France – Italy: nothing goes well

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Yellow vest influenced international
Luigi Di Maio supports the yellow vests.
Source: Creative Commons

Following Luigi di Maio’s participation in France’s “Yellow Vests” demonstration, France called back its ambassador from Rome, causing a major diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

With his partner Matteo Salvini, the chief of Lega, Luigi di Maio had expressed a lot of criticism about France and its recent social movements. According to the Italian vice Prime Minister, France refuses to take migrants who become murderers on their land. At the same time, Di Maio expressed clearly his support of the “Yellow Vests”: “Don’t abandon your movement, we’re going to support you,” he said.

France decided to call back immediately its ambassador for “consultations” after “attacks without evidence from Italian’ leaders”

As for Matteo Salvini, fifteen days ago, he called French people to “escape from a very bad president.”

Accusations and criticism:

“France has never stopped to colonize many African states,” said Luigi di Maio, the Italian vice prime minister at the European Union in January. Since those words, the tension between both countries has been rising.

Italian point of view:

For Gianni del Vecchio, co-director at the Huff Post in Italy, the population opposes Luigi Di Miao’s strategy. Vincenzo Boccia, leader of the Italian employer’s movement requires that the government stop to provoke France. “The problem is that their propaganda is very strong, this way a lot of people think that what Salvini and Di Maio say about France is true.” This is also why Di Maio wants to get closer to the “Yellow Vests”, in order to show his disapproval with Emmanuel Macron and his policy.

This big crisis is the first one since the end of the Second World war and constitutes “an unacceptable provocation” for France.

Camille Chatillon, 2C

INTERNATIONAL: Salvini defies the EU

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Matteo Salvini the Italian MP refuses to change his budget. Source : Valeurs Actuelles

Yesterday, Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister, has rejected European Commission’s demands by sticking to his country’s big-spending budget target, which is likely to scale-up its fiscal stalemate with Brussels.

It was the official deadline for the Italian government to present a revised draft budget to the EU’s executive body.  Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria has sent a letter to the European Commission, in which he claimed that despite the EU criticism, the Italian government would still go for a budget deficit of 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) for 2019, in order to finance “expansionary and costly measures”. Luigi Di Maio of Five Star Movement said: “We have the conviction that this is the budget needed for the country to get going again.” This decision is the latest step in the unparalleled duel between Italy and Brussels, regarding the country’s spending plan, as the 2.4% requested deficit lowers the previous Italian administration’s deficit goal of 0.8% of GDP.

What penalty for Italy ?

Last October, the EU rejected Italy’s draft budget as incompatible with the bloc’s rules, astride Europe’s establishment and the opponents in Rome. By now, if Italy refuses to abide by a compliant budget, the resulting EU disciplinary sanctions could lead to fines in the order of 0.2% of Italy’s gross domestic product, as well as the freezing of some funding. If the Boot keeps on defying Brussels, those fines can still grow over time.

Italy’s debt level is described by the European Commission as a “major vulnerability” for its economy.


Eva Lopez Eiro, IEJ 3F1