Berlusconi wants to switch Italy G8 summit to earthquake town

Other News Materials 23 April 2009 17:37 (UTC +04:00)

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wants to switch the venue of July's G8 summit to L'Aquila, the Medieval town ravaged by an earthquake, in a gesture of solidarity, it was announced Thursday, dpa reported.

The meeting of heads of government from the world's richest countries is currently planned to take place on La Maddalena, a small island off Sardinia.

But during a specially-convened cabinet meeting in the town of L'Aquila, Berlusconi said moving the conference would be a "positive signal for the more than 60,000 people still living in temporary camps".

The earthquake on April 6 killed at least 294 people, according to the official death toll, as well as leaving tens of thousands homeless.

The Italian PM must now put the idea to his fellow G8 leaders.

Italy currently holds the rotating presidency of the G8 club of industrialised nations.