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.