The intense war of words between the French and Italian governments shows no sign of abating.
For the first time since the Second World War France ‘recalled’ the Italian ambassador to Rome following the meeting between Italian Deputy Prime Minister Lugi Di Maio and leaders of the French Yellow Vest movement and Di Maio’s public support for the protesters.
Benjamin Griveaux, a spokesman for the Macron government, said that the recall was not “permanent”. Griveaux went on to pour scorn on the “stupid” Italian government. France’s decision, he insisted, was “absolutely correct” and the actions of the Italian government reflected the “stupidity of the populists in the government”.
Despite praising Italy as “a partner state, a historical ally of France and one of the founding countries of the European Union”, Griveaux went onto roundly insult the Italian government:
“If we want to reduce the nationalist leprosy, if we want to roll back the populists, if we want to reduce the mistrust of Europe, the best way is to get well. to lead with its partners.”
One thing is for sure, this conflict looks set to rumble on and on…….