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Prime Minister Draghi’s doorstep at the Versailles Summit

Thursday, 10 March 2022

[The following video is available in Italian only]

PM Draghi: “I had a long meeting with President Macron earlier. We discussed the war and its consequences for Europe and for Italy. Italy and France are aligned with the rest of the European Union, with regard to both the response to sanctions and the support for our countries that will inevitably be required as a result of these sanctions. Together, we have all asked President Putin, many times, to cease hostilities, in particular the bombings of civilians. We will continue to do this. 
The response to this dramatic situation must be a European response, as indeed we have responded to Russia. So, also with regard to support for the European economy and support for the Italian economy, there must be an EU and an Italian response.
The European economy is continuing to grow, although there has been a slowdown. We are seeing a lack of raw materials, we are seeing slowdowns not only with regard to energy but also in the agri-food industry and in terms of raw materials for the production of steel, paper and ceramics. This is an issue for Italy but also for Europe. We must respond to this, supporting companies and the purchasing power of households with the same conviction and the same speed as we backed the response to Russia”. 

Question: Is our economy at risk of recession?
PM Draghi: "Our economy is not in recession; our economy is continuing to grow, but there has been a slowdown. During the Council of Ministers meeting, I said that we must immediately tackle these supply bottlenecks, this lack of raw materials, in all sectors, providing immediate support for households, at the same time as diversifying supply sources”.

Question: Can these economic efforts be financed with common debt at EU level, as France is proposing?
PM Draghi: “We will be discussing that this afternoon. As I said, Italy and France are fully aligned also on this front”.

[Courtesy translation]

Question: Prime Minister, what’s the biggest concern please, the impact of this war on the European economy, hitting voters, or the death and destruction in Ukraine?
PM Draghi: "The major impact is the destruction in Ukraine. We are aware that this will entail costs for the European economy, but the answer is not to relieve pressure on Russia, on President Putin. The answer is to work together, to sustain and support our economies, support the purchasing power of households, support our companies".