French President Valery giscard D'Estaing arrived in Pisa on Thursday (2 December) to begin a flying one-day visit to Italy.
French President Valery giscard D'Estaing arrived in Pisa on Thursday (2 December) to begin a flying one-day visit to Italy. The French leader arrived in a small government jet and immediately got down to talks with his hosts.
SYNOPSIS: The key to the French-Italian discussions is economics. Both President Giscard and Italy's President Giovanni Leone are concerned with the state of the economy in their respective countries. They're also concerned with proposals to expand the European Economic Community (EEC).
Current proposals to have the EEC include Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey are under discussion, but it's the economic problems France and Italy face that worry the men most. Both countries have high inflation, balance of payment deficits, unemployment and sporadic pressure on their currencies.
Italy and France also rely heavily on oil imports to meet their energy needs and they are likely to be among the hardest hit EEC nations in the event of oil price increases now being considered by producer states.
Both sides stressed the informal nature of the talks and neither president was accompanied by a large party of officials. President Giscard was scheduled to confer with Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti as well as President Leone. The last French President to visit Italy was Georges Pompidou who made a similar brief working trip in 1972.