July 31, 2017 / 6:32 PM / 8 months ago

Italy will defend its interests in STX spat with France "calmly but firmly" -PM

MILAN, July 31 (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Monday the government would defend the country’s interests in a spat with France over the STX shipyard “calmly but firmly”.

Speaking on Italian TV Gentiloni said friendly European countries should cooperate with each other.

“Let’s see if new proposals arrive,” he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron has angered Rome by ordering STX’s “temporary” nationalisation, cancelling a deal in which Fincantieri and another Italian investor had agreed to buy stakes totalling 54.6 percent of the business.

Asked about the situation in Venezuela, Gentiloni said the country was on the verge of civil war and close to becoming a dictatorial regime.

“We will not recognise the constituent assembly” called for by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, he said. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Isla Binnie)

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