141156 2/13/2008 9:50 08ROME196 Embassy Rome CONFIDENTIAL VZCZCXRO6732 OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHRO #0196 0440950 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 130950Z FEB 08 FM AMEMBASSY ROME TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9842 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHFL/AMCONSUL FLORENCE PRIORITY 2910 RUEHMIL/AMCONSUL MILAN PRIORITY 9249 RUEHNP/AMCONSUL NAPLES PRIORITY 3060 RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 2919 RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 000196
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/15/2018 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, NATO, IT SUBJECT: PRODI TO ATTEND BUCHAREST SUMMIT, SEES NO EASY SOLUTION TO GARBAGE CRISIS
Classified By: Ronald P. Spogli, Ambassador, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d ).
1. (C) On February 11, the Ambassador met with outgoing PM Romano Prodi to discuss a range of outstanding issues. Prodi said he had just spoken with President Bush and regretted that their February 4 meeting in Washington did not take place. He confirmed that despite the government crisis he would attend the Bucharest Summit in April 2008. A relaxed Prodi told the Ambassador that he had done all he could to keep his fractious coalition together and was now considering retiring from politics.
2. (C) The Ambassador expressed appreciation for the Constitutional Court's postponed hearing on the Abu Omar case and asked Prodi to look into the delay on approval for basing the Global Hawk UAV at Sigonella. Prodi said he was pleased by the court's decision. He was surprised, however, that the USG had not received MOD approval for Global Hawk. Both Prodi and his national security advisor Sannino said they were not aware of outstanding substantive issues and promised to look into the delay. The Ambassador thanked Prodi for the work of GOI Dal Molin Commissioner Costa and asked that he allowed to stay on. Prodi said Costa would remain since his mandate comes from the President and not the Prime Minister. He assured that Ambassador that although there will always be a "lunatic fringe" opposed to the project, the expansion will move forward.
3. (C) On the Naples garbage crisis, Prodi (who had just met with Waste Emergency Commissioner De Gennaro) said there was no easy short-term solution. Italy considered shipping garbage to developing countries but decided against to avoid the impression it was exploiting poorer countries. Instead, it will continue shipping garbage to Germany where it will be disposed of in high-tech incinerators at a substantial cost to the government. SPOGLI