France recalls its Italy ambassador for “consultations” amid “unprecedented attacks from Rome”
07 February 2019, 18:13
France’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it had recalled its Italy ambassador for consultations after a series of “provocations” from Rome, Euronews reports.
“For several months France has been the subject of repeated accusations, unfounded attacks and outrageous declarations that everyone knows and can have in mind,” the French ministry said in a statement.
It added that the alleged attacks were “unprecedented since the end of the war”.
The move came a day after France denounced an “unacceptable” meeting between Italy’s populist deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, and France’s anti-government “gilet jaune” (yellow vest) protesters this week.
Di Maio, leader of the populist Five-Star Movement, met with Christophe Chalencon, a leftist gilets jaunes organiser from the south of France, near Paris ahead of the European elections.
In a tweet, Di Maio wrote: “The winds of change have crossed the Alps”.
Oggi con @ale_dibattista abbiamo fatto un salto in Francia e abbiamo incontrato il leader dei gilet gialli Cristophe Chalençon e i candidati alle elezioni europee della lista RIC di Ingrid Levavasseur.
Il vento del cambiamento ha valicato le Alpi. pic.twitter.com/G8E0ypLalX
— Luigi Di Maio (@luigidimaio) February 5, 2019
“This new provocation is unacceptable between neighbouring countries and partners at the heart of the EU,” the French foreign ministry said about the meeting on Wednesday.
Tensions between Macron and Italy’s two deputy prime ministers, Matteo Salvini of the right-wing League party and Di Maio, have flared since their election in June over issues about migration and Italy’s budget.
Di Maio accused France of impoverishing Africa and fuelling the migrant influx to Europe last week while Salvini has previously lambaster Macron in calling him a “terrible president”.
Italy’s foreign ministry had no immediate comment about France’s decision to recall its ambassador.