Prime Minister `not welcome in Tuscany'

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The Independent Online
TONY BLAIR will not be welcome in Tuscany if he chooses to spend his annual holiday there, an Italian politician warned yesterday.

In a letter to the newspaper La Nazione, Roberto Pucci, Tuscan head of the Rifondazione Comunista, wrote: "As far as I am concerned Tony Blair is not a welcome guest in our region. His `warrior's' stance on the Balkan crisis makes him distant from the feelings of our people, even those who reluctantly supported Nato. If after the exhaustion of the bombing Tony decides to relax elsewhere, then fine, we won't be rending our garments. But if instead he decides on Tuscany, we will try to get across our message of opposition to his understanding of peace and war and that, as a guest, he has the welcome of only a part of the Tuscan people."

Mr Pucci, described as the "Bennite conscience" of the old Italian Communist party, said there would be demonstrations if the British Prime Minister turned up in Tuscany.