Italy's news in English

Editions:  Europe · Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Presidents attempt to mend frayed Italian-French relationship

Share this article

Presidents attempt to mend frayed Italian-French relationship
The French Embassy in Rome. Photo: AFP
12:53 CET+01:00
The French and Italian presidents "reaffirmed the importance" of their countries' ties in a phone call yesterday after relations recently plunged to a new low.

France's President Emmanuel Macron and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella had a telephone conversation yesterday, the French presidency said, as relations between the two countries had become strained.

The two leaders "recalled that France and Italy, who together built the European Union, have a special responsibility to work together for its defence and revival," the Elysee statement said.

Relations plunged to their lowest since the end of World War II last week when France recalled its ambassador to Rome in protest against "unfounded attacks and outlandish claims" by Italy's ruling populist party leaders, Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini.

Paris was angry over Di Maio's meeting with French "yellow vest" anti-government protesters outside Paris.

Di Maio said the aim was to prepare a common front for European Parliament elections in May, while boasting on Twitter that "the wind of change has crossed the Alps".

Salvini on Monday signalled his willingness to talk to ease the spat with France.

The conversation between the two heads of state on Tuesday was seen as another step in that direction.

"They reaffirmed the importance of Franco-Italian relations, fostered on historic, economic and cultural ties," the French presidency said.

ANALYSIS: What's behind Italy's spat with France

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

VIDEO: Three surprising facts that will make you want to visit Malta

Game of Thrones has ended but it lives on in Malta! Find out how and learn two more unexpected facts about this little archipelago in the middle of the Med.