SHARE
COPY LINK

POLITICS

Italy’s far-right Meloni angered by French ‘threat’

Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni has reacted angrily to comments from European Affairs Minister Laurence Boone reported in an Italian newspaper

Italy's far-right Meloni angered by French 'threat'
(Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP)

Meloni, whose post-fascist Brothers of Italy party won last month’s general election, has demanded an explanation after a French minister suggested rights may be at risk under the incoming government.

European Affairs Minister Laurence Boone told the Repubblica daily that Paris would “pay close attention to the respect for values and the rule of law” once the new government is sworn in.

“The EU has already demonstrated its vigilance towards other countries such as Hungary and Poland,” Boone added in the interview published Friday, citing the two Eurosceptic governments that have clashed with Brussels over civil rights.

Meloni said the comments appeared to be “an unacceptable threat of interference against a sovereign member state of the European Union”.

“I trust that the French government will immediately deny the words,” Meloni said, adding she hoped “the left-wing” daily had in fact misinterpreted Boone’s meaning.

Meloni, a fierce defender of Catholic family values, won as part of a right-wing coalition that civil rights activists fear pose a threat to civil rights, from abortion to same-sex marriage.

Italy’s most far-right government since World War Two is expected to be in place by the end of October.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

POLITICS

British PM promises ‘new impetus’ to French ties

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer promised on Thursday to bring a "new impetus" to ties with France and to work with Paris to oppose Russia's invasion of Ukraine and end migrant-trafficking across the Channel.

British PM promises 'new impetus' to French ties

Starmer was to meet France’s President Emmanuel Macron later in the day for one-to-one talks on the sidelines of the European Political Community summit in Blenheim Palace, near Oxford.

In a piece published in French newspaper Le Monde to mark the meeting, the new British premier acknowledged Britain is no longer one of France’s EU partners, since the previous government left the union.

But, Starmer wrote, 120 years after the Entente Cordiale agreements resolving colonial disputes between Paris and London, “we are still bound by many things”, citing the G7 group, UN Security Council and NATO.

And he recalled the key role Britain and France have played as European military and economic powers in resisting Russia.

“I never thought, in my lifetime, that I would hear the rumble of war echoing across Europe. I never thought a leader would choose such an absurd and destructive path,” Starmer wrote.

“And yet, Russian President Vladimir Putin made this choice. Our determination to face it must never waver.”

Freshly elected at the head of a Labour Party government with a large House of Commons majority, Starmer also addressed the issue of cross-Channel migration, which has hurt ties in the recent past.

As prime minister, Starmer has already abandoned his predecessor’s efforts to expel asylum-seekers arriving in Britain by boat to Rwanda, but is still seeking a way to slow arrivals from France.

“A veritable criminal empire is today at work throughout Europe. It profits from human misery and despair, sending countless innocent people to their deaths in the waters of the English Channel,” he said.

“For me, this problem is no longer a challenge, it is a crisis. We will therefore work with France and with all our European partners to resolve it,” he wrote, vowing that Britain would respect international law.

The former senior lawyer stressed that Britain would continue to respect the European Convention on Human Rights, which the previous government had considered quitting.

SHOW COMMENTS