Ex-Italian Prime Minister Alleges French Missile Responsible for 1980 Civilian Air Crash, Urges French Government for Disclosure

by Lucas Garcia
Missile Strike

In a recent interview published on Saturday, former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato stated that a French Air Force missile unintentionally downed an Italian civilian aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea in 1980. This act was allegedly part of an unsuccessful attempt to eliminate Libya’s then-leader, Moammar Gadhafi.

Amato, who served as Premier twice, has requested that French President Emmanuel Macron either validate or disprove these claims concerning the aviation disaster on June 27, 1980, which resulted in the loss of all 81 lives on the domestic Italian flight.

During a dialogue with the Rome-based newspaper La Repubblica, Amato expressed his belief that the French military mistakenly hit the civilian aircraft while aiming for a Libyan military jet. Though he admitted to lacking conclusive evidence, he also posited that Italian intelligence had warned Gadhafi of the planned attack, ensuring that the Libyan leader did not board the intended military flight.

The reason behind the tragic incident remains among Italy’s most enduring enigmas. Some propose that an onboard bomb caused the plane to crash, while others suggest that an examination of the wreckage, recovered years later from the ocean floor, indicates that a missile strike was responsible.

Radar data showed heightened aerial activity in the region where the aircraft was lost. Amato was quoted, “The most plausible explanation involves the culpability of the French Air Force, potentially in collusion with American forces, engaging in aerial warfare that fateful evening.”

According to Amato, NATO had scheduled a simulated exercise involving multiple aircraft, during which a missile was slated for launch aimed at Gadhafi. Amato alleges that a French fighter jet, taking off from an aircraft carrier possibly near Corsica’s southern coast, fired the missile.

President Macron, who was only a toddler at the time of the Ustica tragedy, has been challenged by Amato to clear France’s reputation. Amato stated that Macron has two options to do so—either by proving the allegation baseless or, if evidence confirms the allegation, by issuing a formal apology to Italy and the victim’s families on behalf of his government.

In 2000, during his tenure as Premier, Amato sought to illuminate the events by writing to then U.S. President Bill Clinton and then French President Jacques Chirac. However, his efforts were met with “absolute silence,” according to Amato.

In response to queries from The Big Big News, the French President’s office indicated on Saturday that it would not provide immediate comments on Amato’s allegations.

Current Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni urged Amato to substantiate his claims, if he has credible evidence, so that the Italian government could consider further investigation. Meloni released a statement acknowledging that Amato’s assertions deserved scrutiny, but also highlighted that these claims are based on his “personal deductions.”

Previous allegations regarding French involvement are not unprecedented. In a 2008 television interview, former Italian President Francesco Cossiga, who was in office during the incident, also blamed a French missile aimed at a Libyan military aircraft. Cossiga also disclosed that Italian intelligence had forewarned Gadhafi.

Moammar Gadhafi was ultimately killed during the Libyan civil war in 2011.

Weeks following the ill-fated flight, a Libyan MiG was discovered in the remote mountains of southern Calabria, along with the decomposed body of its pilot.

Contributions to this report were made by Sylvie Corbet, a correspondent for Big Big News based in Paris.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Italian Civilian Plane Crash 1980

What is the central claim made by former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato?

Former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato claims that a French Air Force missile unintentionally brought down an Italian civilian aircraft in 1980. According to Amato, this was part of a failed operation targeting Moammar Gadhafi, Libya’s then-leader.

Who is being asked to respond to these allegations?

French President Emmanuel Macron is being urged by Giuliano Amato to either confirm or refute the allegations concerning the 1980 plane crash that killed all 81 persons on board.

What evidence does Amato present to support his claim?

Giuliano Amato admits that he does not have concrete evidence to substantiate his claims. His assertions are based on personal deductions and are supported by radar data showing increased aerial activity in the area where the plane went down.

What remains uncertain about the 1980 crash?

The true cause of the 1980 Italian civilian plane crash remains an enduring mystery in Italy. Various theories have been proposed, including an onboard bomb and a missile strike. The wreckage was recovered from the ocean floor years later, but definitive answers are still lacking.

Has the French government responded to these allegations?

As of the publication date of the article, the office of French President Emmanuel Macron indicated that it would not immediately comment on the allegations made by Giuliano Amato.

What does the current Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, say about these claims?

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has called on Giuliano Amato to substantiate his allegations with concrete evidence, if any exists. She acknowledges that the claims are deserving of attention but also notes that they are based on Amato’s personal deductions.

Are Amato’s claims entirely new?

No, similar allegations have been made before. In a 2008 television interview, former Italian President Francesco Cossiga also claimed that a French missile was responsible for downing the aircraft and that it was aimed at a Libyan military jet.

What happened to Moammar Gadhafi?

Moammar Gadhafi, the then-leader of Libya who was allegedly the target of the missile strike, was ultimately killed in the Libyan civil war in 2011.

Was there any response when Amato previously pressed for information?

In 2000, when Giuliano Amato was premier, he wrote to then U.S. President Bill Clinton and then French President Jacques Chirac to seek clarity on the incident. His efforts were met with “absolute silence.”

What was discovered a few weeks after the crash?

Weeks after the crash, a Libyan MiG aircraft was found in the remote mountains of southern Calabria, along with the decomposed body of its pilot.

More about Italian Civilian Plane Crash 1980

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CryptoQueen September 2, 2023 - 9:20 pm

Amato’s claims are a big deal but where’s the proof? He admits theres no concrete evidence. So, whats the point of bringing this up now?

Nancy_theHistorian September 3, 2023 - 1:56 am

Its important to remember that Amato and Cossiga are not the first to make these claims. This has been a subject of speculation for years now. Its a dark chapter in Italian history thats still unresolved.

JustAsking September 3, 2023 - 3:32 am

If these claims have been around for so long, why haven’t they been properly investigated? Makes u wonder what they’re trying to hide.

CarGuy123 September 3, 2023 - 4:57 am

its weird how these old stories come back to haunt us. I mean, Macron was just a toddler back then, but now he has to deal with it?

TruthSeeker01 September 3, 2023 - 6:55 am

Amato says he wrote to Clinton and Chirac in 2000 and heard nothing back. Total silence. That’s a red flag right there!

JohnDoe_87 September 3, 2023 - 7:18 am

Wow, this is explosive stuff. Are we really supposed to believe that the French messed up this bad? And kept quiet all these years?

WallStBull September 3, 2023 - 10:10 am

Is this going to affect French-Italian relations? Can’t see this being good for business or politics between the two countries.

PoliticalAnalyst92 September 3, 2023 - 11:25 am

Macron’s silence is deafening. If the allegations are baseless, why not just say it. On the other hand, if its true, then its a scandal of massive proportions.


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