>> The growing fractures in unity between European Union governments has boiled over into another high profile war of words between two countries at the block's core, France and Italy. Traditionally they're close allies, not anymore. Reuters Crispian Balmer in Rome.>> Italian ministers from both coalition parties, the Far Right League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, have upped the ante this week in their long running battle with France's pro-EU President Emmanuel Macron.
Openly, and very undiplomatically criticizing him about France's track record in Africa, and his migration policy. The populist government in Rome believes France has done nothing to help Italy tackle hundreds of thousands of migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean Sea in recent years seeking a better, safer life in Europe.
Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio says France is stripping Africa of it's wealth, forcing people to flee while his fellow Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini says Macron has treated refugees disgracefully.>> Salvini has actually gone even further, he says he hopes Macron is thrown out of office. So far Macron's government has reacted relatively calmly.
It's summoned the Italian ambassador, but otherwise has been quiet.>> Diplomatic disagreements between such old allies are normally dealt with discretely within the European Union. But the anti-system League and Five Star are campaigning very hard for European Parliament elections in May and see the moderate Macron who was very friendly with Italy’s previous center-left administration as a perfect target for their electoral attacks.
>> The incident is another sign of the surge in power for the far right across the continent.