Tensions between France and Italy have hit a new high as it has been announced today that the French government have expelled the Italian ambassador following a meeting between Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio and a leader in the Yellow Vests movement.
Di Maio met Christophe Chalençon and Ingrid Levavasseur, who is heading a Gilets Jaunes list for elections to the European Parliament in May. He tweeted that the “winds of change” have crossed the Alps:
Oggi con @ale_dibattista abbiamo fatto un salto in Francia e abbiamo incontrato il leader dei gilet gialli Cristophe Chalençon e i candidati alle elezioni europee della lista RIC di Ingrid Levavasseur.
Il vento del cambiamento ha valicato le Alpi. pic.twitter.com/G8E0ypLalX
— Luigi Di Maio (@luigidimaio) February 5, 2019
The French government reacted furiously:
“This new provocation is unacceptable between neighbouring countries and partners at the heart of the EU.”
France and Italy have failed to see eye-to-eye since Di Maio’s 5* Movement entered government with Matteo Salvini’s Lega Party in June last year and at the heart of the tension is the ideological tension between Macron’s globalism and the Italian governments commitment to a Europe of autonomous nation states.