France and Italy have not exactly been the best of friends this year, with tensions over Europe’s immigration crisis expanding as the two nations, which share a large border, duke it out over whose responsibility these continental newcomers are.
This week, the Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini accused French police of bringing African refugees across country lines and leaving them in the woods that straddle the border between France and Italy. Salvini has threatened to ramp up border security, saying that, “Italy is no longer the refugee camp of Europe.” In response, France’s brand new Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, has offered to meet with his Italian counterpart, and has made a commitment to enforcing current EU policies for placing asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East.
This will be Castaner’s first big test as Interior Minister, as his predecessor and many others of French president Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet recently stepped down in opposition to a wide variety of Macron’s policies and ideas. Castaner’s stance on immigration could become France’s new official position on the matter, so in the court of the public, anything he says from now on can and will be used against him.