Crossborder populism causing EU more grief than the UK

Emmanuel Macron, as we know, expects to be the unofficial leader of Europe once Angela Merkel retires as Chancellor of Germany.

That may or may not happen – Germany will still be Europe’s paymaster, and whoever succeeds Mrs Merkel will presume he or she is still first among equals.  

However, M Macron should be careful what he wishes for; because it is not Britain, due to leave the EU at the end of this month, that is most undermining the European project, but the country that is causing France more grief than any other: Italy.   

Last month the French government expressed outrage that Luigi di Maio, one of Italy’s two deputy prime ministers, came unannounced to France and met representatives of the gilets jaunes. Signor di Maio attacked M Macron’s “ultra-liberal” policies for endangering French national security and reducing French purchasing power.

 It is hard to see how he arrives at the second conclusion, but France unwittingly harbouring Islamic extremists is a matter of record, and something ...

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