Italian finance minister cancels visit to Paris over migration spat
Italys new finance minister, Giovanni Tria, cancelled a visit to Paris for talks with his French counterpart, the FT reported Wednesday.
The move comes hours after Italy summoned the French ambassador to the foreign ministry in Rome. Tria was supposed to meet his French counterpart, Bruno Le Maire, in attempt to launch “a constructive dialogue” on eurozone reform.
The dispute began when French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday denounced the “cynicism and irresponsibility of the Italian government” for its handling of the Aquarius migrant rescue ship earlier this week. Italy refused to let the ship, carrying more than 600 migrants, dock.
This prompted Rome to accuse the French leader of hypocrisy and threaten to cancel a summit between Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte slated to take place Friday. That meeting is reportedly on hold.
The French Finance Ministry said it hopes to reschedule the meeting with Tria, Reuters reported.
“The visit was canceled at Italys request, and we regret it,” a French official told Reuters, adding that “we hope this meeting can take place very soon.”
Tria is due to visit Berlin Thursday morning for talks with German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.