Salvini says France cannot lecture Italy on migration policy

FILE - Italian Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini speaks during a press conference at the Foreign Press Club in Rome, Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Tensions between Italy and France continue to escalate. Recently, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini canceled a visit to Paris scheduled for May 4, and now, Salvini wrote on Twitter that recent statements made by French politician Stéphane Séjourné are unacceptable and offensive after Séjourné called Rome’s migration policy unfair, inhumane and ineffective.

Matteo Salvini responded: “France cannot lecture anyone. Show respect for the Italian government.”

The French politician had said that Rome’s government, led by Giorgia Meloni, “is pursuing an unjust, inhuman and ineffective policy on illegal immigration, based on demagogy. We must make their incompetence and helplessness public.”

The leader of the French Renaissance party referred to the border between Italy and France, where, as in recent years, there is once again a build-up of illegal migrants waiting to cross into France.

Previously, the other Italian deputy prime minister, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, called French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin’s statements about Rome’s inability to manage migration an unacceptable insult. Tajani also canceled a planned visit to Paris.

Tensions between the Meloni government, formed last October, and Paris first flared in November 2022, when several members of the French government called the Meloni government’s migration policy inhumane after the French SOS Mediterranee NGO ship Ocean Viking, with 234 people on board, was refused a docking permit and had to sail to the port of Toulon in France.

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