Welcome to Tutto NIAF | General | Napolitano meets with Pelosi, Obama

Napolitano meets with Pelosi, Obama

Posted on: under General

Presidents Giorgio Napolitano and Barack Obama at the White House (Photo courtesy of Quirinale.it)

On i-Italy.org this week, writer Benedetta Grasso details Italian President Giorgio Napolitano's visit to Washington, D.C., reporting with particular color on his meetings with U.S. President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

On May 25, 2010, Napolitano, now in his 80s, was received at the White House for the first time. As Grasso notes, "This official visit means a great deal for both Italians and Americans. The issues at stake range from the several wars that are  going on around the world to the current global economic crisis, from the domestic politics of both countries to the role of Italian culture and language abroad."

For those not familiar wtih Napolitano, Grasso provides a brief history of his career. Italy's president was a prominent leader of the Italian Communist Party until it was dissolved at the end of the Cold War. Its dissolution lead to the creation of a number of different political parties, including Italy's Democratic Party -- the largest oppostion force in Italy today. President since 2006, Napolitano has been a great supporter of Obama.

During their talks, Napolitano and Obama discussed (among other topics) the current financial crisis, with Napolitano noting that, "even with the present crsis, worsened by the Greek national debt, the Euro  and  the European Union are not at risk." The leader advocated for more discipline in the European Union’s budget and more effective management of several fields, including economic policy and the environment. Napolitano also invited Obama to visit Italy again in 2011 and take part to the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the country’s unification.

Click here to read more about Napolitano's visit with Obama.

Napolitano also attended receptions at the National Gallery of Art and the Italian Embassy. On the following day, he met with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. According to Grasso:

"American women are justifiably proud of her, and so is [Napolitano], who praised her yesterday during their official meeting as 'the first lady speaker of Italian origin.' To which [Pelosi] jokingly replied: 'The first Speaker of Italian origin. Male or female.' A member of the National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW), Pelosi indeed has served for 13 years as a board member of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)."

During their meeting, Pelosi spoke about Washington's ties to Italy, noting that:

“When I became Speaker, Mr. President, I had the curator restore a lot of the Italian artwork that makes our Capitol so beautiful, not only here, but in the Rotunda and throughout the Capitol.  It is a sign, another link to Italy. But we have tens of millions of links to Italy in the contributions made by Italian Americans in our country, and we all think that President Napolitano must have the best job in the world to be the President of Italy.”

Click here for more coverage of Napolitano's visit with Pelosi.

Napolitano's trip also includes a trip to the Library of Congress and visits with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice John Roberts in addition to former U.S. President Bill Clinton.