Rho (Milan) - Angela Merkel visited Milan Expo on Monday. The German Chancellor went to the Universal Exposition with her husband, Joachim Sauer. She was greeted by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who was accompanied by his wife Agnese, Maurizio Martina, the minister for agricultural policies, Milan Prefect, Gian Valerio Tronca, and the Sole Commissioner for Milan Expo, Giuseppe Sala.
Ms Merkel was wearing a blue jacket over white trousers while Ms Renzi sported a bright red dress. The Chancellor's private visit to Expo began without a statement to the press. The day's agenda included three stops: at Pavilion Zero, then at the German Pavilion and lastly at Palazzo Italia, where the party was due to have dinner, which was planned to conclude by around 8:30 p.m. Ms Merkel's visit was shortened because of the urgent need to return to Germany by Wednesday, where the Bundestag will vote on the EU's third bailout plan for Greece. Ms Merkel wants to be present because of the increasing number of opponents within her own party, fearing they might rebel, given that they have previously criticised her management of the Greek crisis. She will probably discuss Greece with Prime Minister Renzi, in addition to the issue of immigration. It is the first meeting for the spouses of the two leaders, Agnese Landini and Joachim Sauer. The German Chancellor's husband is extremely reserved and seldom accompanies his wife during her visits abroad, rarely appearing on television. Angela Merkel's visit to Milan Expo on Monday is a recent addition to the event's agenda, as was the case with many other heads of state like David Cameron, Francois Hollande, Mariano Rajoy and Vladimir Putin. It also came at a time when Germany's parliament faces quite a few challenges. This means that this is not an official bilateral meeting but just a meeting consequent to the close relations between the two countries. (AGI)