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“There is no Europe of the first and another of the second.”


Tension is high between Rome and Paris. There is mistrust between the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, and it seems that they do not understand each other, which is reflected in their political differences and in the stinging statements issued during the European Council. which was held in Brussels.

Upon his arrival in the Belgian capital on Thursday, Meloni expressed his great annoyance with Macron, after the dinner he organized on Wednesday at the Elysee Palace with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as Chancellor Schultz invited. The Italian prime minister was left out, something that would have been unthinkable with her predecessor, Mario Draghi.

Just remember the journey they took together Macron, Schulz and Draghi To Kyiv on June 16th. It was different times. Meloni attacked the French president with some anger over the Elysee meeting: “President Macron’s initiative seemed inappropriate to me. I understand the problems of domestic politics and the desire to privilege the public opinions of the country itself, but to do so sometimes can be detrimental to the cause. Our strength must be unity.” .

Macron’s response was immediate and icy, to highlight the superiority of the Franco-German axis, and with a certain smile at the end of the sentence: «I have no comments on Meloni’s statements. I wanted to receive President Zelensky with Chancellor Schultz, I think we were in our turn. For eight years, Germany and France have had a special role in the Ukraine issue. And I think it is also up to Zelensky to choose the form he wants.

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Macron made it clear to Meloni that the primacy in the European Union, made official some time ago among the only nuclear power in the European Union with the largest continental economy. In other words, Italy is behind, in inferior conditions, but Mario Draghi and he managed to include himself, by diplomacy and good relations, as a third interlocutor, despite occasional difficulties. It was another story. And now the political and ideological differences between Meloni’s right-wing government and the centrist Macron are reversing. Analysts say the French president looks up to Meloni and sees Marine Le Pen, though the differences between them are notable.

Defending “Italian interests”

And the Italian Prime Minister tried to reduce the diplomatic tension with Paris, stressing that “my relations with Macron are not subject to compromise, but when something is not working, I must say so.” Giorgia Meloni highlighted again on Friday that “compared to those who think that Italian foreign policy was just a back bet without taking Italian interests into account, I think Italy’s interests are more important.”

As a result, the head of the Brotherhood in Italy once again criticized Macron’s “political mistake” with her initiative on Wednesday at the Elysee Palace: “Paris meeting between Macron, Schulze and Zelensky? 25 European Union presidents missing. Europe does not exist in Serie A and Serie B. Whoever thinks that it is a club where those who count the most and those who least count are, who says that there are first and third class must remember the Titanic. Because when a ship sinks, it doesn’t matter how much you paid for the ticket.

Some media in Italy are critical Giorgia Meloni, They pointed to the dismissal of the prime minister, after Macron and Schultz showed their guiding role in European support for Cave without relying on Italy. But Giorgia Meloni rejected these criticisms, claiming Italy’s central role: «The main issue is that Italy is a sufficiently centralized country in the European Union, to say when it does not agree on something. In the past, for Italy, it was enough to be in a picture, and that was enough to describe our centrality.

message to your voters

Paris and Rome will not be able to strain their relations much, because there are common interests between the two countries, as explained by the French historian and sociologist Marc Lazare, a deep connoisseur of Italian politics: “France is Italy’s second largest trading partner. For reasons of economic and international respect, the Meloni government needs to maintain good relations with the European Union. “We must take into account – adds the French political scientist to La Stampa – the weight that the domestic politics involved have in the relationship. A part of Meloni’s electorate is very critical of France and needs from time to time to send messages against arrogance on the other side of the Alps. For his part. Macron faces the internal challenge of Marine Le Pen.

His constituents will have well noted these messages from Meloni in the important regional elections on February 12 and 13 in Lombardy and Lazio, where Hermanus d’Italia hopes to emerge as the first party. In addition, at the end of the European Council, the Italian Prime Minister was very satisfied with the outcome in the chapter on economics and especially immigration: «The approach has changed, and it is very different from that of recent years. For the first time, a sentence that had not appeared before was written: “Migration is a problem of the European Union and it needs a response from the European Union.” Success achieved by Giorgia Meloni.

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