Italy: Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says she has “no problems” with France

“Our bilateral relations continue”, assures the far-right leader, in an interview with “Corriere della sera”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on November 22, 2022 during a press conference in Rome. (AFP)

Officially, everything is fine between Giorgia Meloni and France. The Italian Prime Minister, whose position on the reception of shipwrecked migrants at the beginning of November had caused tensions with Paris, assures, Tuesday, November 29, to have “no problems with France” and to continue to dialogue with Emmanuel Macron.

“I’ve never had a problem with France, and I still don’t have one today. Among other things, I had an exchange of messages with Emmanuel Macron a few days ago,” she says. in an interview with the daily Corriere della will be published on Tuesday. According to Elysian sources, the French president exchanged messages on Saturday with Giorgia Meloni and notably “expressed his support and solidarity after the dramatic events on the island of Ischia”, in the Bay of Naples, affected by a deadly landslide.

Saturday morning, Emmanuel Macron had celebrated the first anniversary of the Franco-Italian friendship treaty of the Quirinal with two tweets, one in each language, with a small video montage. Two tweets to which Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani immediately replied, also on Twitter, stressing that these messages “show that relations between our countries have not deteriorated”.

“It is normal for France and Italy to talk to each other”

These demonstrations of friendship contrast with the tensions caused by the stranding of hundreds of migrants in early November off the coast of Italy on humanitarian ships. The French government then denounced “unacceptable behavior” by the Italian authorities, judging it “contrary to the law of the sea and the spirit of European solidarity”.

In her interview, the far-right leader assures that “beyond the statements of some members of the French government on migrants (…) our bilateral relations continue”. A new meeting with the French president, after a first interview the same day he took office, “is not yet on the calendar”, according to Giorgia Meloni. “But we will certainly have to meet again, she assures us. We are people with governmental responsibilities who are working to find solutions. It is normal for Italy and France to talk to each other.”,,,,,,,,