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Charlemagne A new treaty between France and Italy upends EU politics

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Paris and Rome, once at loggerheads, now agree on migration, defence and more

THE LIST of things France and Italy have argued about in the past decade ranges from the serious to the silly. Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi scrapped over migrants crossing from Italy into France. When the gilets jaunes popped up in France, Luigi Di Maio, then deputy prime minister, offered his support to the protesting petrolheads. “The wind of change has crossed the Alps,” said Mr Di Maio. France responded by pulling its ambassador across the Alps back to Paris in protest. In Libya, Italy and France found themselves backing opposite sides in a civil war on Europe’s doorstep. An Italian minister even complained that the French were trying to claim Leonardo da Vinci was French and spelling his name wrong to add insult.

Such rows have disappeared in the past year. Cosy dinners have replaced diplomatic slanging. In September President Emmanuel Macron and Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister, chatted past midnight in a four-hour meeting at Le Petit Nice, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Marseille that offers a €590 ($665) set menu, wine included. Populist stirring of French politics by Italian politicians is a thing of […]

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