Italy's Salvini visits Poland to discuss eurosceptic alliance for European Union elections

12 January, 2019, 18:54 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini left and his Polish counterpart Joachim Brudzinski right address the media following their talks in Warsaw Poland Wednesday Jan. 9 2019

"The Polish-Italian or Warsaw-Rome alliance is one of the greatest developments that this year could have started with", Orban told a news conference, describing Salvini as a "hero" for stopping migration at the shores of Italy.

In August, the Italian populist met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the pair announcing that they would form a populist front ahead of the European Parliament elections to challenge Macron's vision of a united states of Europe.

However, Polish skepticism about Salvini's friendly approach to Russian President Vladimir Putin could be an impediment to their collaboration. He described the European Union that he wants to see as one rooted in the continent's Christian heritage with strong borders that keep out migrants. "But that doesn't mean that he wants to build an alliance with forces that want Europe to move in a direction that from a geopolitical point of view would not be acceptable to Poland".

"We proposed a common programme to be offered to other parties and peoples in Europe founded on certain themes, like (economic) growth, security, the family, Europe's Christian roots that some have denied", Salvini said.

"It will be the best answer to all the Eurosceptics", he suggested - "and maybe their popular movements will give life to a new European spring, a dream that someone stole from us in the name of finance and banking".

Salvini added that they spoke about Poland and Italy's cooperation on building a new continent.

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We will see what that means. "We have to decide day by day". '[Jordan] Henderson will train today for the first time. Who deals the best with their problems has the most success. "That's my preferred rhythm, to be honest".

It was then decided, the government said, that given that both countries had agreed to take the same amount from each other, and since these migrants are human beings who had already suffered a hard crossing and rescue - rather than have them undergo another voyage to another state, each country would retain 50, and "thus fulfil its pledges by cancelling each other's pledge".

Both populist governments have been embroiled in conflicts with Brussels that have seen them strive for greater national sovereignty.

However, Mr Salvini, who shut his country's ports to migrants last summer, provoked a government crisis by stating: "Whether it's eight or 88 migrants, I am not authorising anyone to enter Italy".

Poland's ruling party faced sharp comments from domestic critics for its apparent openness to Salvini.

Poland's main opposition leader, Grzegorz Schetyna, called the meeting between Salvini and Kaczynski "absurd and shocking". He referred to Salvini's League as a "nationalist, radical and pro-Russian party".


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