After signing deal with China, Italy says its critics are ‘jealous’
Rome, March 29: Italy recently became the first member of the G7 to express its intentions to join China's much-talked about Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the undersecretary of state at the country's ministry of economic development, Michele Geraci, has said that Rome now has an edge over other European nations by signing up earliest to the BRI and might have also made some of the "jealous", South China Morning Post reported.
Geraci, who pushed for Italy's involvement in the initiative, also said at least two other nations from Europe were expected to follow Rome's footsteps. The minister though stopped short of naming the two countries.
"All the other countries will follow Italy and sign an MOU, and I can give you two names, but I won't - they are in the pipeline," Geraci was quoted as saying at Boao Forum for Asia in China's southern Hainan province. "In reality, all European countries want to be part of the belt and road."
Italy took the decisive step during the recent visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on its soil and did it defying warnings from the US and some European countries who said it was risking a debt trap.
Geraci said Italy faced criticism for wanting to take the lead by doing things first.
The memorandum of understanding signed between China and Italy highlighted the signing of 29 cooperation arguments. It also came soon after the European Union's unveiling of a 10-point plan for rebalancing its Beijing policy and ahead of the EU-China summit scheduled in Brussels on April 9.