The torch burns between Rome and Paris. The populists Salvini and Di Maio have every interest. And Italy all to lose.
So far, it was not for the two big names of the Italian government, Matteo Salvini (Minister of the Interior) and Luigi Di Maio (Minister of Economic Development, Labor and Social Policies), to pound Macron. This in itself was disturbing enough. Salvini even managed to break the ceiling this week by inviting the French to “free themselves from a very bad president” in the European elections on May 29.
A campaign against France
Henceforth, it is even more serious: it is no longer Macron, it is downright France that targets the two populist proconsuls. See how Luigi Di Maio rolled up his sleeves: “France, he launched, is one of those countries that, by printing money for 14 African countries, the CFA franc, hinder their development economic and contribute to the departure of the refugees who die in the sea or arrive on our coasts “. It does not matter that the Quai d’Orsay has summoned the Italian Ambassador to Paris to make her listen to the official protest of the French government, the damage is done and Nathalie Loiseau, Minister of European Affairs summed up the debate well: “Our intention is not to play the one who is the stupidest.
From this drift, rather stupid, is an obvious conclusion: not only did the Italian populists decide to organize the European campaign by making France the spitting totem, but there is also a higher bid on the subject between La Liga of Salvini and the Cinque Stelle movement of Di Maio. It is to whom will insult at best Paris and its representatives.
A competition between populists
On the first point, the positioning of the French president provides an ideal figure to the angry of the antisystem. Macron embodies the arrogance of the Eurocrats, an ever closer European Union, a tandem reinforced with Germany (what has just been confirmed by the Treaty of Cooperation and Integration of Aachen, signed on 22 January 2019) which leaves Italy aside. This crystallization of misunderstandings is most unfortunate and Paris is not exempt from reproach in this state of affairs: on several occasions, we wrote here that the French president was embarking on an unfortunate path by cutting Europe into two blocks. one progressive, led by France, and the other watched by “nationalist leprosy”.
The strategy of tension installed by Macron with Italy could only produce a superfluous fever, of which the French executive power would happily pass at this moment. Worse, this time, Italy claims in turn to lead a European crusade, under the banner of populism, which gives it de facto anti-French orientation. Moreover, the President of the Council, Giuseppe Conte, is one of the first to worry about his country.
On the second point, alas, an electoral logic – and electioneering – settled in Rome. Between the two major partners, the Salvini Liga del Nord, a petty-bourgeois and conservative, and the Cinque Stelle Movement, close to the small and expensive people, the competition for the European elections will lead to a festival of excesses. It is by the verbal inflation and the radicalization against France that Di Maio, advised by the Peronist ideologue of this movement that is Alessandro Di Battista, hopes to gain votes to finally dominate the coalition.
The “french bashing” in Italian will therefore continue without complex. With this perverse effect: never Italy, since the fascist years, a century ago, had so isolated and closed on itself, while the European project had placed in the heart of Europe.