Posted on May 9, 2023

Italy Wants French Apology Over Migration ‘Insults’

Alvise Armellini and Elizabeth Pineau, Reuters, May 5, 2023

France must apologise to end a dispute over over what Rome considers insulting remarks, including some over its handling of immigration, Italy’s foreign minister said on Friday, while also signalling the spat might be short-lived.

The minister, Antonio Tajani, called off a visit to Paris at the last minute on Thursday after French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said Italy’s right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had been “unable to solve the migration problems on which she was elected”.

Darmanin, whose own government is under pressure from the far right over immigration and a deeply unpopular pension reform that will see the French work longer, added that Meloni was “lying” to voters that she could end the migrant crisis.


“If someone offends in a gratuitous manner, the least they could do is apologise,” Tajani told Il Corriere della Sera newspaper. “In this case, he offended all Italians, as well as the government and the prime minister.”


Darmanin on Thursday compared Meloni to far-right French leader Marine Le Pen, a political foe of Macron. “The extreme right has a vice. That of lying to the population,” Darmanin said.