Italy’s Draghi says Euro final shouldn’t be in London

Germany and Italy agree on almost everything, except who should win the soccer, says Merkel
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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Monday he was in favour of holding the final of the European soccer championships in Rome rather than in London, because of Britain’s rising coronavirus infections.

“Yes … I will try to stop the final being held in a country where infections are rising quickly,” Draghi said at a news conference in Berlin with German chancellor Angela Merkel, when asked if he was in favour of switching the final to Rome.

Germany and Italy agree on almost everything, except who should win the soccer, says Merkel

German and Italian leaders met in person in the German capital on Monday, with one topic outweighing heftier subjects: Who will win Wednesday’s Euros soccer clash and secure a spot in the last eight.

“As far as our bilateral agenda goes I think I can say that there are no big bilateral problems that need to be hotly discussed, except of course the question of how are teams in the Euros are progressing. There I believe we have differing emotions,” said a smiling Angela Merkel.

“Well even in soccer we agree on things. We both agree that Mister Gosens (Robin Gosens also a Germany player) is a very good player for Bergamo,” said the chancellor, referring to Germany national player, Robin Gosens, the new wunderkind of the tournament who was pivotal in Germany’s win against Portugal.

On a less light note Merkel said migration and immigration were still subjects that needed a more unified EU response.

“We are affected differently by migration. Italy is a first arrivals country, Germany is a secondary migration country but we both agree on how on what we should do about this. We have to tackle it at its source, where the migrants are arriving from.,” Merkel said.

“I would say, as the Chancellor said, first of all: football. And then migration is a problem that we have close views on, on what is called the external dimension and what does that mean? A greater presence, a much greater presence of the European Union in North Africa and in the Horn of Africa. I don’t just mean Tunisia and Libya, but also the regions where a lot of the migration comes from, the Sahel, Mali, Ethiopia, Eritrea. In short, the presence of the European Union economically, but also for technical assistance, needs to be more felt in this part of the world,” Draghi said.

Draghi and Merkel were also due to discuss the impact of Britain’s rising coronavirus infections of the Delta variant.

“We will talk about how we could better coordinate in terms of how the EU handles entry into the bloc especially in the case of travellers travelling in from the UK, at the moment there is a very broad selection of ways to handle it, so I think there needs to be more communication between us on this,” Merkel said.

Draghi said he was in favour of holding the final of the European soccer championships in Rome rather than in London, because of the situation.

“Yes … I will try to stop the final being held in a country where infections are rising quickly,” Draghi said at a news conference in Berlin with German chancellor Angela Merkel, when asked if he was in favour of switching the final to Rome.

(Production: Tanya Wood, Leon Malherbe, Fanny Brodersen)

(Reporting By Gavin Jones)