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Italian PM in Prague: EU should not be divided into East and West

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Prague, Sept 7 (CTK) – The future of the EU does not lie in forcing out anyone or in its being divided into the East and the West, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni told journalists after meeting his Czech counterpart Bohuslav Sobotka on Thursday.

Europe should be jointly moving forward, Gentiloni said.

Gentiloni said he and Sobotka had also spoken about their meetings with other European leaders.

There must be the clear news that one can variously perceive the situation, but there are no closed circles, Gentiloni said.

The future of European integration cannot lie in someone being integrated or forced out, he added.

There is not any interest in fostering the idea of a division into the West and East of Europe, Gentiloni said.

He said the talks focused on the EU.

Gentiloni said in the discussion he had considered Sobotka a representative of not only the Czech Republic, but also of the Visegrad Four, in which the Czech Republic cooperated with Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

He said the EU could continue forward jointly, without being divided in any way.

This includes joint duties and rights, Gentiloni said.

Sobotka unveiled the idea to Gentiloni that the countries which did not pay with the euro should have the observers status in the future in the euro zone talks.

He said Italy was the Czech Republic’ major partner in the EU and NATO.

“Our relations lack any problems, we are allies and there are no open questions,” Sobotka said.

They also discussed Brexit and intensification of joint European defence.

Sobotka said it was a good thing that Gentiloni was the first Italian prime minister to have visited the Czech Republic over the past ten years.

Before him, it was Romano Prodi in May 2007, who met former prime minister Mirek Topolanek and former president Vaclav Klaus.

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