Following the incident at Bardonecchia, on the evening of 30 March, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation immediately asked for explanations from French authorities, both through the French Embassy in Rome and through the Italian Embassy in Paris.
Not receiving any justification for the serious act (considered to be entirely non-compliant with the cooperation framework between bordering Countries), it was decided to summon the French Ambassador to Italy, Christian Masset, at the Foreign Ministry this afternoon.
At the meeting, the Director-General for the European Union, Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi, conveyed to the Ambassador the Italian Government’s firm protest over the behaviour of the French customs agents, deemed to be inacceptable, and at the same time manifested its disappointment for the failure to fulfil our request for explanations.
Director-General Buccino also showed Ambassador Masset the exchange of communications that occurred over this month between the Italian railway company Ferrovie dello Stato and the French Customs, which clearly reveal how the latter were aware that the facilities of the Bardonecchia train station, previously accessible to their agents, were no longer available to them as they had been occupied by a humanitarian non-governmental organisation. Moreover, in order to discuss the technicalities of the matter together, the two Countries had decided to meet at the Prefecture of Turin next 16 April.
The incident objectively calls into question, with immediate effects on operations, the concrete functioning of the up to now excellent cross-border cooperation.