G-8 Officials Want to Expel Italy

Has Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had other things on his mind, perhaps? American officials have seized the lead in organizing Wednesday's G-8 summit, which is taking place in the Italian town of L'Aquila. The Italians are so ill-prepared for the event that some countries in the Group of Eight would like to Italy's membership revoked, senior western officials are telling The Guardian. "The G-8 is a club, and clubs have membership dues. Italy has not been paying them," one official said. Media attention in the run-up to the conference has been focused on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's partying. Some would like to see Spain replace Italy in the club, but any removal is unlikely.