Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has blasted French President Emmanuel Macron, calling him a “hypocrite” for turning away migrants while lecturing other nations about open borders.
“We do not take lessons from a hypocrite,” Salvini said Thursday in response a statement by Macron decrying nationalists who “preach hate.”
On Tuesday, Mr. Salvini met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Milan after which the two leaders vowed to demolish the current European Union (EU) globalist structure and replace 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.
In a Facebook post Thursday, Mr. Salvini said it is time for Mr. Macron to put his money where his mouth is.
“From the beginning of 2017 to the present day, France of the ‘good Macron’ has rejected more than 48,000 immigrants at the borders with Italy, including women and children,” he said. “Would this be the ‘welcoming and supportive’ Europe that Macron and the good people talk about?” he asked.
“Instead of giving lessons to others, I would invite the hypocritical French president to reopen the borders and welcome the thousands of migrants he had promised to take. Italy is no longer the refugee camp of Europe; the haven for traffickers and naifs is finished!”
According to data from the Italian government, France rejected 30,911 migrants at Italian borders in 2017, of which 10,407 were foreigners with a valid residence permit in Italy (including 1,465 Pakistanis, 1,108 Malaysians, 840 Nigerians, 832 Albanians). Another 20,504 were “irregular” (mostly Sudanese).
From January 1 to August 28 of this year, the figure stands at 17,476, with France having rejected 6,561 with an Italian residence permit (including 933 Pakistanis, 651 Malaysians, 613 Albanians), and 10,915 irregular. In total, between 2017 and 2018, France has turned away 48,387 migrants at Italian borders.
Mr. Salvini is currently the most trusted politician in Italy, having made good on his promise to rein in illegal immigration.
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