Prodi: U.S., Italy Growing Closer

ROME, Italy — The United States and Italy and Italy are growing closer, and that is symbolized by the fact that Italian is a language American students can learn in school, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said this weekend.

“Our countries are becoming closer and closer,” Prodi said in a joint press conference with President Bush at Chigi Palace. “And, in fact, Italian, the Italian language is one of the languages that can be freely chosen in American schools; all high schools in America offer Italian as a language of study. And I think that this is a wonderful step, a wonderful way to bring two countries closer, especially when we consider that the flow of immigration between our two countries has stopped — it stopped a long time ago.”

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