Europe's history and roots are not synonymous with protectionism, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said today even as he raised concerns about inequality reaching intolerable levels.
Addressing the World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering here, he said European political systems are going through radical changes.
"Political fragmentation is a new feature of the old continent," the prime minister said, adding that new political groups are forming in response to widespread discontent, offering shortcuts and demagoguery.
Large segments of population are indeed dissatisfied, migration remains a hot-button issue and social cleavages remain open under the long shadow of the global and European financial crises, Gentiloni was quoted as saying in a release issued by the WEF.
"Inequality is still rising, reaching intolerable levels, even as growth increases... Today we must answer positively and decisively the call for a stronger Europe. Our history and roots are not synonymous with protectionism," he said.
Further, the Italian leader stressed that there cannot be a world with a cosmopolitan digital elite and an army of discontented workers.
Many leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have raised concerns over rising protectionist tendencies.
Delivering a speech at the summit, Merkel said Germany is a country committed to finding multilateral solutions and unilateral action and protectionism are not the answer.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)