France hopes for better relations with new Italian government

France is hoping for more constructive relations with Italy's new pro-European government, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday.

France hopes for better relations with new Italian government

“This government appears more… determined to have positive relations with France, more open also to implementing shared migratory policies,” Le Drian told French radio stations.

“We are ready to talk about it,” he added.

Italy's new coalition between the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and centre-left Democratic Party (PD) was sworn in last Thursday.

The former coalition between Matteo Salvini's far-right League party and the M5S headed by Luigi Di Maio was hostile to Paris in its 14 months in government.

Salvini accused French President Emmanuel Macron of showing “arrogance” and “hypocrisy” on immigration matters.

Le Drian said Sunday he has written to Di Maio, his new counterpart appointed last week. “I hope we will have more constructive relations with Italy,” Le Drian said.

“Everyone sees there is a new deal, that we are no longer trading insults and posturing. We are willing to act together within the European Union,” the French minister said.

Asked about the political fate of Salvini, who caused the collapse of the previous Italian government, Le Drian said: “There are times when some politicians, as we have seen with Mr. Salvini, see themselves as stronger than they are, and they make mistakes.”

“I'm not sure (Salvini) will return to power”, he added.

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Why Italy’s government is angry about a ski resort changing its name

The world-famous Italian ski resort of Cervinia reverted to its pre-Fascist name of Le Breuil on Thursday, sparking an outcry from members of the nationalist government.

Why Italy's government is angry about a ski resort changing its name

From Thursday, November 30th, the village in Val d’Aosta known worldwide as Cervinia will instead be called Le Breuil.

“Cervinia will not disappear in the collective memory. It is one of the most famous ski resorts in the Alps,” Jean-Antoine Maquignaz, a former mayor who began the process for the recognition of historical names in the region, told the Turin edition of Corriere della Sera.

But, he said, “the culture of the area must be taken into account. And the names must be preserved, as well as their long history.”

Le Breuil was changed to Cervinia by Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime in 1934 under a drive to remove all foreign-sounding place names.

READ ALSO: Italy’s culture minister slams foreign words in Italian language… by using foreign words

Many comuni (municipalities) in the Alpine region of Val d’Aosta, which borders France and Switzerland, had their French names replaced with Italian ones.

The process of changing the town’s name back began in 2011, and Valle d’Aosta’s regional president, Renzo Testolin, signed a decree last September which formalised the switch.

But Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy (FdI) party on Thursday issued an angry statement which said the name change was “evidently the result of ideology, out of time and place,” news agency Ansa reported.

The party said ministers would meet with regional authorities to “resolve the problem” in the coming days.

FdI Deputy House Whip Fabio Rampelli said the government must get the name changed back, describing the move as “anti-Italian” and claiming it went against the Constitution.

READ ALSO: ‘Anglomania’: Why Italy’s government wants to restrict use of English words

Tourism minister Daniela Santanchè urged the local council to “think again” saying that the winter tourism industry would be “heavily penalised by dropping a brand name that is known across the world”.

But the 700 or so local residents may have more immediate concerns: the name change is expected to result in a mountain of bureaucracy, as inhabitants will now need to update their identity cards, birth certificates, and land registry data, Corriere reported.