Merkel meets Renzi in bid to lay aside Italian, German tensions

Chancellor Angela Merkel meets one of Germany's leading European critics on Friday when she holds talks in Berlin with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Europe's refugee crisis is expected to be the main issue on the agenda, with Renzi having repeatedly warned Italy's European partners for several years about the threat posed by the influx of asylum seekers into the region.

Renzi has also emerged as a major critic of the Europe Union's handling of the banking sector and its budget policy. He has lashed out in particular at the fiscal austerity spearheaded by Merkel as a way of overcoming the region's debt crisis.

Berlin's dominant role in European affairs has also faced sharp criticism from Renzi, who has accused Germany of sidelining Italy on important issues.

"If we are looking for a European solution to the refugee problem, then it is not right that Angela first speaks to Hollande and then calls European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and I only find out about it in the press later," Renzi told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung this week.

Last update: Fri, 29/01/2016 - 12:04

More from Europe

EU summit fails to break Belgian impasse over Canada trade deal

EU leaders ended two days of talks Friday with a failure to break a regional blockade to a landmark deal the bloc is...

Germany's economy "has many problems," Italian premier Renzi says

Germany has "many" economic problems, including a large trade surplus which violates European Union rules, the...

Tusk: EU leaders agree on need for better tools against cheap imports

EU leaders have made progress on ramping up the bloc's protection against unfairly cheap imports, European Council...

Catalonia to uphold bullfighting ban despite veto by top court

The Spanish region of Catalonia wants to uphold its ban on bullfighting despite the ban being overturned by the...

At least one killed, six injured in Germany after train, truck crash

At least one person has died and six people have been injured following the collision of a train and a truck in...