Critic of EU Legislation Becomes Italy's New Agriculture Minister

Francesco Lollobrigida is Italy's new agriculture minister. The politician's first statements are directed against EU policies.

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Francesco Lollobrigida
Francesco Lollobrigida

Italy's new government under Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has appointed Francesco Lollobrigida as agriculture minister and renamed the ministry. It is now called the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, analogous to the French Ministère de l'Agriculture et de la Souveraineté alimentaire.

Francesco Lollobrigida, 50, grandnephew of actress Gina Lollobrigida, is not only a close party friend of Giorgia Meloni, but also her brother-in-law. He is married to her sister Ambra.

Stefano Patuanelli's successor has yet to hold any agricultural posts in his political career. Together with Giorgia Meloni, he is one of the founding members of the post-fascist governing party Fratelli d'Italia.

Francesco Lollobrigida is known as a supporter of therapy centers for addicts. He has worked with the Comunità San Patrignano, the largest drug rehabilitation center in Europe. It also has a prestigious winery attached to it.

Agricultural policy positions

As a new minister, he has not yet commented on viticulture, but has taken a position on his agricultural policy. So far, he has spoken out against EU food labels such as Nutriscore, saying he opposes the introduction of "any product classification tools to the detriment of the Italian agri-food sector." In addition, the government is demanding to be allowed to plant one million hectares of arable land from previous fallow land, instead of the 200,000 hectares envisaged by the EU.

The new government also wants to work against counterfeiting of Italian food products, which Italy says loses billions of euros annually.

Lollobrigida: "Agriculture is a pillar of our nation, and our goal is to protect the agricultural economy from attack by protecting the supply chain and the concept of rural culture."

"Agriculture is a pillar of our nation, and our goal is to protect the agricultural economy from attack by protecting the supply chain and the concept of rural culture," Lollobrigida said.

He said the government will invest in research and biodiversity protection and promote coordination with European institutions. At the same time, he called for reform of European agricultural policy to "limit Europe's dependence on the rest of the world for food." The gap between the cost of production and the selling price of goods should also be reduced, he said. VC

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