Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, head of ruling Five-Star Movement, said that President Sergio Mattarella support signing up as part of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. He noted that “I am pleased to see the president’s office has shown its support to the MOUs.” He added that the MOUS will help Italy’s port infrastructure and boost export to China.

On the other hand, another Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, head of coalition partner League, warned he will firmly oppose to the MOUs, if that compromises national security. He also said earlier this week that “we’re absolutely not ready to do so if it’s a question of foreign companies colonizing Italy.”

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte indicated that he might sign the Belt and Road MOUs when Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Rome and Palermo later this month.

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