Bono Promotes Debt Forgiveness At Italy Songfest
ROME (Reuters) - Irish pop singer Bono Saturday used the stage
of Italy's glitzy San Remo music festival to thank the Pope and
Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema for supporting the
campaign for Third World debt forgiveness.
Bono, sporting tinted, glittery sunglasses, spoke in competent
Italian as his fellow U2 band member The Edge strummed the guitar
softly at the start of the grand finale of the week-long
extravaganza in the Italian Riviera resort of San Remo.
"To the Pope -- thank you; to Mr. D'Alema -- thank you for
your promise," Bono said as the chic audience applauded at
Italy's national version of the Eurovision Song Contest, which
has millions of viewers glued to their television sets.
Bono, along with Italian rap star Lorenzo Jovanotti, on
Wednesday visited D'Alema in Rome and helped persuade the premier
to write off more Third World debt.
The message has also been broadcast at San Remo this week by
opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti, a co-host of the festival, and
by Jovanotti, who performed a rap urging D'Alema to "drop the
Jovanotti's performance sparked parliamentary controversy as
conservative opposition figures accused him of using the stage to
make political capital.
Bono alluded to that row Saturday when he appealed to
opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi not to let politics stand in
the way of helping needy human beings in 2000.
The Pope has declared this year a Jubilee or Holy Year and
urged rich countries to seize the opportunity to cancel Third
"Mr Berlusconi, please help Mr D'Alema to help the Jubilee,"
Bono said before singing two songs. "This is not politics but
© 2000 Reuters
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