Even Serbia Is Worried About Italy's Emerging New Government

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(Bloomberg) -- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic came to neighboring Bulgaria to discuss the prospects of his country gaining fresh impetus to join the European Union. Instead all the talk among fellow leaders was of the coalition taking shape in Italy.

“Everyone is concerned how things are going to develop in Italy, because of economic and some other issues,” Vucic told reporters in Sofia on Thursday after a special EU summit on the western Balkans,

Even a meeting of the conservative EPP group on the eve of the summit was dominated by the finishing touches being put to a radical program for government between the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the anti-immigrant League. Italy, not the Western Balkans, was an “overarching theme” at the event, he said.

In the event, Serbia wasn’t give much encouragement in its quest for EU membership by the bloc’s leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron said the EU wasn’t ready to add to the current tally of 28, since it’s already “unable to make strategic decisions” unless forced.

Vucic was left to lament the passing of Serbia’s “highly valued cooperation” with the cabinet of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, attending what will surely be his last as Italian premier, and to hope for the best.

Serbia hopes that whichever government is appointed by Italian President Sergio Mattarella “will remain committed to EU enlargement,” said Vucic, and that Serbia can “find common ground for cooperation and respect with Italy.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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