France recalls its ambassador to Italy
8 February 2019
Yesterday, for the first time since World War II, the French Foreign Ministry announced the recall of its ambassador in Rome. An immediate pretext was Italian Vice Premier Luigi di Maio’s February 5 meeting with a group of “yellow vest” protesters calling for French President Emmanuel Macron’s ouster. The communiqué made clear, however, that far broader international conflicts are involved.
“For several months,” it wrote, “France has been targeted with repeated accusations, unfounded attacks, and outrageous declarations that everyone knows and recalls. It is unprecedented since the end of the war. To have disagreements is one thing, exploiting them for electoral purposes is another. The latest interventions constitute a further and unacceptable provocation.”
While calling for “a relationship of friendship and mutual respect” between France and Italy, it added: “All these actions have created a grave situation that raises questions as to the intentions of the Italian government in its relations with France. In light of this unprecedented situation, the French government has decided to recall the French ambassador to Italy for consultations.”
Paris’s recall of its ambassador—a move typically signaling the danger of a collapse of diplomatic relations, or war—underscores the collapse of relations in the European Union (EU) flowing from the relentless incitement of nationalism and militarism by the European ruling class.
Clashes between Paris and Rome have become ever more bitter, as they vied for influence in the EU and backed rival factions in the civil war in Libya that followed the 2011 NATO war. Two years ago, Macron nationalized France’s naval shipyards to keep Italy’s Fincantieri…