Italy-France relations excellent says Le Maire

Rome: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Friday downplayed recent differences between Paris and Rome over migrants and insisted that the two countries have “an excellent relationship”.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, he said “there was no misunderstanding” between President Emanuel Macron’s administration and the new executive of Premier Giorgia Meloni over migration-related issues.

In November French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said Rome’s decision not to assign a port of safety to the Ocean Viking, an NGO-run search-and-rescue (SAR) with over 200 asylum seekers on board at the time, was “incomprehensible”.

The ship ended up docking in Toulon.

“Italy is a great European country and key industry player,” Le Maire said.

“As you know, President Macron has made key proposals to reinforce European industrial policy. We count on Italy’s support”.