Italy's hardline Salvini to meet Hungary's Orban

The talks in Milan comes after Italy's latest standoff with the EU on the issue, with scores of migrants held on a coastguard boat moored in Sicily for days as the government traded barbs with the bloc over who should take them in. 

Italy's hardline Salvini to meet Hungary's Orban

World Bulletin / News Desk

Two of Europe's most vocal anti-migrant politicians, Italy's hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and far-right Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will meet on Tuesday, as pressure mounts on the EU to tackle immigration.

Salvini, 45, has vowed to close Italy's ports to ships that rescue people trying to cross into Europe by boat from Libya as Rome's populist government hardens its stance on immigration.     

But his meeting with fellow hardliner Orban -- who has clashed repeatedly with the EU over the migrant crisis -- has exposed fractures in Italy's ruling coalition, which mixes Salvini's hard right League party and the populist Five Star Movement.

Salvini's fellow Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio on Monday blasted Orban for putting up "barbed-wire barriers" and refusing to take in migrants.

"As far as I'm concerned countries that refuse allocation of migrants should not be entitled to European funding," Di Maio said in an interview with daily La Stampa.

Five Star, which has governed Italy alongside the League since the start of June, contains within its broad political church a left-wing faction uncomfortable with the party's alliance with Salvini.

"Orban is very different from us and it is right to make this clear: the Hungarian Prime Minister represents a right-wing force while the M5S is neither right nor left," Di Maio said.

Both Italy's deputy leaders had shown a common front against the EU in the recent standoff over the migrants held on the Diciotti vessel in Sicily, with Di Maio threatening to halt Italy's payments to the bloc. 

Nearly 140 people who had been stranded on the boat for over a week were allowed to disembark on Sunday after Albania and Ireland stepped in to take some of them.  

Migration is a hot-button issue in Italy, where hundreds of thousands of people have arrived since 2013.    

Neither Italy, nor Hungary has given a reason for Salvini's talks with Orban.

Left-wing activists are expected to hold a demonstration on Tuesday afternoon in Milan to protest the meeting.

Last Mod: 27 Ağustos 2018, 18:21
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