16:49 GMT +321 November 2019
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    French President Emmanuel Macron walks back to his office after a meeting with guests at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, August 31, 2017

    'Di Maio is Now Getting His Revenge Against Macron' - Political Analyst

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    France recalled its envoy from Rome after Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio met with "yellow vests" representatives and supported the protesters. According to Paris, it was a provocation, while Di Maio stated that his meeting was legitimate as he had no ill intention. Sputnik has discussed the row with political analyst Nicola Mirkovic.

    Sputnik: Can such parallels really be drawn between the Yellow Vest movement, which is rooted in ideas such as the defence of workers' rights and other arguably socialist values, and the Italian Five Star movement and the Northern League party which are described as right-wing, anti-immigrant parties?

    Nikola Mirkovic: So yes there are definitely similarities between these movements in Italy and in France. Both the Lega Nord and the Five Star movements are grass-roots movements; these are politicians which are not coming from mainstream politics; they've created their own parties, they are both fed up of traditional politics and they have got themselves organised and they have taken power.

    And also what is interesting is that they are assimilated traditionally to the left and right movements and they have shown that together they have more in common than what separates them because they are in power today and visibly it's working well in Italy.

    In France it's the same thing, the Yellow Vests is a traditional movement combining those from the left and the right who have not been voting in these past decades. And they've found a common platform on which they can discuss.

    READ MORE: Italy-France War of Words Turns Into Diplomatic Crisis, French Media Believe

    Sputnik: What identifiable differences are there between Di Maio's politics and the Yellow Vests?

    Nikola Mirkovic: What is different between Italy and France is that the Yellow Vest movement does not have a charismatic leader so far; this is still something which is not organized, it has different local leaders but is not organized like a political party. But in terms of what they are saying, they are very similar.

    Sputnik: What does Luigi di Maio have to gain politically from staging such blatant support for the Yellow Vests?

    Nikola Mirkovic: Well I think there is some sort of a war of words, at least at this stage, between Italy and France, and it is covering some sort of an economic war also. I think that Italy does not see well the partnership — or the strengthening of the partnership — between France and Germany, it feels left aside.

    Italy feels as if there is some big engine, big motor running Europe and it's not in there. It definitely has pinpointed Macron as the person responsible for the situation, leaving Italy on the side.

    Also, don't forget Macron has been very tough on the Italian government, he called them populist, said they were not real politicians, said they would ruin the country on different issues, on immigration also. Macron has constantly tackled the Italian government, and I think Di Maio now is getting his revenge.

    Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Nikola Mirkovic and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    yellow vests, Five Star Movement (M5S), Luigi Di Maio, Emmanuel Macron, Italy, France
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