Arab Spring: Europe must accompany it financially, Monti

'Can't live on democracy alone, we must open our markets'

05 March, 20:26

(ANSAmed) - ROME, MARCH 5 - Europe must financially support fledgling Arab Spring democracies, because freedom without money is a moot point, Italian Premier Mario Monti told participants at a conference organized by the lay Community of Sant'Egidio on Tuesday. The challenge for Europe is to ''economically accompany the ongoing changes, because you can't live on democracy alone,'' the premier said. ''We must open our markets to the South, as we did in the 1990s with the East. Although our country is still in search of a new government following a normal electoral process, our attitude towards a part of the world that is so close to us will remain constant, lasting beyond the vagaries of changing leaderships.'' Monti also called on Europe to face the issue of ''Christian minorities that are being terrorized'' in countries such as Syria. Europe must become the protector of minorities ''in the name of democracy'', he added, emphasizing the importance of the challenge ''of normalizing dialogue'' with the Arab world as a whole. (ANSAmed).

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