Italy government

Italian government aide warns France against escalating migrant conflict with retaliation of EU funds

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One of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s closest aides has warned France against escalating an ongoing conflict over migration by limiting Rome’s access to EU post-pandemic recovery funds European.

Giovanbattista Fazzolari, Undersecretary for the Implementation of the Government Program, said Corriere della Sera Friday “I hope they’re not referring to [the EU post-pandemic] funds”, because such an action would be “very serious”.

With around 200 billion euros to shell out, Italy is the biggest beneficiary among the 27 EU countries of the so-called European Recovery and Resilience Fund.

“Improper” Conduct

Italy demands “only respect”, he added, after French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Thursday that the migration line between Rome and Paris would have “extremely strong consequences on the bilateral relationship”.

France agreed on Thursday to host the charity Ocean Viking Lifeboat in one of its ports, after Italy refused to let it dock on its territory with more than 200 migrants on board.

Darmanin called Italy’s conduct “reprehensible” and “selfish”.

The Ocean Viking would have docked this Friday morning in the port city of Toulon, in the south of France.