New York

Monti exploits UN trip to promote new image of Italy

Premier meets Obama, says country wants to 'restore itself'

Monti exploits UN trip to promote new image of Italy

(ANSA) - New York, September 25 - Mario Monti said on Tuesday that he aimed to modify global perceptions of Italy and the European Union during his visit to New York for the opening of the 67th session the United Nations General Assembly. "New York is one of those cities where many global opinions are formed - I am here to give a precise perception of the evolution of the situation in Italy," Monti told journalists. "Participating in this assembly is an opportunity to hold a series of bilateral meetings that form a part of the actions taken from the beginning (of my tenure) to promote the perception of a new dynamic by which Italy wants to restore itself to grow and, at the same time, (communicate) the new European framework to which Italy is contributing". Former European commissioner Monti has been credited with restoring Italy's international standing after taking the helm of an emergency technocrat government after the financial crisis forced Silvio Berlusconi to step down as premier last November. He has passed austerity measures to put Italy's public finances in order and structural economic reforms to boost growth which have been acclaimed for making the country part of the solution to the eurozone crisis, rather than part of the problem. Monti said he updated United States President Barack Obama about progress made toward stabilizing the economic situation in the European Union during a brief meeting late on Monday. The Italian premier said one of the subjects they touched on was "an update on European Union progress toward a more stable eurozone structure - a subject that interests Obama very much". Monti said that no mention was made of upcoming parliamentary elections in Italy. But they did discuss Obama's bid to beat Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and win another term this November. "We talked about the progress of the election campaign in the US," said Monti, who has pledged not to run in next year's elections in Italy. Monti went on to say that the US president's speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations on Tuesday had been "totally coherent", showing "tight logic" with an important emphasis on the need for "tolerance, respect of the rights to speech and religion and human rights".

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