Salvini Reaffirms Italian Ports Closed, Calls on European Union to Fulfil Migrant Promises

Lester Mason
January 11, 2019

Members of Poland's ruling party are signaling some reservations about forming an alliance with the anti-migrant Italian League party.

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The Maltese government has refuted claims by Matteo Salvini that Malta had failed to abide by its pledge to take in a number of migrants who had landed in Italy last summer.

"We are preparing a new equilibrium and new energy in Europe and Poland and Italy, absolutely, will lead this new European spring", Salvini said in the Polish capital Warsaw, adding that "we have a new plan for Europe" meant to replace the dominant "French-German axis".

The May elections are shaping up into a battle between pro-EU forces under the leadership of French President Emmanuel Macron and populist euroskeptics led by Salvini.

Salvini said he had also held talks with PiS Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

"The Polish-Italian or Warsaw-Rome axis is one of the greatest developments with which the year could have started, so I have great hopes for this", Orban said. Commentators in Poland also argued that there are good reasons for Polish wariness about Salvini, who is seen as overly pro-Russian by many people in Poland, which has suffered under Moscow's rule for most of the past two centuries. He said the deal would only encourage human traffickers to launch more unseaworthy boats across the Mediterranean, reiterating his longstanding opposition to accepting any more new arrivals.

"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". "And Poland and Italy will be the protagonists of this new European spring, of this rebirth of true European values".

They object to further European integration that they see as an erosion of national sovereignty.

"There is convergence within the government on a hard line: ports closed, fight against smugglers and NGOs", Salvini said on Thursday. Poland's clash has involved changes to its judicial system which some see as anti-democratic, while Italy's battles with the European Union have centered on its budget spending.

Poland's main opposition leader, Grzegorz Schetyna, called the meeting between Salvini and Kaczynski "absurd and shocking".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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