Italy and France have long had a love-hate relationship. It’s nothing serious, but there are sporadic clashes.
In the past days, for example, France repeatedly suggested that the towing of the Costa Concordia wreck from the Giglo Island to Genoa could pollute the French territorial waters around Corsica. The French Minister of the Environment, Mrs Ségolène Royal, even sent the French Navy to shadow the Italian convoy.
After the said convoy arrived to Genoa without any inconvenience, the Italian Emergency Services felt free to release some derogatory statements about the unfriendly French attitude.
This happened just while the Italian champion Vincenzo Nibali was winning the Tour de France in Paris. At least a part of the Italian press linked the two events, describing a French defeat on all fronts.