G7 Summit 2017 Taormina, Sicily May 26 to 28 LATEST NEWS

Taormina G7 News #50 – May 23, 2017 

G7 TAORMINA SUMMIT AGENDA

Source: webpage of  the ITALIAN G7 PRESIDENCY 2017

 

May 26, 2017

Session 1: Foreign Policy and Security Issues (Working Lunch)

Session 2: Foreign Policy and Security Issues

Session 3: World economy and Sustainable Growth (Trade – Climate & Energy)

 

May 27, 2017

Session 4: Outreach (Innovation and Development in Africa)

Session 5: Global Issues (Human Mobility, Food Security, Gender Equality)

Session 6: G7 Global Relations (Working Lunch)

 

G7 Members: Italy, Canada, France, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, EU.

Outreach countries and International Organizations:
Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Niger, Tunisia, African Union (AU), African Development Bank (AfDB), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB).

 

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Taormina G7 News #49 – May 23, 2017 

Taormina ready to host the G7 summit

Italy’s cabinet undersecretary Maria Elena Boschi gave a press conference yesterday, Ansa news agency reports.

« Italy is ready to present itself to the world, » Boschi said adding that the summit was moved from Florence to Taormina and « we overcame all the dated stereotypes » after there was a comment about the mafia in Sicily.

According to Boschi, the Sicilian city is ready for the G-7 summit by « respecting the work schedule without postponements and with the necessary funds. » Boschi also said the authorized demonstrations must respect the law.The summit would be particular interesting for its « international picture », including new French president Emmanuel Macron, she added.

All hotels in the red zone of the medieval city center have been forced to plan to stay empty for 6 days from May 22 to 28 in order to host the G7 delegations. Meanwhile Taormina is already an armored fortress protected by around 9,000 military personnel and security corps as the security has been the priority for the summit.

Between May 22 and May 28, some 11,000 citizens in Taormina – only residents, workers for certain businesses and people related to the summit – will be allowed to enter the city with personal badges.

Every year, some of the most powerful world leaders meet for a conference lasting a few days in order to discuss a variety of global issues. These range from foreign policy, climate change and sustainable development, to health and investment in infrastructure.

The G7, Group of Seven, consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

 

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Taormina G7 News #48 – May 20, 2017 

G7 Taormina First Ladies and First Gentlemen

On the morning of May 26 the first ladies and first gentlemen will enjoy a helicopter flight over Mount Etna and a city tour of  Catania’s historical highlights, after which Mayor Enzo Bianco will offer a lunch in their honor.

In the afternoon, the G7 leaders’ consorts will leave for Taormina, where they will attend a concert by the Milan Philharmonic „La Scala“ in the Greek Theatre, followed by a gala dinner offered by Italian President Sergio Mattarella in a prestigeous hotel of Taormina.

Guests of Emanuela Gentiloni, the Italian premier’s wife, will be Melania Trump, First Lady of the United States, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, wife of the Canadian Prime Minister, Japanese Prime Minister’s wife Akie Abe and Brigitte Trogneux, wife of the new French President Emmanuel Macron.

This time the husband of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Joachim Sauer, will not be alone: the usually only man in the last G7 first ladies/first gentlemen ceremonies, will have another companion gentleman: Philip May, husband of the British PM.

Source: the Italian daily „Il Messaggero“, Rome

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Taormina G7 News #47 – May 18, 2017 

G7 Taormina. Timetables of the ASM TAORMINA BUS SERVICE  May 22 to 28

The G7 Taornmina urban transport service introduces 3 BUS LINES named: A – B – C
that will replace all traditional urban services.

TWO PERIODS:

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from May 22 (5 am) to May 25 (2 pm):

LINE A

Capo Taormina, Via Pirandello, Bus Terminal, Via Guardiola Vecchia, Porta Pasquale Parking, via Mario and Nicolò Garipoli, Parking Lumbi, tunnel Monte Tauro, Parking Porta Catania, tunnel Monte Tauro, Parking Lumbi, via Mario and Nicolò Garipoli , Viale San Pancrazio, Via Pirandello, Capo Taormina. (from 05.00 am to 01.30 am).

LINE B

Parking Lumbi, Via Mario and Nicolò Garipoli, Parking Porta Pasquale, Viale San Pancrazio, Arco Cappuccini, Via Fontana Vecchia, contrada Zappulla, Arco Cappuccini, Viale San Pancrazio, Via Porta Pascquale, Parking Lumbi, tunnel Monte Tauro, roundabout PParking Porta Catania, , via Kitson, Piazza Von Gloeden, via Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna Rocca, (return): Madonna della Rocca, via Leonardo Da Vinci, Piazza Von Gloeden, roundabout Parking Catania, tunnel Monte Tauro,Pparking Lumbi. (from 05.00 am to 01.30 am).

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From May 25 (2 pm) to May 28

LINE A and LINE B will be subjected to the following route variations:

Line A: Capo Taormina, via Pirandello,  Bus Terminal and return, from 5 am to 1.30 am.

LINE B: Parking Lumbi, tunnel Monte Tauro, roundabout Parking Porta Catania, Via Kitson, Piazza Von Gloden, via Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna Rocca, (return): Madonna Rocca, via Leonardo da Vinci, Piazza Von Gloden, roundabout Parking Porta Catania, tunnel Monte Tauro, Parking Lumbi (from 5 am to 1.30 am).

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For the whole period May 22 (5 am) to May 28 

Line C: Trappitello, S.Vincenzo Hospital, Taormina-Giardini railway station, SS114 junction  with via Pirandello at Capo Taormina, Isola Bella, Mazzarò, Mazzeo and return.

Asm has announced that this routes and times may be subject to further variations.

 

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Taormina G7 News #46 – May 5, 2017 

Italy to ensure G7 Taormina summit supports clear dialogue with Russia

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano announced that Italy is to work hard to ensure that the next G7 Summit recognises the need to establish a clear dialogue with Russia

During an intervention at the Italian Parliament on May 4, Alfano said the upcoming G7 Summit of Heads of State and Government, to be held May 26-27 in the Sicilian city of Taormina, should prioritise relations with Moscow.

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Taormina G7 News #45 – May 4, 2017 

President Trump will add visits to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Rome as part of a pre-planned trip to Europe later this month, the White House said Thursday. In Rome he will meet Pope Francis.

The news agency Reuters stated today that the Vatican confirmed that Trump is scheduled to meet Pope Francis on May 24.

During the presidential election last year, Trump and Pope Francis clashed over immigration and Trump’s proposed border wall, but both have said they are looking forward to their meeting.

After meeting Pope Francis President Trump will fly to Taormina for the G7 Summit May 26 to 28

Sources: USA today and Reuters, May 4, 2017

 

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Taormina G7 News #44 – May 1, 2017 

TRICOLOR ARROWS FOR THE G7 FAMILY PHOTO

The historic majesty of the monument, the breathtaking view of the Giardini bay with the Mount Etna in the background and the white-red-green smoke strips of the Tricolor Arrows in the sky. The Frecce Tricolori, literally « Tricolour Arrows », officially known as the 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico, is the aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Air Force.

The so-called « family photo », which immortalizes the 7 Head of State, will be taken in Taormina in the morning of the 26th of May, the opening day of the G7, at Taormina’s Greek Theater where the 20 delegations will be welcomed.

It will be a spectacular and certainly unique picture of its kind for the exceptional ambience and scenography. The pilots of the aeronautical patrol of the Italian Air Force „Frecce Tricolori“ will take off from Lamezia airport and fly to Taormina arriving from the north. In this way, and without loud anticipation, they will determine a surprise effect, appearing at the event only at the very last moment with the low-flying squadron flying low over the Greek Theater and then heading towards the bay leaving behind their iconic tricolor strip.

Almost all details of the ceremony are already defined. The task force led by ambassador Alessandro Modiano has already arranged the lodgings for the various delegations, which altogether will be 20 and will hosted all within the red zone of Taormina.

Only the US and Japan (whose delegations far exceed the maximum number of 100 members expected by the organization) will have to set up some delegates at Giardini where the Japanese, at the concluded summit, will stop for twenty days.

The staff of President Donald Trump (it is confirmed that he will stay at the hotel) and his restricted delegation have reserved a section inside the Belmond Hotel Timeo, where also the Italian delegation will reside, and where, on the evening of May 26, the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella will offer a gala dinner for 40 people reserved for the hosts and their wives.

During the Summit the town centre of Taormina will be « red zone », inaccessible to strangers and with heavy restrictions for residents. Ambassador Modiano, however, explains: « We are making a great effort because during the G7 Summit Taormina will have to appear as normal as possible. That’s why we asked all shops to stay open. Over 1,500 delegates will be an exceptional opportunity to enhance the territory in the utmost security ».

Source: the Sicilian daily “La Sicilia”
Excerpts from an article by Luigi Ronsisvalle, May 1

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Taormina G7 News #43 – April 30, 2017  (updated May 1, 2017)

G7  TAORMINA EXPECTED PARTICIPANTS

The Head of the Italian delegation, Italy’s Plenipotentiary Minister for the G7 Modiano just visited Taormina and on April 29 announced some more details about the expected number of participants.

He stated that „in addition to the 7 main delegations for a total of  approx. 1.500 delegates that are officially part of the G7, there will also be the other organisations for a total of 20 delegations.
Among the various delegations of the G7, all of which will be hosted inside the medieval town centre of Taormina (the « red zone »), the only ones that will have other representatives staying also outside the red zone are those of the United States and Japan“.

Hospitality in Taormina

For the six days May 22 to 28 all hotels in the red zone of the medieval town centre of Taormina have not been allowed to take any reservations and have been totally blocked for the G7 exclusive use.
The first 3 days May 22 to 25 they will have to stay empty for the planned security clearances in town and in the hotels themselves, May 25 to 28 they will finally host the delegations.

In the last four months, Modiano has been in close contact with the president of the Taormina Hotel Association, Italo Mennella and in this hours they are defining the final details concerning hospitality in cooperation with EGA, the ‘turnkey organization’ entrusted to manage all hotel reservations.

Hotels:

all the twenty-three 4 and 5 star hotels in the red zone of Taormina have been officially blocked for the G7 delegations.

– thirteen more 4 and 5 star hotels located in the neighbouring 2 to 4 Km distant areas of uptown Madonna della Rocca and on the beach front Taormina Mare also involved in the G7 hospitality.

– additionally there are various  other 4 and 5 star hotels in the neighbouring 5 to 6 Km distant areas of Mazzeo, Letojanni and Giardini-Naxos  that are also all involved in the G7 hospitality.

Press and media are not allowed to stay in the red zone, so they are booked at Taormina Mare, Mazzeo, Letojanni and Giardini-Naxos.

In addition to the seven Heads of State and Government and their staff plus the other 13 delegations there will also be approx. 4,000 journalists as well as 10,000 police, army and security forces.

Main sources: TaorminaToday and  AAT (Taormina Hotel Association)

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Taormina G7 News #42 – April 27, 2017 

30 days left to the G7 Summit in Taormina

On May 26-27 the G7 Summit under the Italian Presidency will take place in Taormina. The mission is « Building the Foundations of Renewed Trust ». The agenda is based on three fundamental pillars: 1) citizen safety; 2) economic, environmental and social sustainability and the reduction of inequalities; 3) innovation, skills and labor in the age of the Next Production Revolution.

This is the sixth time that Italy has taken over the rotating G7 Presidency. The first occasion was in 1980 in Venice. That town also hosted the next time, in 1987; Summits were then held in Naples in 1994, Genoa in 2001 and L’Aquila in 2009.

Taormina, one of the most beautiful Mediterranean cities, was chosen for its symbolism, which merges the concepts of hope and hospitality. The Summit will be divided into two days of work. In addition to the Leaders of the G7 countries (Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), the President of the European Commission, the President of the EU Council, leaders of some International Organizations as well as the Heads of State and of Government of Outreach Countries and of a few guest countries (invited by the Presidency) will also attend the event.

This is a crucial stage for the diplomatic work in preparation of the Summit. Indeed, on April 26-27 Taormina is hosting the third meeting of the G7 Sherpas, the representatives of the Heads of State and of Government who are in charge of defining the shared positions that will be summarized in the Final Communiqué of the Summit.

Source:  Italian G7 Presidency 2017 web page

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Taormina G7 News #41 – April 24, 2017 

G7  TAORMINA PRESS ACCREDITATION NOW POSSIBLE

After a long wait, from today April 24, journalists, photographers and TV operators interested in covering  the G7 Summit in Taormina can register online their accreditation on an external online platform of the official G7 website https://accreditation.g7italy.org/

Registration deadline is May 15 at 11.59PM

Two media centers.

More than 4,000 journalists are expected to be in Taormina for the G7.
The press  media center will be set up at the Hotel HILTON in the 5 Km distant Giardini Naxos, while the 3 Km distant Hotel CAPOTAORMINA will be the media center for international TV broadcasters, with around 100 Italian and foreign TVs stations coordinated by the Italian national TV RAI.

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Taormina G7 News #40 – April 21, 2017 (updated April 27,2017)

TRUMP’S « CADILLAC ONE » TOO BIG FOR TAORMINA

On site inspections and verifications by US staff determined that the 1.2 million dollar special vehicle will  most probably not be able to drive through Taormina.

While the G7 delegations hotels of Taormina and also the San Vincenzo Hospital have been checked and approved, there is one logistic aspect that has still to be resolved: some streets in Taormina are simply too narrow for the „Big Beast“, as Cadillac One has been renamed.

Trump’s presidential car, which debuted on Inauguration Day, is no longer the Chevrolet of Barack Obama, but a $ 1.2 million Black Cadillac. So chances are that another of the many Us presidential cars will have to be used.

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Taormina G7 News #39 – April 14, 2017 

G7 TAORMINA FAMILY PHOTO  IN THE GREEK THEATRE

This years traditional family photo of the G7 heads of state and government will be taken at the ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina.

In the picture, which will be taken on the morning of May 27, after the second and final meeting of Heads of State and Government, there will be Paolo Gentiloni (Italian Prime Minister), Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada), Angela Merkel (German Chancellor), Shinzō Abe (Prime Minister of Japan), Theresa May (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), Donald Trump (President of the United States) and the new president of France.

In a second official photo, the G7 heads of state will be joined by Donald Tusk (President of the European Council) and Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission).

On the evening of May 27 they will all attend the concert at the same Greek Theatre preformed by the Milan based „Teatro alla Scala” which is regarded as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world.

The G7  heads of state and government will stay at the two Top Hotels in Taormina: the San Domenico Palace Hotel and the Belmond Hotel Timeo, while their delegations will be hosted in the many other 5 and 4 star hotels of Taormina.

The G7  heads of state and government will all arrive at the Nato airport of Sigonella, near Catania. From here, they will fly  to Taormina by helicopter.

Journalists are estimated to be between 3,000 and 4,000 along with 60 to 100 international TV stations. Police, security and military personell is estimated to consist of around 8.000 people, nearly reaching the number of Taorminas inhabitants (10.000).

The TV broadcasting center will be located at the Hotel ‘Capo Taormina’, the media center at the Hilton in Giardini Naxos.

Taormina will be off-limits for classic leasure tourists from May 22 to 28.

Everybody in town will have to be registered and accredited: all G7 delegations, all press and staff members as well as all Taormina residents and all the people employed and working in town.

Mobility in town will be based on the ‘Taormina smart’ project, based on electric mobility for all delegates.

(main source: AdnKronos)

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Taormina G7 News #38 – April 4, 2017 (updated April 8)

G7 ACCREDITATION PLATFORM NOW ONLINE

The accreditation platform is now online on the Italian G7 Presidency website. At the moment it is possible to register only for the Rome Energy Ministerial Meeting 9 and 10 April 2017 and for the Lucca G7 Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting April 10 and 11.

The Taormina accreditation section is expected to be available soon.

Journalists, photographers and TV crews interested in following the G7 Summit Meeting must apply for specific accreditation through the online accreditation section of the Italian G7 Presidency website.

The accreditation procedure consists of an online registration and can be completed filling a form and uploading the following documents:

– A letter by the media organisation represented, signed by the Editor-in-Chief, containing the following data: name, surname, date of birth, job title, cell phone number and e-mail address;

– Valid passport or ID document;

– photo (jpeg or jpg format, low resolution).

Freelance professionals must upload a copy of their press card instead of the letterby the media organization.

After the registration and the upload of the documents requested, media representatives have to select the event in order to apply for the participation to the Taormina G7 Summit.

CONTACTS
Press Accreditation Office:
Tel. +39.06.420434337
e-mail: g7@mise.gov.it
ufficio.stampa@mise.gov.it

Source: website of the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers

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Taormina G7 News #37 – March 26, 2017

The new EU and the TAORMINA G7: many common challenges

On Saturday, March 25, Leaders of the current 27 EU member countries gathered in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of the European Union’s founding treaties, signed in 1957 by Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. The first agreement established the European Economic Community (EEC), with the aim of creating a common market and favoring trade. The second treaty gave birth to the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), to coordinate the Member States’ research programs for the promotion of the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Saturday’s anniversary was an opportunity to revive the common European project through the signing of the Rome Declaration in which member countries have renewed their commitment for a Europe that is « safe », « prosperous and sustainable », « social » and « stronger on the world stage ».

Many of the topics included in the Rome Declaration are consistent with the priorities of the Italian G7 Presidency. For instance: the need for an effective, responsible and sustainable migration policy, in line with international standards, which can guarantee citizens’ safety. As for economic development, the 27 member countries highlighted their commitment to a more prosperous and sustainable Europe that promotes economic and social progress — encouraging free and fair trade; competitiveness and innovation; a « positive global climate policy »; greater cohesion and convergence in favor of gender equality and of the struggle against inequality, poverty and discrimination.

All these targets are also part of the Italian government’s agenda for the G7 Summit to be held in Taormina on May 26-27.

Source: website of the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers

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Taormina G7 News #36 – March 24, 2017

Taormina G7 accreditation and access controll company named

The Italian Council of State has finally decided today that the accreditation and access control system, the registration and accreditation of about 40 thousand people from the G7 delegations to staff, the press and also to the residents of the red zone of Taormina has been entrusted to the company After SRL, the company that provided the same services also for the Milan Expo 2015.

Accreditations are therefore expected to be possible soon.

To allow delegations to register and journalists to request accreditation for the Ministerial Meetings and for the G7 Summit in Taormina, a dedicated online platform will soon be made available by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers on

www.g7italy.it/en/accreditation  

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Taormina G7 News #35 – March 21, 2017

G7 MOBILITY IN THE CENTRE OF TAORMINA

Synthesis:

From May 22 to 28, 2017 Taormina will be divided in two zones:

AREA AD ACCESSO RISERVATO
and
AREA DI MASSIMA SICUREZZA (the HIGH-SECURITY RED ZONE)

The RED ZONE is basically the medieval town centre inside the 5 Km ring road around Taormina starting from the city gate Porta Messina: Via Costantino Patricio, Via Leonardo da Vinci, Via Apollo Arcageta, Via Pietro Rizzo, Via Roma and Via Bagnoli Croce closing the ring with Via Pirandello till Porta Messina.

RED ZONE MOBILITY IN THE CENTRE OF TAORMINA: 

May 22 to 27 included:
PARKING will be TOTALLY INTERDICTED.

May 22 to 24 included:
pedestrian and vehicular access will be forbidden
with the exception of those previously authorized by the Italian PS Authority and
provided with a “PASS LEVEL 2″

May 25 to 27 included:
ALL VEHICLES will be TOTALLY BANNED.
The access to the high-security red zone area will be permitted
only to pedestrians previously authorized by the Italian PS Authority and
provided with a “PASS LEVEL 2″

Source: ordinanza Prefettura Messina, March 20, 2017
Prot.n. 12B2 26301/2017

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Taormina G7 News #34 – March 13, 2017

G7 Summit, Taormina: ‘turnkey organization’ named

The planning, organization, preparation and management of the Taormina G7 Summit has been entrusted to the company Ega Congresses & Events, who won the public call for competitive bids.

The activities to be carried out range from detailed design to hospitality from design to construction of architectural and technological equipment, the implementation of cultural programs to the production of the show to be held ‘at the Greek Theatre of Taormina.

« Every single detail of the summit – says Emma Aru, President and founder of Ega – will be ‘designed and built to fix in the memory of all participants, the essence of Italian excellence, its history, its culture, its values, so that the Heads of State and Government will meet in the ideal environment in order to build the foundation of a renewed confidence that the world needs.  »

Contacts:

Ega Congresses & Events
Viale Tiziano 19 – 00196 Rome, Italy
Foro Buonaparte 12 – 20121 Milan, Italy
Phone +39 06 32812.1 or +39 06 32812339
Fax +39 06 3222006

Contacts for the PRESS:
Felice d’Endice
mobile  +39 344.25.70.189
email: felice@ega.it

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Taormina G7 News #33 – February 27, 2017

G7 Taormina showcasing the excellence of Italian art

 in the days of the G7 Summit of Taormina delegations and visitors will have the chance to admire varous art exibitions an exibition. Three of them are:

  • In Taorminas Palazzo Corvaja inside the project « Unescosites / Italian Heritage and Arts » there will be an exibition of masterpieces of Antonello da Messina and of Caravaggio.
  • in the Chiesa del Carmine an exibition about  the most prominent artists of the Italian Futurism,
  • the exibition of the  Lucan portrait” of Leonardo da Vinci.

 

The  Lucan portrait of Leonardo da Vinci is a late 15th – early 16th century portrait of a man that was recently discovered in a cupboard of a private house in Italy. It strongly resembles a portrait of Leonardo da Vinci held by the Uffizi Gallery and regarded by experts as a forgery.

The painting was previously thought by its owners to represent Galileo but on its discovery in 2008 a claim was made that it is a self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci. Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci at Vinci said in 2011 that he had excluded the possibility that it was a self-portrait, but that the painting « remains intriguing because it adds a new element to the Leonardo puzzle ».

It is attributed to Leonardo by historians of Art as Prof. Hoehnsttatt Peter (University of Parma), Alessandro Tomei (University of Chieti-Pescara), Maria Cristina Paoluzzi (University of Chieti and Milan), Jan Royt (university of Prague)[, David Bershad (University of Calgary) and Orest Kormashov (University of Tallinn).

Painted in tempera grassa on panel, 60 by 40 centimeters (24 in × 16 in) it depicts a man in three-quarter view, with a long beard and wearing a dark hat. It is currently exhibited in the Museo delle Antiche Genti di Lucania (Museum of the Ancient People of Lucania) in Vaglio Basilicata, a region of Southern Italy.

In 2008 Nicola Barbatelli, Director of the Museo, discovered the painting, attributed it to Leonardo, and gave it the name Lucan portrait, from Lucania, the ancient name of Basilicata. In 2010 a conference was held at which a team comprising David Bershad, Professor at University of Calgary (Canada), Peter Hohenstatt, Professor at the University of Parma, Felice Festa, Professor of Orthodontics and Gnathology at the University of Chieti, and Nicola Barbatelli, presented the findings in support of Barbatelli’s attribution. No results of detailed stylistic analysis of the painting, or stylistic comparison with known works by Leonardo da Vinci or other possible authors are available, and it is unknown if such studies have taken place.

(Information from Wikipedia)

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Taormina G7 News #32 – February 24, 2017

MOBILTY BEFORE AND DURING THE G7 PERIOD

After a new meeting on February 23 in the prefecture of Messina some new indications were published on the local news website TaorminaToday concerning the mobility of residents and tourists in the days immediately before and during the G7. While still waiting for official published communications, here the actual indications:

  • In the phase May 15 to 22 a first stage of restrictions will start taking place.
  • In the period May 22 to 28 the city will continue to remain accessible to residents while there will be different arrangements for tourists
  • Between May 22 and 28 tourists will be given the chance to stay in Taormina without leaving the town.

This means that confirmed reservations of Taorminas traditional leasure guests will not be cancelled.

There will be no impositions of closing any commercial business.
All kinds of demonstrations and street protests in Taormina during the G7 days have been strictily interdicted.

Parking in Taormina in May

From May 2 to 29, 2017 both multistorey municipal parkings LUMBI and PORTA CATANIA will be totally reserved for the G7 staff, police, military personnel, civil defence, civil protection and firebrigades. Until May 22, driving through town will be possible (nearly) as usual but parking in the whole month of May will be extremely difficult also for tourists unless hotel guest have a confirmed parking reservation in their hotel.

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Taormina G7 News #31 – February 24, 2017

Italy vows to be ready in time to host G-7 in Sicilian town

BY GINO MACELI Associated Press

TAORMINA, SICILY

Italy still needs to build two helicopter landing pads and repave miles of road, but a top government official promised Friday that everything will be ready for the May 26-27 G-7 summit being held in a stunning Sicilian town overlooking the sea.

The annual summit will see U.S. President Donald Trump and the leaders of six other major industrial democracies confer on world issues in Taormina, a hilltop resort town with an ancient Greek theater.

Concern has been growing that logistics could be a disaster, since no major construction work has yet begun.

But Government Undersecretary Maria Elena Boschi, who toured the site Friday, said the helipad work will begin Monday and promised it will go « rapidly, and we’ll be ready for May. »

The government has earmarked 15 million euros ($16 million) for summit preparations in Taormina. But the risk of corruption tainting public works contracts is a chronic problem throughout Italy. Before winning contracts in Italy, private companies must be certified that they have no ties with organized crime.

« We have a tight timetable, but for the contracts, we’ll have ample attention to the procedures to be followed and to transparency, » Boschi said, noting that the government’s anti-corruption agency will be scrutinizing the works.

Taormina Mayor Eligio Giardina echoed officials’ sentiments that all must get to work quickly.

« We are at a point when we need to do things, no more worries and no more negativity, » the mayor said. « Now we established our priorities. »

The special commissioner in charge of the summit’s infrastructure and security said there will be talks Saturday about asphalting more than 10 kilometers (6 miles) of roads around Taormina.

« I hope that it can be wrapped up right on time, » Riccardo Carpino told journalists.

Carpino did cite one concern: Taormina’s conference center needs « much restructuring » because it lacks a fire safety certification.

Summit security preparations will be reviewed weekly at the premier’s office in Rome, Boschi said. Plans call for the deployment of 6,000 security forces for the summit.

Besides the United States, the G-7 involves Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Italy has a history of pulling off ambitious works at the last minute despite doubts from outsiders. The venue of the 2009 G-8 Italy hosted was switched, after months of work, from a tiny island off Sardinia to the earthquake-stricken central town of L’Aquila in a show of solidarity for the suffering there.

 

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Taormina G7 News #30 – February 13, 2017

A FAQ about

ACCREDITATION

To allow delegations to register and journalists to request accreditation for the Ministerial Meetings and for the G7 Summit in Taormina, it is announced that a dedicated online platform will soon be made available by the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

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Taormina G7 News #29 – February 13, 2017

Final list of roads and streets that will be repaved

The Mayor of Taormina Eligio Giardina confirmed today in the City Council the final list of roads and streets that will be repaved in town before the G7:

the 3 Km Via Garipoli from the A18 exit to the town centre, including Via San Pancrazio, as well as the second 3 Km access road  Via Pirandello between Capo Taormina (intersection with the coastal national road SS114) and the town entrance.

Other rads in town which will be repaved are the Via Teatro Greco (same lavastone pavement as the pedestrian main street Corso Umberto) plus the whole 5 km ring road around Taormina starting from the city gate Porta Messina: Via Costantino Patricio, Via Leonardo da Vinci, Via Apollo Arcageta, Via Pietro Rizzo, Via Roma and Via Bagnoli Croce closing the ring with Via Pirandello till Porta Messina.

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Taormina G7 News #28 – February 12, 2017

G7 TAORMINA IN SHORT

PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES

Canada
Prime Minister: Justin Trudeau

United Kingdom
Prime Minister: Theresa May

European Union
*Non-enumerated member
President of the European Commission: Jean-Claude Juncker
President of the European Council: Donald Tusk

United States
President: Donald Trump

France
President: François Hollande

Germany
Chancellor: Angela Merkel

Italy
Prime Minister: Paolo Gentiloni

Japan
Prime Minister: Shinzo Abe

G7 NUMBERS

Population
10,3% of the world’s population 2015
Source: World Bank

GDP
32,2% of the world’s GDP
Source: OECD
Exports
34.1% of the world’s exports of goods and services 2015
Source: OECD

Imports
36.7% of the world’s imports of goods and services 2015
Source: OECD

Calendar of the Ministerial Meetings Italian G7 Presidency 2017

CULTURE
Florence
March 30-31

ENERGY
Rome
April 9-10

FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Lucca
April 10-11

FINANCE
Bari
May 11-13

SUMMIT
Taormina
May 26-27

ENVIRONMENT
Bologna
June 11-12

TRANSPORT
Cagliari
June 21-22

INDUSTRY/ICT
Turin
September 26-27

SCIENCE
Turin
September 28-29

LABOR
Turin
September 30 – October 1

AGRICULTURE
Bergamo
October 14-15

HEALTH
Milan
November 5-6

Source: Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers

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Taormina G7 News #27 – February 11, 2017

The Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers has just launched a website where information, news, and documentation regarding the Italian G7 Presidency of 2017 will be published. Here some useful excerpts:

BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS OF RENEWED TRUST

How does the G7 work?

The G7 is a forum for dialogue at the highest level attended by the leaders of the world’s most important industrially advanced democracies. Its chief features are the intergovernmental nature of the preparatory process and its informality, which makes it easier for the leaders to discuss the world’s major issues and to rapidly devise and agree on solutions to them. Given that it is not an international organization, it is devoid of any kind of administrative structure or permanent secretariat.

The Presidency

The Presidency is held by each of the member countries in turn, in the following order: France, United States, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada. The European Union attends the G7 but neither chairs nor hosts

Italy will hold the Presidency from January 1 to December 31, 2017, a role it has played on five previous occasions in the history of the Group of Seven. It will thus be Italy’s responsibility to: propose and identify the Group’s priorities for action and consequently those areas requiring intervention; host and organize the technical and informal meetings that pave the way to the Summit, attended by the relevant Heads of State and of Government, as well as all the Ministerial Meetings; prepare the drafts and final texts of all supporting documents, including the Final Communiqué. The latter, adopted by the leaders at the end of each Summit, summarizes the main global issues debated during the year. While this communiqué is not a binding document in the strictest sense of the term, it is nonetheless of the utmost importance. It enshrines the pledges that the G7 Heads of State and of Government make regarding the political guidelines that they intend to pursue together.

The Summit

The annual Summit of the Heads of State and of Government is usually held in the middle of the year and is the highest-profile event of the entire G7 Presidency. The Summit in Taormina will be held on May 26-27, 2017, and will be attended not only by the G7 member countries’ leaders but also by the leaders of select International Organizations, and by the Heads of State and of Government of “outreach” countries and of countries invited as guests of the Presidency.

The event is spread out over two working days and winds up with the submission and adoption of the Final Communiqué.

France and the United States are represented by their Heads of State, while the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada are represented by their Heads of Government. The European Union is represented by both the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council.

Ministerial Meetings

Starting with the Birmingham Summit in 1998 and in consideration of a gradual expansion in the G7 leaders’ working agenda, it has become the custom, alongside the traditional Summit, to organize a similar style of meeting at the ministerial level. While the number and agenda of ministerial meetings is left to the Presidency to decide, the traditional meetings held by the G7’s Foreign Ministers, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors have become a permanent fixture from one Presidency to the next. In addition to these encounters, however, meetings have also been convened involving Ministers for the Environment, Energy, Development, Employment, Justice, the Interior, Scientific Research, and Agriculture. Italy will be hosting a meeting of Cultural Affairs Ministers for the first time in the history of the G7 in Florence on March 30-31, 2017.

Ministerial meetings are independent of the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government. Some of the most important conclusions reached at ministerial meetings, however, are reflected in the Final Communiqué issued at the end of the G7 Summit.

Sherpas, Political Directors and Foreign Affairs Sous-Sherpas

The G7 is an institutional structure headed by a “Sherpa”, and supported by a “Foreign Affairs Sous-Sherpa” (FASS) and a “Political Director” (PD). Each Head of State and of Government at the G7 has a personal representative for all matters connected with the Summit’s working agenda, and this figure is called a Sherpa (named metaphorically after the high-altitude porters who accompany expeditions in the Himalayas). He or she is also responsible for the preparatory process preceding the Summit and oversees negotiations regarding the drafting of the Final Communiqué. Sherpas regularly communicate with each other in connection with their respective leaders’ positions and proposals on international issues, and they are in touch with their leaders directly at all times. The post of Sherpa in Italy is traditionally held by a high-ranking diplomat.

The Sherpa is assisted by a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the PD) who is responsible for foreign and security policy issues, and by another representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the FASS) who is generally in charge of such cross-cutting issues as the environment, social and economic aspects, and development. The Economy and Finance Ministry, on the other hand, handles the economic and financial issues on the Summit’s agenda.

Ad hoc working groups can also be set up to address particularly complex, technical issues.

Working Groups

A number of working groups comprising experts from the G7 member countries have been set up over the years to follow up on the pledges made by the Heads of State and of Government and to explore the more technical aspects of the debates in greater depth. Under the guiding hand of the Sherpas, Political Directors and Foreign Affairs Sous-Sherpas, the G7 countries’ experts address such specific issues as health, food safety, development, energy, environmental protection, non-proliferation and support for the United Nations’ peacekeeping and peace-consolidating operations.

Dialogue with the Emerging Economies, Developing Countries and International Organizations

The involvement of the emerging economies, of developing countries and of international organizations has kept pace with, and reflects, a gradual evolution in the issues addressed by the Group of Seven. Initial interest in issues relating solely to financial stability and to macro-economic coordination were soon joined by an interest in other crucial themes ranging from development in Africa and climate change to food safety and the resolution of international crises. It was Italy, in Genoa in 2001, that inaugurated the now traditional “African segment” of the Summit, with dialogue sessions between the G7 leaders and the African countries invited by the Presidency.

Dialogue with Civil Society

Civil society is a crucial interlocutor for the G7 Presidencies. It plays an advocacy role, helping mobilize key actors and bringing institutions closer to the grassroots level. Civil society also encourages and monitors the leaders, to ensure that they honor the pledges they have made. Italy has initiated ongoing dialogue with all the representatives of the so-called G7 engagement groups (Business7, Civil7, ThinkThank7, Labor7, Science7, Women7 and Youth7), which will not only submit their policy recommendations to the leaders and institutions in connection with the issues on the G7 agenda, but will also organize their own parallel summits over the course of Italy’s Presidency.

ACCREDITATION

To allow delegations to register and journalists to request accreditation for the Ministerial Meetings and for the G7 Summit in Taormina, a dedicated online platform will soon be made available by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers 

Source: www.g7italy.it

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Taormina G7 News #26 – February 9, 2017

PUTIN IN TAORMINA?

Italian PM Gentiloni during a press conference in London said today:

« On the part of the Italian G7 presidency there is no invitation to Putin to participate in the G7 in Taormina. There is the need of  all of us members, and Italy shares the same view, that while we maintain the firm principles with Russia, we keep the dialogue open. But this has nothing to do with prospects at the time of invitation that I think are absolutely unrealistic”.

The issue had opened about a month ago, when the press, at the meeting in January between Angela Merkel and Paolo Gentiloni, spoke of possible differences of views on the organization of the G7, in which both powers are engaged. The opportunity to invite or not Putin at a G8 format had returned topical especially after Donald Trump’s victory in the US, who has made no secret of wanting to improve the relationship between Moscow and Washington.

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Taormina G7 News #25 – February 8, 2017

Pope Francis could meet with President Donald Trump at the end of May.

The Italian daily « La Stampa » and the British newspaper The Tablet, citing diplomatic sources, said today that the two will meet during President Trump’s visit to Italy where he will attend the G7 summit May 26-27 in Taormina.

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Taormina G7 News #24 – February 4, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump in a phone call today with Italy’s PM Paolo Gentiloni, confirmed that he will attend the G-7 summit May 26 and 27 in Taormina. His decision was later followed by this White House statement:

The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, February 04, 2017
Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy

President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy to discuss strengthening bilateral cooperation across a range of shared interests, including security and counterterrorism. The leaders discussed Libya, the influx of migrants and refugees into Europe, as well as Italy’s priorities, and the upcoming G-7 meeting in Italy. President Trump reiterated the U.S. commitment to NATO and emphasized the importance of all NATO allies sharing the monetary burden of defense spending. The leaders agreed to continue close coordination and cooperation on efforts to eliminate ISIS and other terrorist organizations. President Trump agreed to attend the G-7 Summit in Taormina, Italy in May, and said he looked forward to meeting with the Prime Minister at that time.

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Taormina G7 News #23 – January 24, 2017

Italian Foreign Minister Alfano urges EU and US to solve sanctions issue together. ROME, January 24. /TASS/.

Italy and the European Union in general cannot continue to be held hostage to the anti-Russia sanctions, introduced at the behest of a country now inclined to solve the matter peacefully with Russia (the US), Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said in an interview with then italian newspaper La Stampa.

« We can’t carry on with this paradoxical situation when a country that was the most insistent on sanctions being imposed against Russia, that is, the United States, now plans to come to terms [with Russia] while those who have paid the highest price for the sanctions, meaning the EU and Italy in particular, remain hostages to it. On behalf of Europe, we should suggest that [US President] Donald Trump make a joint decision, » Alfano said.

He added that « the reinstatement of sanctions cannot be automatic, it is not a goal in itself, but a tool used to exert pressure [on Russia] so that the Minsk agreements [on settling the Ukrainian crisis] would be implemented. »

Over the past months, Italy has been insisting that relations between the EU and Russia need to be revised. Italian authorities have been pushing for abandoning the automatic extension of sanctions against Russia as well as setting up a political discussion of this issue among EU member states.

In addition, being a country currently presiding over the G7 group, Italy has been mulling over the possibility of inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to the G7 summit in Taormina scheduled for late May 26 and 27 that would result in reviving the G8 format. This is illustrated by numerous media reports citing informed sources and hints from the country’s authorities. Angelino Alfano himself has repeatedly said that dialogue with Russia on key global issues is necessary while the summit of the leading world powers is the perfect venue for that.

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Taormina G7 News #22 – January 21, 2017

Italy wants Russia in the G7.

« As we discuss with the Russians almost all delicate international crises » then « it will be necessary to assess the conditions for return to a G8 format », « even if this will probably not be possible on the occasion of the G7 Taormina summit« , Italy’s Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said during a hearing in Rome with all foreign committees of the House and the Senate.
The Huffington Post

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Taormina G7 News #21 – January 20, 2017

Responses from G7 countries to Trump’s inauguration were mixed

by JOEL GEHRKE published on the Washington Examiner:

President Trump’s inauguration sparked an array of reactions from the six other democratic economies of the G7, with some issuing quick congratulations and others taking a more measured, or even muted, tone.

Japan and the United Kingdom were quick to hail Trump’s inauguration. « Look forward to continuing strong UK – US bond, » Boris Johnson, the top U.K. diplomat, tweeted.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was more fulsome. « I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to you on the occasion of your inauguration as the President of the United States of America, » he said. « In the 21st Century, while the Asia-Pacific region is the source of the global economic growth, the security environment of the region is becoming severer. The Japan-U.S. Alliance, bound in universal values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, is playing even greater role. The Japan-U.S. Alliance is the linchpin of Japan’s foreign and security policies. I would like to further strengthen the unwavering tie between Japan and the United States based on the relationship of trust between us the two leaders. »

Canadian President Justin Trudeau, who has criticized Trump implicitly and was a ready partner for outgoing President Obama, stated his desire to « restore prosperity to the middle class on both sides of the border » — a sign of his pivot to accommodate Trump’s populist economic platform while working to maintain Canada’s interests.

Italy also tweeted its congratulations. Angelino Alfano, Italy’s foreign affairs minister, said he has « confidence in the new president. »

Germany and France seemed slowest to respond to the formal inauguration. Hours after Trump was sworn in, the French ministry of foreign affairs had tweeted a statement congratulating the president of Gambia for his inauguration as well as a pledge to « stand by Iraq in the fight against » the Islamic State, but nothing directly addressed to Trump. The French embassy to the United States tweeted a happy birthday message to an « American-French journalist carrying on a family legacy of advocacy for our oceans. » (The French embassy to the United States hosted an inauguration party Wednesday night, however.)

The German Foreign Office and Peter Wittig, the German ambassador to the United States, were similarly silent about Trump on social media. Wittig did respond to Trump’s criticism of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and NATO earlier in the week, however. « Our transatlantic alliance is not merely something to admire in history books, however, » Wittig wrote in a Jan. 17 op-ed in the Huffington Post. « It needs to stay robust and resilient in the future as well. In an interview with several European newspapers the president-elect has elaborated on his positions. »

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Taormina G7 News #20 – January 19, 2017

(ANSA) – WASHINGTON, JANUARY 19

Russia at the upcoming G7 in Taormina ? « It’s up to them to decide. »

This is what Trump adimistration spokesman Sean Spicer said today answering a journalist asking him about the possibility of an Italian invitation to Russia to attend the G7 Taormina Summit.

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Taormina G7 News #19 – January 19, 2017

Two new additions to the list of the structural implementations
planned in Taormina in preparation for the G7 Summit of May 26 & 27

New cable car cabins

Before Easter the cabins of the cable car connecting uptown Taormina to the beaches Mazzarò and Isola Bella will be replaced with new ones providing state of the art tecnologies, a better view for the passengers and also a reduction of the noise level and the vibrations. The well-established system going to be used is the same one as the previous one consisting of reversible gondolas with fixed grip that are fixed to the rope in groups of 4 in each direction. As soon as a group of cabins reaches the station, the ropeway stops. This system makes it easy for passengers to enter and exit.The cabins will be divided into two groups of 4 cabins on each side, each one carrying up to 12 people, so transporting simultaneously a total of 48 passengers in each direction. The ride Taormina-Mazzarò lasts approx. 5 minutes.

St. Vincent Hospital, refurbishing of the Emergency Department.
February 1, renovation and modernization works will start in the Emergency Department of Taormina’s St. Vincent Hospital.  More information will follow as soon as we know more details.

Both important implementations have been added to the list of already financed projects:

– renovation of the Congress Centre

– replacing the pavement of the 100 Km Highway between Catania and Messina (Taormina lies halfway).

– refurbishing of many the roads, both the access road from the A18 Highway Exit Taormina to the entrance of town, as well as the replacing the pavement of some streets in the centre of town, including the Via Teatro Greco, the access to the Greek Theatre.

– refurbishing of the Botanic Gardens

– an implementation of Taormina‘s video surveillance systems

– 3 helicopter landing areas

– fiber wiring in the whole town for a 100 MB internet

– urban decoration 

and possibly also also the elevators connecting the multistory municipal parking “Lumbi” to the town entrance.

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Taormina G7 News #18 – January 17, 2017

Two articles published today by the Russian News Agency TASS

Russia’s return to G8 to be positive signal for investors — RDIF

DAVOS, January 17. /TASS/. Russia’s return to the Group of Eight format will positively influence on the investment climate, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev told TASS on the sidelines of the Davos World Economic Forum on Tuesday.

« Russia is very successfully participating in such formats as G20 and BRICS. Certainly, they are even more important for us than other formats. However, we can only welcome the desire of different partners to have positive attitude towards Russia, » Dmitriev said responding to the question whether Russia’s return to G8 is a positive signal for investments into Russia. Conditions should be assessed at present for return of the Group of Seven (G7) to G8 format with participation of Russia, Italy’s Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said earlier today at the Davos Forum.

Italian Foreign Ministry: It is necessary to assess conditions for returning to G8 format

ROME, January 17. /TASS/. Italy believes it is necessary to evaluate the conditions to go over from the Group of Seven (G7) to the Group of Eight (G8) format involving Russia, Italian Foreign Minister, Angelino Alfano, said on Tuesday.

« Since we discuss the most delicate international crises with Russia, we need to evaluate the conditions for returning to the G8 format, even if this is not yet possible by the next summit in Taormina (scheduled for late May – TASS), » the minister said at a joint meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committees at the lower and upper houses of national parliament.

Italy assumed G7 presidency on January 1. Its senior officials earlier pointed to the need to stabilize relations with Russia. Moscow suspended its participation in the summits of the heads of state and government of the world’s major industrialized countries (the US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the UK) due to tensions in relations with the West over the Ukrainian crisis and Crimea’s incorporation into Russia.

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Taormina G7 News #17 – January 14, 2017

Trump proposes eliminating sanctions against Russia

In an interview yesterday with the Wall Street Journal the president-elect Donald Trump did say that sanctions on Russia could be lifted if Moscow helped Washington in the war against Islamic extremism and in other matters and added he hoped a meeting with President Vladimir Putin would be arranged. G7 or G8 in Taormina?  The question remains open.

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Taormina G7 News #16 – January 13, 2017

Russia announces plan to permanently leave G8 group

Russia has announced today its intention to permanently walk away from the G8 group of industrialized nations more than two years after it was temporarily suspended in March 2014 over the annexation of Crimea violating international law.

Moscow said today it had no intention of re-joining the G8 – which brings together the world’s richest countries to discuss global issues from economic growth to terrorism – even if it was invited to do so.

Russia’s involvement in the G8 was “not being discussed in Moscow in any way », said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov while Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev recently suggested the G7 and G8 were now defunct political organisations adding „It is clear what this Group of Seven means without other major economies: Nothing“.

PM Medvedev said: “We’ve not heard the heads of state that keep gathering for G7 meetings ever say anything that might sound like an intention to invite Russia“, although the recent openings of the president-elect Donald Trump and the latest much clearer statements by Italian PM Gentiloni and its Minister for Foreign Affairs did exactly that.

PM Medvedev added that « regardless of any eventual proposals and invitations » (to join the G7 of Taormina), « Russia’s priority is participation in the G20, a much wider group of countries which includes emerging economies such as Brazil and Mexico as well as Turkey and Saudi Arabia“ adding that Russia may try and forge future new links with other nations that may exclude the traditional Western power brokers.

Excerpts from an article published today on « The Indipendent »

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Taormina G7 News #15 – January 13, 2017

Budget allocation of 15 MM Euro reconfirmed

After a meeting today in Rome with Maria Elena Boschi, Secretary to the Italian Prime Minister Gentiloni, the mayor of Taormina Eligio Giardina reconfirmed the Italian Goverment’s budget allocation of 15 million Euro for structural works and implementations in Taormina in preparation of the G7 Summit of May 26 to 28.

End of 2016 the Italian Government Budget Law fixed the total of 15 MM Euro for the Taormina G7 works for areas needing improvement and additional constructions sites. A total of additional 30 MM will be used for the G7 organization including not only the two days of Taormina but also to other events in the year of Italian presidency.

« All guidelines are those already defined by the previous government” the mayor of Taormina Eligio Giardina said after today’s institutional meeting adding that “it will certainly be possible to achieve all necessary implementations”. The renovation of the Congress Centre, he said, remains a priority as well as the refurbishing of many the roads, the refurbishing of the Botanic Gardens and floral embellishment.

Maria Elena Boschi, Secretary to the Italian Prime Minister Gentiloni and the mayor of Taormina Eligio Giardina are scheduled to meet again in Taormina for an inspection visit end of January.

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Taormina G7 News #14 – January 11, 2017

Italian Foreign Minister ‘Hopes’ For Russia’s Return To G8 

Italy’s foreign minister Angelino Alfano said he hopes Russia will soon rejoin the Group of Eight world powers, which was pared back to seven powers after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

« We cannot but want resuming the G8 format with Russia and ending the atmosphere of the cold war, » Alfano told italian state TV Rai 2 on January 11.

Italy, which has pushed to lift European Union sanctions imposed on Russia after it took over Crimea, « hopes » that the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will improve ties with Russia and make it possible for Moscow to rejoin the G8, Alfano said.

« We are at the worst moment in relations between the United States and Russia since the end of the Cold War, » he told reporters in New York earlier in the week.

But Alfano added that he didn’t know if a rapprochement with Russia would be possible before May, when Italy is scheduled to host the next G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily.

Unless the United States changes its stance toward Russia, Alfano said it would be « premature » for Russia to rejoin the G8 without any evidence that it is complying with the Minsk peace accord with Ukraine.

Based on reporting by TASS, ANSA.en, RadioFreeEurope and RadioLiberty

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Taormina G7 News #13 – January 10, 2017

Meeting on logistics,  security and infrastructure projects.

An operational meeting took place today  in the Prefecture of  Messina between the Special Commissioner for the G7 Riccardo Carpino, the Plenipotentiary Head of the Italian G7 delegation Alexander Modiano, the Prefect of Messina Francesca Ferrandino, the Police Commissioner of Messina Giuseppe Cucchiara, the Mayor of Taormina Eligio Giardina and the heads the Italian State Police, the « Carabinieri » and the « Guardia di Finanza ».

Interviewed after the meeting, Taormina’s mayor Giardina said the meeting was „very potitive“ and stated that he is confident that the « G7 infrastructure works in town will start before the end of January ».

The list of infrastructure works.

Priority remains the refurbishing of the Congress Centre, as well as repavement of various streets, both the access road from the A18 Highway Exit Taormina to the entrance of town, as well as the repavement of some streets in the centre of town, including the Via Teatro Greco, the access to the Greek Theatre, whose pavement is planned to be identical to that of the neighboring Corso Umberto.

Planned is also a refurbishing of the Botanic Gardens, an implementation of Taormina‘s video surveillance systems, 3 helicopter landing areas and the improvement of urban decoration.

Other important works are also planned as the repavement of the 100 Km Highway between Catania and Messina, while some others are already in their final stage as the already laid fiber wiring for a 100 MB internet.

Lumbi elevators?

The final list of works is scheduled to be officialized late this month and there is also recent speculations about including the existing and approved  project of elevators linking the municipal multistory parking „Lumbi“ at the town’s entrance directly to the Via Fontana Vecchia, so just a 4 minute’s walk from Taormina‘s Congress Centre.

Media Center in Giardini-Naxos?

Todays summit in the prefecture was also joined by the Mayor of Giardini Naxos,  Taormina’s neighboring town down at sea level, whose hotels will also be used to accomodate G7 staff and security personnel. Recent comments state that the G7 Media Center, the general headquarters hosting the world press, will most likely be set up in the 6 Km distant Giardini-Naxos. It is estimated that approximately 7000 journalists are expected to come to Taormina for the G7, and many of them have already reserved hotels directly in Taormina to be at walking distance from the G7 meetings.

Hospitality

In a second  meeting today at the Prefecture in Messina, the Prefect Francesca Ferrandino met the President of the Taormina Hotel Association, Italo Mennella in order to make a common update on the G7 hospitality programs, planned not only of the 35 delegations but also for the police and for the Armed Forces who will be working in town to ensure the exceptional security measures required for the G7.

 » I can obviously not go into all details of the discussion we had“ – explains Mennella – „however I can say that we are moving rapidly towards the definition of the various aspects concerning the hospitality for the police and army forces both in Taormina and in other locations of the hinterland. An important number of representatives of both the Italian army and police forces is planned“ (6.300 was the last exteem) „and we will need to host them not only in Taormina but also in several other towns of the Taormina district, from Giardini Naxos in the south to Letojanni in the north.“

The G7 Summit meetings are planned to take place in the 5 star Hotel San Domenico and in the 5 star Belmond Hotel Timeo (both at 100 meters from our Villa Schuler), while all G7 delegations (35) have already booked all other 4 and 5 star hotels in town and down at the beaches of Taormina for their exclusive use.

Stay in touch with us on this Hotel Villa Schuler page for more TAORMINA G7 News

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Taormina G7 News #12 – January 5, 2017

THE ROAD TO ITALY’S  2017 TAORMINA G7 SUMMIT

March 30-31, 2017, Florence
G7 culture ministers

April 9-10, 2017, Rome
G7 energy ministers

April 10-11, 2017, Lucca
G7 foreign ministers

May 11-13, 2017, Bari
G7 finance ministers and central bank governors

May 26-27, 2017, Taormina, Sicily
G7 Taormina Summit

and immediately after:
June 10-11, 2017, Rome
G7 environment ministers

Information and dates are listed when they become available.

Stay in touch with us on this Hotel Villa Schuler page for more TAORMINA G7 News

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Taormina G7 News #11 – January 5, 2017

G7 or G8 ?

Italy’s Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano returned to talk about the possible re-entry of Russia into the G7 and joining the Taormina Summit May 26 to 28.  « It is still premature to assume an invitation to Vladimir Putin for the G7 to Taormina » adding that « Italy was among the first countries to say no to an automatic renewal of the sanctions ».

Italy’s PM  Gentiloni  a few days ago said that his government aims to improve relations with Russia adding that in the light of the recent, albeit fragile Syrian truce it would be a « strategic mistake » not to involve Russia in the world security challenges ahead.

The Trump factor.

Pressed again on whether Putin will join the leaders of the G7 in Sicily, Italy’s Foreign Minister Alfano said that the revival of the relations between the US and Russia “can only do good to the world”.

Throughout the US election campaign, Trump continuously emphasized his interest in improving relations with Moscow and his admiration for Putin, who he has praised as a strong leader who is « very smart. » That praise has puzzled observers, who point to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its alliance with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, its attempts to destabilize US allies in Europe, particularly in the Baltic states, its harassment of US diplomats, and its systematic expulsion of American Non-Governmental Organizations in Russia.

So in the end it could be Donald Trump himself to remove all embarrassment and doubts speaking out in favor of an invitation Putin to the Taormina G7 Summit, which would become a G8. After January 20, when Donald Trump will take the Oath of Office and be sworn in as America’s 45th president, everything will be clearer.

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Taormina G7 News #10 – January 1, 2017

Did you know?

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau back to Taormina after 33 years.

Justin Pierre James Trudeaus’ first visit to Taormina was when he was 12 years old accompanying  his father Pierre, who at that time was the Prime Minister of Canada and who had come to Italy to meet in Rome the newly elected Minister of Foreign Affairs Giulio Andreotti. Welcome back to Taormina Mr.Prime Minister !

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Taormina G7 News #9 – December 30, 2016

Gentiloni opens to Russia: « Let’s stop Cold War logics « 

In his end of the year press conference of Dec. 30, Italy’s Prime Minister Gentiloni supported « the need for dialogue with Russia ». Clearing his position he stated « we’ll try to improve relations, the G7 Italian Presidency can play an important role » opening a dialogue over a possible presence of Russia at the next Taormina G7 summit, which accordingly could become a G8.

Gentiloni said that « Italy will use its G7 presidency to develop relations with Russia” adding “we want to try to contribute to a different relationship with Russia. »

« Italy could play an important role in rebuilding ties with Russia », he said. « This is not to abandon the principles, but to abandon the Cold War logic, which is not related to the current situation, » said Gentiloni.

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States deserted  the last G8 meeting convened in Sochi due to the Ukraine crisis. And since then they gather and congregate in the current G7 format. The Member of the G7 applied sanctions to Moscow after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and for ist role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The recent election of Donald Trump to president of the USA may also change the G7 institutional relations with Russia.

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Taormina G7 News #8 – December 27, 2016

Improvements and constructions works

The Italian Government Budget Law fixes the total of 15 mln Euro for the Taormina G7 works for areas needing improvement and additional constructions sites. A total of additional 30 mln will be used for the G7 organization including not only the two days of Taormina but also to other events in the year of Italian presidency.

The list of areas needing improvement and of additional construction sites is getting clearer day by day. This list includes:

refurbishing of the Taormina Congress Centre, the refurbishing of the Botanic Gardens, the repavement of some roads as the access road „Via Garipoli“ from the highway A18 exit till the towns‘ entrance, the usually pedestrian access road to the Greek Theatre „Via Teatro Greco“.  Some other roads in town will also be repaved.

The Sicilian Highway Consortium is planning the modernization of the entire A18 Catania-Messina, so the approx.100 Km highway from the airport Catania CTA till Taormina and beyond to Messina.

A new project seems to be the decision to upgrading Taorminas‘ video surveillance systems, an enhancement of what already exists: Taormina has currently 25 public video surveillance cameras so we expect more additional ones to be deployed in more strategic points on the territory.

The new 100MB high speed internet fiber lines already wired through the town centre and the improved video surveillance both will lead to better comunication services and to more safety in Taormina.

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Taormina G7 News #7 – December 23, 2016

In a meeting today of the Council of Ministers in Rome under the chairmanship of PM Paolo Gentiloni the Italian Government ordered the adoption in the Cabinet of a Decree-law concerning « functional interventions in the preparation and in the organization of the Italian Presidency of the G7 in 2017, an event that will be held in Taormina.  »

This means that all procedures to be followed for all works to be carried out in the territory of Taormina in preparation of the G7 will derogate from the applicable burocratic procedures, a radical acceleration towards all the basic steps required to efficiently prepare the G7 SUMMIT.

In the same meeting the Prefect Riccardo Carpino has been nominated G7 Special Commissioner in charge to coordinate all the planned and already financed works ahead of the G7 Summit of Taormina.

Born 1957 in Catania/Sicily, from June 2015 he has been Commissioner for the coordination of solidarity initiatives in help of the victims of Mafia crimes. From October 2013 to December 2014 he was Commissioner and then President of the Province of Rome. He was also the Chief Cabinet Minister for Relations with the Regions, Tourism and Sport. From May 2008 to November 2011 he worked as Chief of Cabinet of the Minister for Relations with the Regions and for territorial cohesion. During 2009-2011 he also coordinated the Department for Development and Economic Cohesion of the Ministry of Economic Development concerning the use of European resources. In 2007 he was appointed Prefect.

With the appointment of Carpino the Taormina G7 Summit finally enters its operational stage. He will be responsible for the supervision of all activities and implementation works in the territory of Taormina in preparation of the G7 summit of May 26 and 27, 2017

Possible participant leaders

The attendees will include the leaders of the seven G7 member states as well as representatives of the European Union. The President of the European Commission is a permanently welcome participant in all meetings and decision-making since 1981.

The 43rd G7 summit will be the first summit for British Prime Minister Theresa May, for Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, for U.S. President Donald Trump, and for the 25th French President (election in May 2017).

Core G7 members.

CANADA, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister

FRANCE, undetermined (elections May 2017), President

GERMANY, Angela Merkel, Chancellor

ITALY, Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister

JAPAN, Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister

UNITED KINGDOM, Theresa May, Prime Minister

UNITED STATES, Donald Trump, President

EUROPEAN UNION, Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission President

EUROPEAN UNION, Donald Tusk, Council President

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Taormina G7 News #6 – December 22, 2016

Today Dec. 22, 2016 PM Paolo Gentiloni, at the public inauguration of the last missing tunnel of the Highway A2 Salerno-Reggio Calabria finally completing the construction works of 495 Km of “autostrada” that connects central to southern Italy, announced that a lot of important parliamentary decisions about the G7 Taormina Summit are now imminent.

He said the Italian Parliament is summoned and about to nominate the “Commissario Straordinario”, the G7 Special Commissioner in charge to coordinate all the planned and already financed works ahead of the G7 summit as the refurbishing of the Taormina Congress Centre, the repavement of various access roads to the town as well as of some streets inside the town, the 3 planned helicopter landing stations in the outskirts, the refurbishing of the Taormina Botanic Gardens and of some other public buildings.

In his speech PM Gentiloni praised ex PM Matteo Renzi’s decision to choose Taormina for the coming 43rd G7 Summit bringing the GROUP OF SEVEN leading industrialized nations leaders to Sicily and “debunking commonplace clichés about the island by presenting the extraordinary culture, the civilization and the beauty” that characterize Sicily.

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Taormina G7 News #5 – December 20, 2016

G7 or G8 in Taormina ?

Russia‘s Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov and Italy‘s new elected PM Paolo Gentiloni met last week in Rome. Russia was suspended from the former G8 in 2014 but there is recent growing speculations about Vladimir Putin joining the Taormina G7.

In an interview at the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera Italy’s Foreign Minister Alfano stated today that Putins invitation to join the Taormina G7 is “premature”, but…

The G7 is an informal forum for quick decision-making and represents a high-level forum of dialogue between the leaders of the world’s most industrialized democracies.

Its major characteristic is its informal nature, which is instrumental to enabling a discussion and fast joint decision-making on vital economic and financial global challenges, regional crises or environmental and development issues.

So the big question remains open: will the G7 of Taormina turn into a G8 ?

Stay in touch with us on this Hotel Villa Schuler page for more TAORMINA G7 News

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Taormina G7 News #4 / December 12, 20116

The new Italian government led by PM Paolo Gentiloni is likely to be the best guarantee for a smooth continuation of all previous TAORMINA G7 programs. Gentiloni has been Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs since Oct.31, 2014 and has attended last G7 summit in Japan.

His ministry has worked at the Taorminas G7 program from the very beginning, so we expect to continue to register quick and constructive decisions in order to organize a well prepared G7 summit in Taormina.

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TAORMINA G7 News #3 – December 6, 2016

The GROUP OF SEVEN leading industrialized nations will meet in Taormina, Sicily. Lots of things will happen in Taormina till then and on this page we will keep you updated with our regular TAORMINA G7 News.

December 6, 2016: RENZI QUITS

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stepped down yesteday after loosing the constitutional referendum of Dec. 5. The outgoing PM has agreed to stay in power until the Senate passes its 2017 budget in the coming days. He wanted to avoid « the risks of a provisional budget” and the move will help to reassure markets that the referendum result has not derailed the country’s affairs.

In his Dec.5 speach conceding the defeat he also said clearly that the G7 Summit of Taormina May 26 to 28 will remain at the top of Italy’s governments’ and of his successors’ PM agenda.

Similar reassuring statements were also immediately published yesterday on Italys’ Interior Ministry website and were also made by Taorminas’ mayor Eligio Giardina and by the president of the Taormina Hotel Association Italo Mennella.

So while waiting to find out what happens next, here in brief what is going on at the moment in Taormina in preparation for the G7:

– some Hotels have already been contacted, inspected and partially booked by various delegations, journalists as well as by military and police forces,

– the Taormina Congress Centre will undergo a major refurbishment (firesafety, lifts and technologies),

– new 100MB high speed internet fiber lines are wired at the moment throughout the city centre,

– some public buildings in the outskirts of town will be refurbished to become logistic support offices,

– 3 different helicopter landing areas will be built in the immediate outskirts of town,

– various streets will be repaved as the 3 Km acces to town from the A18 highway exit Taormina to the entrance of town, as the Via Teatro Greco, connecting the pedestrian Main Street „Corso Umberto“ to the Greek Theatre, as well as the circular roads around town,

– the panoramic Public Botanic Gardens will also undergo some repavement and balustrade remakes.

Some of the works listed above are already under way, others are planned and have partially already been budgeted and finanzed.

Stay in touch with us on our Hotel Villa Schuler page for more TAORMINA G7 News

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Taormina G7 News #2 – November 11, 2016

The TRUMP FACTOR and the TAORMINA BONDING.

Prospects for Italy’s G7 Taormina Summit May 26 to 28, 2017
excerpts from an article by John Kirton* published today on newsdeskmedia

« On May 26-28, 2017, US President Donald Trump will have his first outing on the full world stage when he attends the annual Group of Seven (G7) summit in Taormina, Sicily.

The world is already wondering what will happen when Trump meets the G7 in Taormina, Sicily to deal face to face for the first time with his fellow world leaders from Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada and the European Union.

Many instinctively think the summit is due for a disaster, as a defiant Trump confronts his fellow leaders’ core convictions and policy priorities on climate change, migration and open trade. Yet there are good grounds to believe that all G7 leaders’ can act wisely to have Trump bond with the G7.

(…)

At the 2017 Taormina Summit, Trump will have built-in allies from several weighty, fellow conservative leaders – Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s Theresa May (and possibly the admired and “very smart” Vladimir Putin, our comment).

He will find that they largely agree with him on his core conviction and the Italian summit host’s first priority – managing migration, be it from across the Mediterranean, the Muslim world, Mexico and on a global scale. They and France’s François Hollande and Canada’s Justin Trudeau agree that they urgently need to make trade work for the workers, and Trudeau can tell them again how his approach is working at home and can for them, too.

Almost all G7 leaders will follow Trump’s lead in cooperatively unleashing fiscal stimulus through deficit spending to quickly boost economic growth and employment, and even a still skeptical Merkel can find ways to go with the flow. And all will enthusiastically join Trump’s first priority policy pledge as president-elect – to invest in infrastructure to create jobs now for the many who have been left behind and to give a badly needed boost to productivity in the medium term.

The Taormina bonding will stand all G7 leaders in good stead six weeks later when they head to Hamburg, Germany, for the bigger, broader Group of 20 summit that Merkel will host. Only then will Trump face across the summit table the leaders of China and Mexico, whose countries were his number-one enemies in his presidential campaign bid and which the U.S. electorate as now backed with a mandate whose details need to be defined.

He will also encounter Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose style Trump has said he admires and with whom he wants a more accommodating approach. And Trump will also confront the G20 summit’s top priority of controlling climate change, where Trump’s declared approach is diametrically opposed to that of Merkel, and all of the other consequential leaders there. Yet the basic bond built on policy and personality in the G7 Taormina Summit could well be strong enough to make the G20 Hamburg Summit a success, especially if Trump and his fellow leaders learn how to bring out the best in one another and pull for their own and for the common global good. »

*John J. Kirton is director of the G7 and G8 Research Group, and co-director of the G20 Research Group, the Global Health Diplomacy Program and the BRICS Research Group, all based at Trinity College at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

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TAORMINA G7 News #1 – October 22, 2016

G7 SUMMIT in TAORMINA on May 26 & 27, 2017

The GROUP OF SEVEN leading industrialized nations will meet in Taormina, Sicily.
Lots of things will happen in Taormina till then and on this page we will keep you updated with our regular TAORMINA G7 News.

It is official now. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi annouced it on July 4, 2016.
On Saturday October 22 in a press conference held in Taormina he reconfirmed the date and officialized more details.

Every year, some of the most powerful world leaders meet for a conference lasting a few days in order to discuss a variety of global issues. These range from foreign policy, climate change and sustainable development, to health and investment in infrastructure.
The G7, Group of Seven, consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In his press conference of October 22 in Taormina Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said: “We will welcome our guests in the Greek Theatre of Taormina, a unique stage that will bring Taormina and Sicily to the world.“
„It will be a G7 characterized by themes concerning education, culture and Italian and Sicilian identity“ in a „very special beautiful location“.

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Christine and Gerhard Schuler

ENTIRE TAORMINA HOTEL FOR EXCLUSIVE G7 USE ?