G20 in Bali, Meloni asks Biden for a “discount” on gas. And he promises: I will take care of it

from Marco Galluzzo, sent to Bali

The president of the USA: “Giorgia congratulations, you are the only woman here”. And he expresses the hope that Italy will no longer have the wavering positions of other previous governments on China (such as the one led by Conte, who signed the memorandum of the Silk Road)

She arrives relieved and happy: she broke the ice in another international forum, her speech at the G20 received at least two public compliments, that of the president of South Africa and that of the Canadian prime minister (“on the dossiers concerning health it has been a long time since you weren’t on the scene,” he told her Trudeau). He arrives at the meeting even more than satisfied with the confrontation the day before with the Chinese leader, still galvanized by the result Midterm elections: «Dear Giorgia, first of all I congratulate you, you deserve it because first of all you are the only woman in this table of men only». They talk for an hour Giorgia Meloni and Joe Biden. With the help of the staff, but essentially face to face, in English, without the need for translations, touching on all the planned dossiers: China, Ukraine, the energy crisis, bilateral relations.

The most intense moments of the face-to-face are perhaps two: the first when the prime minister asks the president of the United States for a hand on supplies and gas prices liquid that arrives in Italy from American companies. They are private, but one moral suasion of Biden would not be indifferent. Meloni asks and Biden assures: “I promise you that I will take care of it, I will try to meet the needs of your country”. But if the premier puts the burden of a global crisis on the table with the ally, which has unloaded itself on our country with significant economic consequences, the US president also has something to ask, or in any case to register, together with the ally Italian. While she guarantees continuity in foreign policy, while he acknowledges her merit for being “an excellent ally”, the White House tenant is keen not only to recount his conversation with Xi Jinping, but also to express the hope that Rome will not has more wavering positions than other previous governments, primarily the one led by Giuseppe Contewho signed the Silk Road memorandum.

On this point, the reasoning of the two leaders runs on parallel tracks: China is an essential trading partner, but also a systemic threat. Biden has been helping to rebuild some impoverished American supply chains sincemade in China
, Meloni made us a piece of the electoral campaign on the subject. And so for both there is a shared position, on which they converge: “We must find a way to compete without aggravating the situation, without exacerbating misunderstandings”. The atmosphere, at least for those taking part in the meeting, is at times that of two old allies. The presentation, and also some shadows from the previous weeks, those cold comments by Biden on the Italian electoral result, are secondary elements: the first lasts a few moments, with compliments from the president; there is no room for misunderstandings, there is no reason to remember them. If anything, Biden is pleased to thank our country for the military assistance he is giving to Kiev, while he is keen to update our head of government with the most recent assessments of his administration on the situation in Ukraine. The openings demonstrated by the Xi Jinpingwhich Meloni will see on Tuesday shortly before returning to Italy, are a relief for everyone, but for the White House there remain “great unknowns” on a path to stabilizing the crisis.

On the sidelines of the meeting, some members of the American staff complete the picture of harmony: we know very well that your majority has different positions on the war and on Russia, but we feel guaranteed both by the position of your prime minister and by the choice of foreign Minister.

November 15, 2022 (change November 15, 2022 | 22:09)

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G20 in Bali, Meloni asks Biden for a “discount” on gas. And he promises: I will take care of it

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