As the row between Italy and France worsened this week, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said he would oppose a long-planned high-speed railway under the Alps to France.
His comments to an Italian newspaper published today follow French President Emmanuel Macron’s recalling its ambassador to Rome yesterday.
France is angry that Di Maio, who is head of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement party, met this week in France with "yellow vest" protesters who oppose Macron.
But in ruling out support for the railway, which would tunnel under the Alps between Turin and Lyon, Di Maio is moving against his own partner in the coalition currently governing Italy, the Northern League, which supports the tunnel.
Bloomberg, which reported Di Maio’s comments today, notes that Five Star has long opposed the railway on environmental grounds.Â
Having made concessions on other environmental matters, Five Star "needs a win" ahead of EU parliamentary elections this spring, which both Five Star and the Northern League will contest, Bloomberg said.
Image: Mountains near Turin, Italy (Nostromo-io/Public domain)