Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez has been having talks with his Italian counterpart Giulio Andreotti, and other Italian ministers about Spain's application to join the European Common Market.
Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez has been having talks with his Italian counterpart Giulio Andreotti, and other Italian ministers about Spain's application to join the European Common Market. While the Italian government is publicly committed to welcoming Spanish membership, it has stressed in private that it would not favour enlarging the EEC if it meant further competition in Europe for Italian agricultural producers.
SYNOPSIS: Senor Suarez arrived in the Italian capital of Rome on Wednesday (31 August) as part of his tour of Common Market countries to canvass their support for Spain's application. On Thursday (1 September), he laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Rome's Vittoriale monument.
Later, he met Premier Anreotti and Italian Agricultural Minister Giovanni Marcora, when the two men explained their government's strategy to Senor Suarez. Officials said Italy wants Spain's application to change the EEC's agricultural policy, with greater emphasis on southern European countries. The Italians welcomed the application on political grounds and said they would support it an the Council of Minister meeting on September 19. The Italian leaders did not discuss their reported fears of strong competition in vital exports like wine and olive oil from low-cost Spanish producers if Spain joined the Community.
The officials made it clear they Italy's approval for Spain's application was limited emphatically to political grounds.
The two leaders met at Rome's Villa Madama and were later joined by Italian Foreign minister Arnaldo Forlani. Meanwhile, the Italian Communist Party has warmly greeted Italian visit of Senor Suarez - the first by a Spanish Premier since the Spanish Civil War. The official Party newspaper L'Unita said on Thursday (1 September) that Italy must welcome Spain's Common Market bid. Senor Suarez's Rome reception contrasted with the sharper tone adopted in France, which he had visited earlier.