France has recalled its ambassador from Rome after provocative behaviour of Luigi Di Maio, head of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, who held talks with French yellow vest protesters, The Local France reported on Friday.
Since the war, it is the first serious diplomatic row between France and Italy whose good neighbour relations was ruined just one meeting. When the leaders of Italy’s populist government allowed themselves to hold talks with yellow vest protesters who called Macron the ‘terrible president’, Paris said ‘Basta!’ and ordered its envoy to come home from Rome.
The Italian government has repeatedly voiced support for the anti-government yellow vest movement, which make Emmanuel Macron’s life unbearable. Paris said the criticism was unprecedented since the end of World War II.
“For several months France has been the subject of repeated accusations, unfounded attacks and outlandish claims,” the ministry said in a statement.
Rome, Paris: the escalation continues
Tensions between Paris and Rome have escalated since last June when the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and far-right League party came to power in Italy in a coalition government. Italian young politicians Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini have overshadowed even Silvio Berlusconi with his rich and scandalous political history.
Both Salvini and Di Maio have formed a populist coalition government together and became the critics of French President, who has, in turn, targeted their “eurosceptic actions” before high-stakes European Parliament elections in May.
The latest spat erupted on Tuesday after Deputy PM Di Maio revealed he had met “yellow vest” anti-government protesters outside Paris. He said the aim was to prepare a common front for European Parliament elections in May while boasting on Twitter “the wind of change has crossed the Alps.”
“The most recent interferences constitute an additional and unacceptable provocation,” the French foreign ministry said.