Italy argues with France from abroad on Mont Blanc

Italy renewed a dispute with France over border rights on Mont Blanc after French authorities introduced measures that, according to Rome, encroached on Italian territory.

Reported by The Guardian.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio said he wrote an official letter of complaint to the French government, in which he expressed his “strong disappointment” over the “obstacles” at the alpine summit itself.

The controversy began last year after local authorities in the French municipalities of Chamonix, Les Houches and Saint-Gervais-Les-Bains established a natural protection zone on Mont Blanc’s more than 3,000 hectares to prevent tourist congestion, including measures to prohibit paragliding and tourism. hiking with insufficient equipment.

A certain area affects the area of the Gigante Glacier, which is located under the famous alpine refuge of Rifugio Torino, which is defined by an agreement signed in 1860 as part of Italy.

Popular with skiers and tourists, Rifugio Turin is accessible from Courmayeur, Italy, via the Skyway cable car, built-in 2015, which links the Italian city to Pointe Helbronner, a 3,462-meter high mountain on the border between the two countries.

Di Maio was forced to intervene after a deputy from the far-right Brothers of Italy party raised concerns in parliament that the French were trying to monopolize the vacation spot.

French measures include a ban on the use of any vehicle and the entry of pets into the area. There are also strict rules for the protection of plants and wildlife.

“Such unilateral measures cannot and should not affect Italian territory,” Di Maio said.

This is not the first time countries have squabbled over territory around Rifugio Turin. In 2015, Chamonix Mayor Eric Fournier ordered alpine guides to close off access to the Gigante Glacier on the Italian side. At the time, Fournier argued that access was denied for security reasons.

But the move came just months after French authorities used bulldozers to move the border mark 150 meters deep into Italian territory, sparking outrage in Italy.

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