Italian Premier Mario Monti invited Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy to join him in Rome next month with the leaders of France and Germany to discuss growth in the EU, ANSA sources said Monday. Monti said the meeting was to find a common position ahead of an EU summit at the end of June devoted to growth. Monti, whose caretaker government of non-political technocrats replaced the Berlusconi administration in November, has been trumpeting growth at the national and European level after first implementing tough austerity measures in an effort to fix the country's finances. Despite Germany's longstanding focus on debt consolidation as a remedy to the euro crisis, the Italian premier was largely influential in pushing eurozone growth to the forefront of the Group of Eight summit over the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat outside Washington. The summit was immediately followed by a NATO meeting in Chicago, where Monti made his invitation to Rajoy shortly before ending his visit early and returning to Italy to address two weekend emergencies.
On Saturday a school bombing near Brindisi killed a teenaged girl. On Sunday an earthquake killed seven and left thousands homeless in the region around Bologna.