January 21, 2019 / 6:02 PM / 7 months ago

Italy's Di Maio repeats attack on French policies in Africa

FILE PHOTO: Italian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio speaks during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio on Monday 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.

“France is one of those countries that by printing money for 14 African states prevents their economic development and contributes to the fact that the refugees leave and then die in the sea or arrive on our coasts,” Di Maio told reporters.

Di Maio was referring to the CFA franc — a currency used in 14 west and central African nations, which is tied to the euro at a fixed exchange rate, with the peg guaranteed by France.

Di Maio, who leads the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, said the European Union should “address the question of the decolonization of Africa”, accusing France of still treating a number of African countries as vassal states.

Reporting By Gavin Jones; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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