August 22, 2019 / 8:22 AM / 6 months ago

Italy deserves leaders who are up to the task - Macron

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron has said Italy deserves leaders who are up to the task, describing one of the party chiefs in Rome’s collapsed government as the “great loser” for having made the mistake of sharing power with the far-right.

Italy’s ruling coalition between the anti-establishment 5-Star party, led by Luigi Di Maio, and far-right League fell on Tuesday after League leader Matteo Salvini declared the government unworkable, forcing the prime minister to quit.

“The Italian lesson is that when one does an alliance with the far-right, in the end it’s always a win for the far-right,” Macron told reporters in Paris on Wednesday.

“Who is the big loser from the last sequence? Di Maio,” he added. Asked if Salvini had also lost out, he replied, “Maybe, I hope so.”

Macron said he sided with Italy’s head of state, President Sergio Mattarella, who is now consulting with all parties in parliament to see if another coalition government can be formed.

Historical allies, Rome and Paris have been through several episodes of diplomatic tension since the 5-Star and League coalition took power in June 2018.

Reporting by Michel Rose and Marine Pennetier; Writing by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Mark Bendeich

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