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Saturday, 4 August, 2001, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Berlusconi seeks summit transfer
Genoa riots
The Genoa riots caused extensive damage
By David Willey in Rome

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says the World Food summit - due to be held in Rome in November - should be transferred to another city to avoid a repetition of last month's riots in Genoa.

He told MPs supporting his right-wing government that Italy had given quite enough by hosting the Genoa summit.

Mr Berlusconi has clearly been bruised by the fallout from the summit, when G8 leaders met amid scenes of unprecedented security.

Silvio Berlusconi
Berlusconi: Italy has given quite enough
The riots, in which one protester died and dozens of people were hurt, caused damage to buildings and public structures which will cost millions of dollars to repair.

A political row is still going on over allegations of police brutality against demonstrators.

At a meeting with senators, Mr Berlusconi said it was the Italian Government's intention to get the November summit transferred to another city.

Hunger meet

The meeting of heads of state and government is being organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Starving child in Sudan
The summit is to focus on eradicating world hunger
Italy's Agriculture Minister, Giovanni Alemanno, said it would be a splendid opportunity to transfer the meeting to an African city like Nairobi, so that delegates could get first-hand experience of populations which, unlike those in the West, know what hunger really is.

Left-wing Italian politicians immediately attacked Mr Berlusconi's proposal.

Gavino Angius, a left-wing senator, said he was astonished that Italy would refuse to host such an important summit because it was unable to guarantee public order.

There was no immediate comment from FAO headquarters in Rome.

The November food summit is due to review progress made towards eradicating world hunger since representatives of more than 180 countries meeting in Rome in 1996 pledged to reduce the number of hungry people in the world by half by the year 2015.

Nicholas Parsons
is the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation spokesman
David Okwemba
Editor of the Standard in Nairobi, one of the suggested alternative venues
See also:

22 Jul 01 | Europe
Summits must continue - Blair
22 Jul 01 | Europe
Genoa counts the cost
22 Jul 01 | Europe
Dismay at Genoa's troubles
16 Oct 00 | World
UN warns on world food
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