Italian populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has unloaded on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying she totally underestimated the social conflict consequences of her mass migration policies.
The League leader singled out the German Chancellor on Monday, not long after blasting French President Emmanuel Macron, saying, “It is true that in recent years she has underestimated the risk of social conflict by claiming that there is room for hundreds of thousands of these people in Germany,” Kronen Zeitung reports.
Reacting to the recent protests in the eastern German city of Chemnitz, which came after a local man had been brutally stabbed to death, allegedly by asylum seekers, Salvini commented, “I can remember what happened on that New Year’s Eve in Cologne and elsewhere,” referencing the mass sex attacks on New Year’s Eve 2015/16.
“But the German government underestimated the problem for years. The rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is a clear reaction to it. That’s the answer many dissatisfied Germans try to give,” he added.
The comments follow those of populist Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš who said that “Chemnitz is around the corner” if Europe does not stem the flow of mass migration adding that it could even be a “threat to European civilisation.”
Salvini: ‘Hypocrite’ Macron Should Either Shut His Mouth or Open His Borders https://t.co/5KT0eXd3Qp
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 31, 2018
Salvini also doubled down on his stance to prevent all illegal immigrants from entering Italy, saying that European Union states should instead be looking into investing in Africa and elsewhere to help economies grow and provide an incentive for people to stay in their home countries.
“It’s important that people are helped so that they do not have to flee their states. We must quickly invest 500 million euros in Africa,” Salvini said.
Since taking a firm stance on migrant-transport NGOs by denying them access to Italian ports, Salvini’s popularity in Italy has grown by leaps and bounds to where polling now shows the League as the most popular party in the country, nearly doubling the support they received in the national election earlier this year.
In the most recent poll from SWG, the League (La Lega) saw record high support with 32 percent, pulling away from their anti-establishment coalition partners, the Five Star Movement (M5S).
Italy, SWG poll:
LEGA-ENF: 32% (+2)
M5S-EFDD: 28% (-2)
FI-EPP: 7% (-2)
Field work: 29/08/18 – 3/09/18
Sample size: 1,500 pic.twitter.com/HPqMDmeh5i
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) September 3, 2018
The popularity of the Italian firebrand has also risen internationally with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán recently meeting with Salvini and not only declaring him his “hero” but putting forth the idea of an alliance between the two going into next year’s European Parliament elections.