Italy’s new Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini is following Hungary’s Viktor Orbán in putting demographics at the heart of his programme, warning that a country which imports migrants instead of supporting families is “destined to die”.
The League (Lega) leader, who heads one half of Italy’s new populist coalition government, set out his priorities in an interview with The Sunday Times at the historic Palazzo del Viminale in Rome.
“A country which does not create children is destined to die,” Salvini stated bluntly.
“We have created a ministry of the family to work on fertility, nurseries, on a fiscal system which takes large families into account. At the end of this mandate, the government will be measured on the number of newborns more than on its public debt,” he declared.
The 45-year-old warned that nothing less than Italy’s “tradition, our story, our identity” was at stake — particularly as the political left was using declining birthrates and the supposed threat of an ageing population an “excuse” to “import immigrants”.
Make Babies Great Again: Hungarian Fertility Rates Rise, Turns Back Demographic Decline https://t.co/AaqgdMUQbQ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 12, 2018
The Italian leader appears to be following in the footsteps of conservatives in Central Europe, particularly Poland and Hungary, who have made a conscious decision to pursue pro-family policies and reject mass migration, even if it means slower short-term gains to GDP and provoking the globalist establishment in the European Union.
After winning a third term with a parliamentary super-majority earlier this year, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán made it abundantly clear that his government would concern itself primarily with “how many children are born to Hungarian women; how many children we raise together; whether there will be a Hungarian future; whether the Hungarian nation will survive biologically and numerically; what we must do to stop the decline we clearly see in this area; and what we must do to change the fact that we have more funerals than christenings.”
New policies intended to help responsible married couples into homeownership, support childrearing, and raise incomes may already be bearing fruit, with the U.S.-based Institute for Family Studies suggesting the country is successfully “winding back the clock on much of the fertility and family-structure transition that demographers have long considered inevitable”.
The stance of Orbán and Salvini stands in marked contrast to that of many left-liberal politicians in Western Europe, such as Germany’s Gregor Gysi, who believe it is not just necessary but actively desirable that local people be replaced by ‘New Europeans’ from a migration background.