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Italy’s preparation for G8 summit does not satisfy other seven

Italy’s preparation for G8 summit does not satisfy other seven

Two days before the beginning of the G8 summit in Italy, many officials from the other countries are unhappy with the summit preparations, and are suggesting more permanent action than a strongly-worded letter:

Preparations for Wednesday’s G8 summit in the Italian mountain town of L’Aquila have been so chaotic there is growing pressure from other member states to have Italy expelled from the group, according to senior western officials.

In the last few weeks before the summit, and in the absence of any substantive initiatives on the agenda, the US has taken control. Washington has organised “sherpa calls” (conference calls among senior officials) in a last-ditch bid to inject purpose into the meeting.

“For another country to organise the sherpa calls is just unprecedented. It’s a nuclear option,” said one senior G8 member state official. “The Italians have been just awful. There have been no processes and no planning.”

“The G8 is a club, and clubs have membership dues. Italy has not been paying them,” said a European official involved in the summit preparations.

The Italian prime minister has been rather busy as of late, but somehow, I suspect that won’t be offered as an excuse.

Kimimasa Mayama-Pool/Getty Images