French Govt Minister Labels Italy ‘Enemy Country’ over Anti-Migration Policy

Premier Giorgia Meloni at a press conference illustrates the Budget Law
Massimo Di Vita/Archivio Massimo Di Vita/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin slammed the Italian government this week, claiming Italy behaved as an “enemy country” of France after rejecting a migrant “taxi” that ended up docking in Toulon.

Darmanin levelled the accusation against the Italian government during a session of the French parliament, claiming that the Italian government led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni behaved as an enemy of France for denying the migrant “taxi” NGO ship Ocean Viking access to a port in Italy — although it was of course France’s decision to bring them to Toulon instead.

“I am very surprised that lawmakers who call themselves patriots prefer lashing out at the [French] government rather than the Italians,” Darmanin said, addressing anti-mass migration National Rally politician Mathilde Paris.

“Indeed, madam, you are not always patriotic when you have to ally yourself with the enemies, those who are attacking France at this moment,” he added, as if France’s immigration policies were the fault of the Italian government rather than the French government.

National Rally MP and former French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen slammed Darmanin’s comments.

“The statements of Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin on Italy are very serious. Would Italy be an enemy of France? Would Italy, a brother and friendly country, become an enemy country? What are we to do, war? These are nonsensical statements,” she said, newspaper Il Giornale reports.

“The [French] government has angered the UK, they want to irritate the whole world,” Le Pen said, referring to the Macron administration’s failure to stop France from being used as a launchpad for tens of thousands of boat migrants seeking to reach Britain.

“Darmanin’s statements are irresponsible,” she added.

Eric Zemmour, another former presidential candidate and leader of the national conservative political party Reconquest, also criticised the words of Interior Minister Darmanin, writing on Twitter: “Gerald Darmanin you are solely responsible for the Ocean Viking fiasco. To qualify Italy as an enemy of France is a serious mistake.”

Italy, under the government of Prime Minister Meloni, has vowed to stem the surge of illegal immigrants arriving in the country, with Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi vowing to halt the activities of migrant transporting NGOs, which have dropped off over 10,000 people in Italy this year.

Following the recent tensions between Italy and France, the European Commission has announced a new “action plan” this week to reduce the number of illegals crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

The plan is expected to look at ways to reduce numbers as well as coordinate search and rescue operations at sea and spread costs and responsibilities for asylum seekers across the European Union.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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