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France sees ‘no reason’ not to extradite Italian militants

France has changed its position on extraditing those wanted on terrorism charges by Italy or Spain, a French minister said today.

France sees 'no reason' not to extradite Italian militants
The French Embassy in Rome. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

France now sees “no reason” to oppose the extradition of former Italian militants sought by Rome, one of the irritants between the neighbours, French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said in an interview published today.

She added that the country had until now “underestimated the trauma of terrorism” on its neighbours.

She revised France's long-standing position not to extradite political militants who had renounced their armed struggle.

French minister Nathalie Loiseau. Photo: AFP

“Judges will work this out among them, case by case… but there is no reason to oppose a possible extradition,” the minister told Le Monde newspaper.

“I think that our country has for a long time underestimated the trauma of terrorism in Italy or Spain, which we have treated with indifference.”

Italian authorities said in January they were still hunting 30 “terrorists” on the run abroad after far-left militant Cesare Battisti was jailed, ending his 37 years as a fugitive.

Italy's populist coalition government has repeatedly sparred with French President Emmanuel Macron on a number of issues, including rising nationalism in Europe and the migration crisis in the Mediterranean.

Earlier this month, France recalled its ambassador to Rome in protest over an unannounced meeting between Italy's deputy prime minister and anti-government protesters in Paris.

The envoy returned to Rome last week, marking a decline in the tensions.

French “yellow vest” protesters demonstrate next to the Italian border in Ventimiglia. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

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POLITICS

Italy plans to stop ‘revolving door’ between judges and politicians

Italian lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a planned reform aimed at stopping the 'revolving door' between justice and government, as part of wider changes to the country's creaking judicial system.

Italy plans to stop 'revolving door' between judges and politicians

The proposed reform, which still has to be approved by the Italian Senate in the coming weeks, imposes significant limitations on the number of magistrates, prosecutors and judges looking to go into politics – a frequent move in Italy.

Under the submitted changes, a magistrate wishing to stand for election, whether national, regional or local, will not be able to do so in the region where they have worked over the previous three years.

At the end of their mandate, magistrates who have held elective positions will not be able to return to the judiciary – they will be moved to non-jurisdictional posts at, for example, the Court of Auditors or the Supreme Court of Cassation, according to local media reports.

Furthermore, magistrates who have applied for elective positions but have not been successful for at least three years will no longer be able to work in the region where they ran for office. 

The reform is part of a wider programme of changes to Italy’s tortuous judicial system. This is required by the European Commission to unlock billions of euros in the form of post-pandemic recovery funds.

Public perception of the independence of Italian courts and judges is among the worst in Europe, according to the EU’s justice scoreboard.

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