ROME, ITALY (JANUARY 21, 2019) (LUIGI DI MAIO%20Di%20Maio&redirect=yes"> FACEBOOK LIVE) – Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio%20Di%20Maio&redirect=yes"> on Monday (January 21) reiterated that France’s policies in Africa were creating poverty and causing migration, hours after France summoned the Italian ambassador to Paris to protest his assertions.
Speaking to journalists, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement leader told reporters that France was manipulating the economies and preventing the economic development of 14 African countries that use the CFA franc — a colonial-era currency which is underpinned by the French Treasury.
Di Maio added that French policies were fuelling mass migration to Europe and that the European Union should “address the question of the decolonisation of Africa”, accusing France of still treating a number of African countries as vassal states.
France argues that the CFA franc has brought welcome monetary stability to the countries that use it, but French President Emmanuel Macron said in 2017 that it was up to African governments to decide what to do with the currency.
The new Italian government has frequently clashed with Paris, be it on immigration or policy in Libya, eager to mark the difference between itself and the previous centre-left administration which had good ties with the French authorities.