France has recalled its ambassador from Rome after a meeting between Italy’s deputy prime minister and leaders of the French Yellow Vest protester movement who have been calling for French President Emmanuel Macron’s resignation.
Luigi di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement hailed the “winds of change across the Alps” yesterday on Twitter after meeting with Yellow Vest activists Cristophe Chalencon and Ingrid Levavasseur.
“The latest interference is an additional and unacceptable provocation,” according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Thursday. It added that this “violates the respect that democratically and freely elected governments owe each other.”
“All these acts create a serious situation that questions the intentions of the Italian government” towards France.
A diplomatic feud has been bubbling between Paris and Rome over repeated expressions of support for the protests coming from top Italian officials. Di Maio’s co-deputy PM Matteo Salvini said this week that French people “will be able to free themselves from a terrible president” in May after European parliamentary elections take place.
Chalencon and Levavasseur are themselves planning to run in those elections, according to French media reports.
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