Emmanuel Macron displayed a certain complicity with Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Wednesday in Paris. A visit which could be followed by the end of June by the arrival of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. With her, relations were more eventful.
The French Head of State and his counterpart visited, on the day of its inauguration, the “Naples in Paris” exhibition at the Louvre Museum, which mixed his masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance with paintings lent by the Neapolitan Capodimonte Museum.
In front of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, or Caravaggio’s “The Flagellation”, presented to the two presidents as “the Mona Lisa of Capodimonte”, Emmanuel Macron and Sergio Mattarella admired this installation which, according to the Elysée, “honors the links between France and Italy”.
The French presidency insisted on the “relationship of trust and friendship” between the two men, but also, beyond that, the “exceptional ties which unite” the two countries.
These links have gone through some turbulence, particularly around the thorny issue of immigration, since the arrival in power in the fall in Rome of the ultra-conservative government led by Giorgia Meloni, herself at the head of a post-fascist party. .
While France has assured that it has invited the head of the Italian government for months, no date has been set, but a visit is now mentioned by the end of the month, perhaps around the summit for a new financial pact. international organized by Emmanuel Macron on June 22 and 23.
Mattarella quotes De Gaulle
In the meantime, the arrival of the Italian president, who plays in Rome a constitutional role of sage and guarantor of the institutions, seemed to be able to demonstrate the stability of relations between the two neighbors, beyond the identity of their leaders.
In front of young diplomats on Tuesday evening in Paris, Sergio Mattarella thus quoted remarks made in July 1943 by General De Gaulle. Just after “the fall of fascism” in Italy, when it was a “tormented period”, he recalled, “De Gaulle spoke of a ‘close neighborhood’ and an ‘interdependence of the two great peoples Latins'”.
“Relations between Italy and France are, as we all know, centuries old. Your task will be to continue to feed them,” the Italian president told the young diplomats.
This article is originally published on bluewin.ch