Italy Seeks to Move G8 to Quake-Hit Town
Berlusconi wants world leaders to meet in L'Aquila in July
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2009 8:17 AM CDT
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, center, heads a Cabinet meeting symbolically taking place in L'Aquila, central Italy, Thursday, April 23, 2009, two weeks after a devastating earthquake struck.   (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
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(Newser) – Silvio Berlusconi pledged today to move this summer's G8 summit to L'Aquila, where an earthquake killed 296 people and destroyed the homes of 65,000, Reuters reports. The meeting is set to take place on a small island off Sardinia, but the Italian PM said he would rather see the money for the summit help rebuild the destroyed region. "What seat would be more appropriate than a land wounded by the earthquake?" Berlusconi said.

Moving the G8 summit, which has been in the works for more than 2 years, would require the approval of the other nations in attendance. Although logistics and cost problems have plagued the current location, one cabinet member said changing the site was "implausible." But Berlusconi said, "The 21 heads of government who come will be able to see firsthand the wounds caused by this earthquake. I think it could work out very well."