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Adviser Sandro Gozi jumps ship and stokes France-Italy tensions

Adviser Sandro Gozi jumps ship and stokes France-Italy tensions
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Former Italian minister Sandro Gozi has dismissed reports he is a traitor, following criticism for taking a position in the French Government.

Gozi, who served as Italy’s junior cabinet minister for European affairs from 2014 to 2018, has joined the office of French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe as a European affairs adviser.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio has suggested Gozi should be stripped of his Italian citizenship, something he has branded "grotesque".

Gozi said: "I'd advise him (Di Maio) to study EU law. He'd find out that a European citizen cannot be deprived of citizenship for political reasons and cannot be prevented from working in another administration or another government.

"I'm not a member of the French Government, I'm not a minister, I'm simply a European affairs adviser who'll work on the launch of the European Parliament and the future of the Union: I'll be focusing on the debate about the European conference and possible political and institutional reforms".

Migration is another area raising heated discussions, with Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini disagreeing with President Macron on numerous occasions.

Gozi added: "I believe that France and Italy have a common destiny. I believe that common values and interests are much stronger than differences on certain issues.

"I think that the current Italian Government was wrong not to continue with the Quirinal Treaty begun by our Government. It should have brought France and Italy into a new era of stronger political, institutional and cultural cooperation, especially in a European way".

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