French President Emmanuel Macron has declared war on the European populist bloc spearheaded by Matteo Salvini and Viktor Orbán, saying Wednesday that he is their “chief adversary.”
Following meetings in Milan Tuesday, the Italian interior minister and Hungarian prime minister jointly vowed to demolish the current European Union (EU) globalist structure led by Macron, replacing it with a model that respects the national sovereignty of EU countries.
“In Europe, Macron is at the head of the parties that support immigration, on the other side are we ourselves, but we want to stop illegal immigration,” Mr. Orbán declared Tuesday.
Matteo Salvini suggested that Mr. Macron should lead by example rather than lecturing other countries.
“We ask for collaboration from Macron — who spends his time giving lessons to foreign governments — by setting the example of opening Ventimiglia,” a border point between France and Italy currently closed to migrants.
“If he gives a good example,” Salvini said, “then we can also ask the Visegrád countries.”
The Visegrád Group — comprising Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia — has resisted immigration quotas imposed by Brussels, insisting that their own citizens have the right to receive migrants or not.
“I will not give anything away to the nationalists and those who defend hate speech,” Macron countered Wednesday in an interview on French television. “If they want to see me as their chief adversary, they are right.”
Going still further, Mr. Macron said that France is “an enemy of nationalism, of the politics of hatred, and of a Europe that must pay what is asked for and yet does not impose any form of responsibility or solidarity.”
“In the coming days and months we will have to make in-depth decisions to address the issue of migration,” Macron said. “This implies seriousness and a spirit of responsibility, remaining faithful to our values, such as the right to asylum, with a real policy governing relations between countries of origin and our own.”
Mr. Macron distanced himself from the Salvini-Orbán bloc, which has focused on reining in illegal immigration, saying that the two worldviews are diametrically opposed.
“This is not what Orbán and Salvini propose,” the French president said.
“A strong opposition is forming between nationalists and progressives” in Europe, noted Macron, who is currently traveling between Denmark and Finland in search of allies to forge a “progressive arc” of globalist nations against pro-sovereignty governments, according to reports.
Salvini was swift to respond to Macron Wednesday, assuring him that his real enemy are his own citizens.
“Macron’s chief adversary is the French people, at least according to surveys,” Mr. Salvini said.
“Rather than lecturing other governments, let him open up the French borders, beginning with Ventimiglia,” he said.
“And he should stop destabilizing Libya for economic interests,” Salvini added.
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