France worried by exit of 'pillar of Europe' Draghi

AFP , Thursday 21 Jul 2022

The expected resignation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will open a "period of uncertainty" and mark the loss of a "pillar of Europe," France's European affairs minister said on Thursday.

France reaction Italy exit
France s President Emmanuel Macron takes part in a present arms and decoration ceremony in the courtyard of The Invalides, in Paris, on July 11, 2022. AFP

 

"Italy is going to enter a period that is perhaps less stable that beforehand," Laurence Boone told France Inter.

"I want to pay tribute to Mario Draghi who is an exceptional statesman, who is a partner for France. We worked well together. He's a pillar of Europe," she added.

"It's a period of uncertainty and periods of uncertainty never put everyone at ease," she added.

Draghi was expected to resign on Thursday after efforts to hold together his fractious coalition government failed.

The 74-year-old former governor of the European Central Bank enjoys close and warm ties with French leader Emmanuel Macron, with the two pro-EU statesmen concluding a new Franco-Italian treaty last year.

They also jointly visited Ukraine last month along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a demonstration of European solidarity.

Paris retains bad memories of the hostile Italian government composed of the far-right League party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) which ruled for 14 months 2018-2019.

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