Italy repeats opposition to EU climate plan

ROME Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:32pm EDT

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ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government on Tuesday said it would stick to its opposition to an EU climate plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by a fifth by 2020, saying it would be too harmful for industry.

A statement said the plan was not acceptable because it would cost Italian companies 40 percent more than other EU countries.

"This would be untenable for our production, particularly in light of the current global economic crisis," it said.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi shocked other European Union leaders at a summit this month by threatening to veto the EU proposal unless it was adapted to protect Italian industry.

The move added Italy's weight to a group of former communist nations that say the curbs will make their coal-powered industry uncompetitive, particularly with economists now predicting a sharp slow-down in the world economy.

The statement was issued after a government meeting of representatives from the Environment, EU, Development and Economy ministries.

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