France-Italy Reconciliation: Meloni And Macron Easing Tensions

This first bilateral meeting on Tuesday between the President of the Italian Council and Emmanuel Macron will be an opportunity to warm up relations between the two countries, after months of turbulence.

This is a first since she has been at the head of a nationalist and ultra-conservative government in Italy: Georgia Meloni is received on Tuesday June 20 at the Élysée. Passing through the capital to defend Rome’s candidacy for the organization of the Universal Exhibition of 2030, will thus also be received by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron.

>> Elections in Italy: who is Giorgia Meloni, the far-right leader who already sees herself “guiding the government”?

The two leaders must prepare the future European summits at the end of June and NATO in July… and above all try to reconcile.

The beginnings were difficult

Freshly elected, the Italian refused in November to welcome the 230 migrants aboard the Ocean Viking. Paris then denounced “unacceptable behavior”. In February, Emmanuel Macron invites the German Chancellor, but not her, to dinner with Volodymyr Zelensky when the Ukrainian comes to Paris. And Giorgia Meloni takes it badly.

New crisis at the beginning of May: she is unable to solve the migratory problems on which she surfed to be elected, denounces Gérald Darmanin. Immediately, Italy demanded an apology and canceled what was to be the first visit to France by its head of diplomacy. But the Minister of the Interior drives the point home: the far right makes reckless promises, he pleads. Understand: Meloni – Le Pen, same fight, in short. Today, Emmanuel Macron and Giorgia Meloni finally see each other in Paris, but for the very first meeting in October in Rome, the Élysée had not released the drums.

Since then, the two leaders have met several times. Catherine Colonna, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, also went to Rome to clear the land. The president’s entourage puts the crises into perspective and ensures that the working relationship is good.

A meeting… outside the Elysée?

But behind the scenes, the situation is less diplomatic: all this was done at the last minute, they say in Paris, however, when the invitation was launched several months ago. The Italian press is buzzing with rumors propagated by the services of Giorgia Meloni: the meeting could have taken place outside the Élysée. An affront to Italy, which would have preferred a dinner at the Palace. Also, it will ultimately be a meeting in the middle of the afternoon.

Emmanuel Macron, who remained close to President Mattarella, on a visit to France a fortnight ago, plays the pragmatism card with Giorgia Meloni, worried however about his political weight in Europe and a possible rapprochement with the European right before the elections scheduled in just one year…

Another reason for division: Rome’s candidacy for the 2030 Universal Exhibition: Giorgia Meloni comes to defend her country before the international office whose headquarters are in Paris, she is supported by the European Union, but not by Paris, which officially supports Ryad for almost a year already.

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