Franco-Italian frigate deal back on track

16th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 16 (AFP) - NATO allies France and Italy on Wednesday signed a deal initiating the first phase of a joint programme to build 27 naval frigates, Europe's largest naval construction project.

PARIS, Nov 16 (AFP) - NATO allies France and Italy on Wednesday signed a deal initiating the first phase of a joint programme to build 27 naval frigates, Europe's largest naval construction project.

The agreement to start the 11-billion-euro project -- known as Renaissance in Italy and FREMM (European Multi-Mission Frigates) in France -- was signed Wednesday morning, French defence minister Michèle Alliot-Marie told parliament.

French president Jacques Chirac and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi agreed last month to launch the ambitious joint programme.

The deal was to have been signed during a high-profile summit in Paris but was put off at the last minute when Italy's finance ministry failed to release the funding necessary for the project to begin.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article