The G8 summit meets annually, bringing together the heads of government

of France, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom,

Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada.1 The rotating president of the

European Council and the president of the European Commission also

participate. The countries involved take turns hosting the summit, and

in 2009, Italy hosted it for the fifth time since 1975 in L’Aquila. Italy’s

prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has been in the unique position of

hosting the summit three consecutive times—in 1994, 2001, and 2009.