Italian PM Meloni meets with Elon Musk in Rome

Rome, Jun 15 (EFE).- Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Thursday welcomed US billionaire businessman Elon Musk to the Palazzo Chigi in Rome, the seat of Italy’s executive branch, to discuss the latest innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), the rules of the European market and the country’s low birthrate, as well as potential investment opportunities.

The meeting, which was not placed on Meloni’s public agenda, nevertheless was confirmed by her on Twitter and is part of a European tour being undertaken by the Tesla and SpaceX founder during which he will also meet with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday in Paris.

“A very fruitful encounter and a time of great cordiality where we discussed some crucial themes: innovation, opportunities and risks of artificial intelligence, rules of the European market and birth rates. Forward towards the future challenges that unite us,” wrote the premier on the social network owned by Musk.

The magnate arrived at Palazzo Chigi in a Tesla, avoiding answering any questions from reporters, to meet first with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and then later with Meloni, with whom he chatted for more than an hour.

Earlier, Tajani had said in a tweet: “We spoke about the automotive and aerospace environment, sectors in which Italy has cutting edge labor and technology. We are ready to collaborate on the challenges of our time, such as cybersecurity. I congratulated him on his business achievements.”

Later, upon his arrival at a meeting with the Council of Ministers, Tajani told reporters that he told Musk that “Italy is the best country in Europe in which to invest.”

“He’s a great businessman, an innovator. We spoke about many things, cybersecurity, space, Twitter, freedom of information that doesn’t exist everywhere in the world, industrial policy, electric cars…” he added.

On Wednesday, Macron announced his pending meeting with Musk during a visit to France’s VivaTech technology trade show, where the controversial US mogul, who is of South African origin, will speak on Friday.

Tesla is considering where to locate the headquarters of a new electric vehicle factory, a project that the French government wants to attract to France and which has also aroused interest in Spain, specifically in the Valencian Community.

Currently, the firm has manufacturing plants in the United States; Shanghai, China; and Berlin, Germany.

EFE romu/bp

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