Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir received assurances on a two-day visit here that “Israel can count on Italy’s support” for measures to protect Israel’s export position in the European market after Spain and Portugal become members of the European Economic Community (EEC) next year.
Italy currently holds the rotating presidency of the EEC. Shamir, at a meeting with Foreign Minister Giulio Andreotti yesterday, asked that it expedite the work still to be done to define the terms that will govern Spanish and Portuguese exports to the European Common Market so that Israel’s position will become clear before January, 1986.
That is the date when Spain and Portugal will begin exporting as members of the EEC. Andreotti assured Shamir that rumors circulating in Israel that Italy opposes Israel’s requests were false. He observed that Israel’s products sold in Europe do not compete with Italian exports.
Israel is deeply concerned, however, that its main export items to the continent, citrus fruits and by-products, will suffer because Spanish citrus will have a competitive advantage by virtue of member-ship in the EEC.
Shamir said in a television interview last night that Israel’s imports from Europe far exceed its exports to the EEC countries. He said that if its exports were to be affected by Spain and Portugal, Israel would have to stop importing from Europe.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.