President Radev Met Italian President Matarella in Rome

Politics | May 28, 2021, Friday // 23:55
Bulgaria: President Radev Met Italian President Matarella in Rome video caption

On the third day of his visit to Italy, May 28, Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev met with Italian counterpart Sergio Matarella.

The two discussed how to improve economic ties, which have been in some decline due to the pandemic.

Italy is the fourth country in terms of investment in Bulgaria.

We discussed with President Sergio Mattarella how Bulgaria and Italy can continue their co-operation in the areas of economy, investment and trade, despite some decline last year. It is important how we work together in a pandemic, Bulgaria’s Head of State told journalists after the meeting with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella, which took place at the Presidential Palace "Quirinal" in Rome.

"We have more than 140 years of diplomatic relations with Italy," President Radev said.

He stressed the importance of Italy as a partner of Bulgaria within the EU and NATO and added that the country is third in terms of trade and fourth in terms of investment in Bulgaria.

"In 2018-2019, we achieved almost 5 billion euros in trade. I hope to reach these levels again in the coming years, "said Rumen Radev.

He pointed out that Italy is an interesting example for Bulgaria for rejuvenating tourism, because for both countries this sector forms a very significant part of gross domestic product. In response to a question about the green travel certificates, which are being discussed in the EC, the President said that it is important to decide what the exact procedures for their implementation will be.

The two Presidents also discussed the topic of the Recovery and Sustainability Plan. The Plan is currently being reviewed in Italy to align with the country's strategic goals and priorities and to work most effectively.

At the meeting President Radev explained clearly the Bulgarian position on the Western Balkans and that progress will be made on enlargement issues when the countries themselves demonstrate a clear, definite, irreversible will to progress,  in response to a question. He pointed out that President Mattarella is fully in solidarity with our position.

The Bulgarian head of state added that the caretaker government is working with the government of the Republic of North Macedonia in various areas to deepen co-operation between the two countries.

Rumen Radev gave as an example Sofia's plans to donate vaccines against COVID-19 to Skopje, as well as the idea of ​​organizing state-aided programmes for educational exchange of young people between the two countries, through which to promote tourism.

"If we can achieve this, it will be the most important step in overcoming decades of propaganda, insinuations and opposition from the people of our two countries. If we bring our young people together, I am sure that this will neutralize any propaganda," Rumen Radev noted.

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Tags: Matarella, Italy, Bulgaria, Rumen Radev
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