European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, says that he largely agrees with the migration policies of Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini after his colleagues have repeatedly attacked the populist coalition.
“Most of Salvini’s proposals coincide with the measures I have presented in Brussels,” Mr Avramopoulos said in an interview but added that he did not think the current flow of migrants coming into Europe should be referred to as an emergency, Il Giornale reports.
The comments are in contrast to earlier remarks by Avramopolous who said in May: “The EU will never be a fortress. Migration will stay not only in Europe and the world for the decades to come, and we have to be well prepared. No country can manage this situation alone.”
Interior Minister Salvini responded by saying: “We work well with the Commissioner. He demonstrates attention and sensitivity. He has an attitude that makes me happy, more than Merkel and Macron.”
Salvini has previously slammed French President Emmanual Macron calling the French leader a “hypocrite” after Macron criticised him and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán last month saying: “I will not give anything away to the nationalists and those who defend hate speech.”
“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, ” Salvini said and went on to add: “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.”
EU Commission Official Slams Italian Populists, Demands Italy Become ‘Pro-EU’ https://t.co/n3GoF7qMml
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EU Commissioner Avramopolous’s statement comes after several other members of the Commission have attacked the Italian populist coalition of Salvini’s League and the Five Star Movement in recent weeks.
The catalyst for the attacks came after Five Star Movement leader and Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio threatened to withdraw Italian funds from the EU after the bloc could not come to an agreement on migration issues.
The threat led EU Commissioner responsible for the budget Günther Oettinger to claim that anti-establishment populists like the Italians and the conservative Hungarians were trying to “weaken” or even “destroy” the European project.