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1992 - Mr Major’s Joint Doorstep Interview with Mr Giuliano Amato

Below is the text of Mr Major’s joint doorstep interview with the Italian Prime Minister, Mr Giuliano Amato, held in Rome on Friday 27th November 1992.


QUESTION:

Can we ask you what sort of things you discussed in your meeting today?

PRIME MINISTER:

We have had a discussion on the whole agenda for Maastricht, the difficulties with ratification in Denmark, how we might meet some of those difficulties, we discussed future financing, indeed the whole range of issues that will be discussed at Edinburgh in a few weeks time.

QUESTION:

And on European economic recovery did you discuss the concerns there obviously are now about Europe's economic position?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes we did. Clearly the growth pattern across the whole of Europe is far less attractive than it has been in recent years, we have been used to growth across Europe of something in excess of 2 percent, next year the projections across Europe as a whole are a good deal lower, so yes we certainly did discuss that.

QUESTION:

Are you any more confident about the Edinburgh summit?

PRIME MINISTER:

I am in the midst of talking to all our colleagues, there are a whole series of complex matters, many of them interlocked, and at the moment I am in the midst of a series of discussions to find out precisely what are the priorities of all our European partners. I think it is in the nature of things that as we begin to conclude these discussions, the outcome at Edinburgh will become clearer.

QUESTION:

But you are not getting much support, did you get the support you are looking for today?

PRIME MINISTER:

You make an assertion like that, I suggest you wait until Edinburgh and see what the outcome is.

QUESTION:

Are we getting support for European economic recovery?

PRIME MINISTER:

There were some rather strange stories about European economic recovery over the weekend, I do not know where they came from, they certainly did not emanate from us. But I think what we are keen to do is to make sure that within the resources available to Europe that they are directed to the right sort of expenditure, clearly we would like to see infrastructure expenditure both with growth potential in the short and medium term and as a result of that for its employment creation potential.

QUESTION:

What was your reaction to that particular proposal?

PRIME MINISTER:

I have not yet had the opportunity of discussing it with all our partners, those I have discussed it with share my view that that sort of growth is the right sort of growth for Europe.

QUESTION:

What is your opinion about the Italian position on GATT?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think you had better ask the Prime Minister about the Italian position on GATT. I think all of us in the Community understand the overriding importance of stimulating world trade. All around the industrial world and the non-industrial world we wish to see an increase in trade and an increase in growth. One of the important components of reaching that is to have a satisfactory agreement on the Uruguay Round.

QUESTION:

Does Mr Amato support your budget?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think you had better ask the Prime Minister.

QUESTION:

Mr Amato, what is your view of the EC budget?

MR AMATO:

We discussed the issue but this is really something for which the Presidency is looking for a good compromise that in Edinburgh can be reached.

PRIME MINISTER:

There is a wide range of views on the budget, we are seeking to bring all those views together and to reach a compromise. Some would wish to increase expenditure by rather more than others but we will reach a satisfactory compromise I hope at Edinburgh.

QUESTION:

Do you feel that you are going to get the kind of compromise that you would want?

PRIME MINISTER:

We must wait and see, certainly there are I think views on both sides of the compromise we have produced, we must wait and see at Edinburgh.

QUESTION:

[Not interpreted].

MR AMATO:

[Inaudible].

QUESTION:

Prime Minister, what is your view of Her Majesty the Queen's decision to pay tax?

PRIME MINISTER:

That is a domestic matter in the United Kingdom, that was a decision that The Queen took, she asked me to consider it in the summer, we considered it, I made a broad announcement, we will make a detailed announcement sometime early in the New Year.