Miffed Italy to snub Austria over passports for Italians

ROME (AP) — Italy says that for now it’s snubbing a proposed bilateral meeting in Vienna because of Austria’s plan to offer citizenship to mostly German speakers in Italy’s South Tyrol region.

The Italian foreign ministry said Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi had Italy’s ambassador in Vienna Monday inform Austrian authorities. A ministry statement lamented “repeated affirmations” by Austria about a proposed law to confer Austrian citizenship and passports to Italian citizens who speak German or Ladin and live in the Alpine region, also known as Alto Adige.

It says the initiative “spoils the climate of serenity and mutual trust” and carries the potential risk of “anachronistic” revanchist policy.

South Tyrol was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until after World War I. Residents voted to remain part of Italy after World War II.

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