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"Azzurri Nel Mondo" Builds A Bridge

Press Contact: Kylie Cafiero, (202) 547-2900 kcafiero@osia.org

For Immediate Release:

Washington, D.C. - May 8, 2003 In an exclusive interview with Italian America® magazine this month Nick Arena, president of Azzurri Nel Mondo USA, explained how his group keeps Italian citizens around the world informed about Italy.

Azzurri Nel Mondo is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 by Silvio Berlusconi before he became prime minister of Italy. "We especially help Italian Americans who have dual citizenship learn more about recent laws passed in Italy granting special privileges to emigrants and their children," said Arena.

In his interview, Arena noted Prime Minister Berlusconi's strong support of the United States and his close friendships with Tony Blair and Jos? Maria Aznar of Spain. "Berlusconi also knows Russian President Vladimir Putin well and has been involved in behind-the-scenes diplomacy with Putin and Pres. Bush," Arena said.

Berlusconi desires peace, but strongly supports Pres. Bush's policies in Iraq. "In spite of strong resistance by some opposition parties, the Italian government has allowed the use of several U.S. military bases in Italy," Arena said, adding that Italy will soon assume the rotating presidency of the European Union.

Arena is president of Mediterranean Shipping Company USA, the second largest container carrier in the world. He was born in Messina and studied in Genoa before coming to the U.S. in 1968. Over the coming year, Arena will set up Azzurri chapters on the East Coast of the United States. For more information, contact Nick Arena at 212/827-1662 or see www.azzurrinelmondo.us.

Italian America® magazine is the most widely read periodical in the United States for people of Italian heritage. It is published by the Order Sons of Italy in America®, the largest and oldest national organization for men and women of Italian descent in the country.

Established in 1905, OSIA has more than 600,000 members and supporters and a network of more than 700 chapters coast to coast. OSIA works at community, state, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of an estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the nation's fifth largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.