according to AFP reports.

Analysts say the sale will do little to reduce Italy's deficit, which currently stands at an estimated 2.8 trillion euros.


Calls for ‘paradigm shift’ at Italy-Africa summit

The chair of the African Union Commission said “we are not beggars” on Monday after Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni outlined a plan aimed at investing in African countries in return for deals to curb irregular immigration, according to Italian news reports.

Speaking at the Italy-Africa summit in Rome, Moussa Faki welcomed Italy’s proposals for building stronger relations but said a “paradigm shift” was required to usher in “a new model of partnership” and pave the way “towards a more just and coherent world”.

Leaders and ministers from 45 African nations, including the presidents of Tunisia, Senegal, Kenya, the Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe and Somalia, were in the Italian capital to hear the details of Meloni’s so-called Mattei plan, named after Enrico Mattei, the founder of the state-owned oil company Eni.

Meloni hailed the summit as a "success" in her closing speech.


Albania's top court approves migrant deal with Italy

Albania's Constitutional Court on Monday gave its approval to a controversial deal under which Italy would send migrants rescued in Italian waters to two detention centres near the Albanian port of Shengjin.

Italy's lower house of parliament last Wednesday voted in favour of the deal by 155 votes to 115, with two abstentions. The law now goes to the Italian senate, where it is also expected to pass.

The agreement, which is expected to cost Italy 650 million euros over its five-year term, has faced fierce opposition within Italy and from international groups who say it's a waste of taxpayer money and violates migrants' human rights.

The International Rescue Committee NGO described the agreement as "dehumanising", while Amnesty International said "illegal and unenforceable", AFP reported.


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