Italy DPM’s meeting with ‘yellow vests’ unacceptable

Says France foreign ministry

7th February, 2019 10:30:50 printer

PARIS: The French foreign ministry on Wednesday denounced as “unacceptable” a meeting between Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Luigi Di Maio and France’s “yellow vest” anti-government protesters, reports AFP.

“This new provocation is unacceptable between neighbouring countries and partners at the heart of the European Union,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement a day after Di Maio met the protesters on French soil.

“Mr Di Maio, who has governmental responsibilities, should ensure that he does not impair with its repeated interferences our bilateral relations, in the interest of both France and Italy,” the spokesman said. 

Di Maio, head of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), announced Tuesday he had met near Paris with yellow vest leader Christophe Chalencon and candidates on a yellow vest list for European Parliament elections in May, led by Ingrid Levavasseur.

He invited them and other yellow vests to a follow-up meeting in Rome, claiming on Twitter that “the wind of change has crossed the Alps.”

Tensions have flared between the two countries since the Five Star Movement and far-right League party came to power in a coalition in Italy last June. Di Maio had already drawn Paris’s ire after he accused France of fuelling the migrant influx to Europe by continuing to “colonise” Africa.