Berlusconi, Merkel discuss financial crisis, gas row 2009-01-10 01:27:54   Print

    ROME, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the financial crisis, the crisis in Gaza and the gas dispute during a telephone call on Friday, Italian News Agency ANSA said.

    The call was part of Berlusconi's ongoing contacts with G8 leaders since Italy took over the rotating presidency of the Group of Eight most industrialized countries on January 1, according to a statement of the Italian premier's office.

    Merkel briefed Berlusconi on a 50-million euro anti-crisis package which her government plans to unveil next week in a bid to revive Europe's biggest economy.

    The two decided to keep in touch regularly ahead of meetings of the G20 and NATO in April and the G8 summit in Italy in July, the statement said.

    On Friday, Berlusconi and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso also discussed a series of issues that will come up during G8 meetings during a long telephone conversation, the premier's office said.

    Berlusconi told Aso that Italy, as G8 host country, plans to focus its initiatives on the economy, energy issues, sustainable development and climate change.

    Other issues on the agenda include disarmament, the fight against terrorism and peace efforts in world hot spots.

    This year Italy holds the one-year rotating presidency of the G8, whose members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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