Last Update 20:49
Thursday, 21 March 2019

Italy threatens to cancel Conte-Macron meet unless France apologises

AFP , Wednesday 13 Jun 2018
Italy and France
File photo: French president Emmanuel Macron (L) shakes hands at a bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada, June 9, 2018. (AFP photo)
Views: 1724
Views: 1724

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Wednesday that without an "official apology" from France, a planned meeting between Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday should be cancelled.

"If an official apology doesn't arrive, prime minister Conte would be right not to go to France," Salvini told reporters after demanding that France take in more migrants.

Macron had blasted Italy for its "cynicism and irresponsibility" in refusing to welcome 629 migrants left stranded on a French charity's rescue ship in the Mediterranean before Spain agreed to take them in.

Gabriel Attal, the spokesman for Macron's party, called Italy's actions "nauseating".

Italy's Foreign Affairs Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi summoned the French ambassador to Rome over the comments on Wednesday, saying in a statement that "the Italian government considers unacceptable the words publicly pronounced yesterday in Paris".

Milanesi added that the comments made by France were "compromising relations between Italy and France".

France's foreign ministry responded by saying that it is "perfectly aware" of the pressure on Italy as it copes with an influx of migrants from Africa, adding it is "committed to cooperation and dialogue" with Rome.

Salvini's far-right League party campaigned on taking a hard line on migrants ahead of March's election and rose to power as part Italy's eurosceptic, populist government that took office this month.

Also on Wednesday, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that the hardline interior ministers of Austria, Germany and Italy have formed an "axis of the willing" to combat illegal immigration into the EU.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.