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“I want to thank all the citizens who have chosen to get vaccinated, especially the young and very young, and those who have decided to do so in recent weeks after overcoming their hesitations”. Thus began the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, his speech in the Senate in the Chamber ahead of the European Council on 21 and 22 October.
“At the Council, we will also discuss the European approach to face and overcome any future pandemics – underlined Draghi – we must invest in science and research, which have allowed us to have effective and safe vaccines in a few months”. “We must avoid the repetition of the dangerous episodes of health protectionism that we witnessed in the first months of the pandemic. We will continue to work to improve the global response to future health crises also in all appropriate multilateral fora, “said the premier.
The reference to the EU on immigration
Draghi announced that immigration will be among the topics of the next EU council and he used firm tones on the role that Europe must play in this area. “It is essential that, already at this Council, the Commission presents plans for clear actions, adequately financed, and addressed with equal priority to all the routes of the Mediterranean, including the southern one, ”he said. “These plans will then be quickly implemented. The European Union must also pay attention to the specificity of the maritime borders and the effective political stability of Libya and Tunisia ”added Draghi anticipating that he will propose to the EU a continuous Commission-Council update on the commitments undertaken in this matter.
Energy, new interventions needed
«The Government has undertaken to contain the rise in bills. Last June we had already allocated 1.2 billion to reduce system charges. A few weeks ago, we intervened further, with more than 3 billion, to calm prices in the last quarter of the year, especially for the weaker sections of the population “summed up Draghi addressing the issue of rising energy costs, more subject under discussion with the next EU Council. «In recent months – explained Draghi during his speech – we have witnessed a sharp increase in the cost of gas and electricity. These increases are mainly due to price movements on international markets. The demand for energy by households and businesses has increased at the European level and on the Asian markets, and has contributed to reducing stocks and available supplies ».
Exports, pre-covid levels exceeded but bottlenecks remain
“Since the beginning of this year we have seen a robust recovery in trade between countries. This is great news given the weight of exports in our economy. In Italy, the values of goods exported in the second quarter of this year were 5% higher than in the same period two years ago, before the pandemic “highlighted Draghi, during his speech in the Senate on the next Summit EU. «This growth – the premier pointed out – has however been hampered by bottlenecks in the procurement of material and interruptions in supply chains. The difficulty in finding raw materials and components, combined with slowdowns in transport and delivery processes, have contributed everywhere to an increase in the rate of inflation ».
«A fundamental issue for European trade policy – he added – is that of the fight against protectionism. And we need to improve existing multilateral rules-based mechanisms and encourage their widespread and shared use. As for the reform of the World Trade Organization, we hope that the Twelfth Ministerial Conference at the end of November will be successful, and that the critical issues in the negotiations on fisheries subsidies and post-Covid-19 trade and health policy will be overcome “.