News Blogmaritime piracy

The Italians ready to send a frigate

(B2)The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, confirmed this on January 28. Italy is ready to participate in the European operation EUNAVFOR Atalanta, to fight pirates off the coast of Somalia. A frigate with 114 people on board should be sent. She would be present by the summer according to a diplomat from the Czech presidency.

This sending is not totally spontaneous. During the force generation of Operation EUNAVFOR, there was talk of an Italian ship. But the Italian government is financially strapped. And the Minister of Defense is very reluctant to engage in new external operations. The Italians are already present – ​​quite significantly in Lebanon (UNIFIL, Euromarfor and TF 448), in Afghanistan and in Sinai (where they constitute the naval force of the multinational force and MFO observers).

Pressure from shipowners was very strong. For several months, Confitarma – the confederation of Italian shipowners – has been fighting for the Italian navy to (re)enter the area. Nicola Coccia, its president (who has just been re-elected to his post) already said this very clearly this summer (read Corriere della Serra). Managing the company “Gestioni armatoriali” (based in Naples), one of his tankers, the Mare Di Venezia, was attacked by pirates and managed to escape (read the account of the attack). "A security system must be found. Of course it costs a million euros per month. But the government must find a solution… before it’s too late” he then said to Procida Tv (small island opposite Naples where the pilot of the attacked ship comes from).


(Photo: “MFO maritime patrol” © Italian Navy)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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