Italian populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is set to meet with Polish Law and Justice (PiS) Party leader Jarosław Kaczyński as Italian mayors are divided on his migration and security decree.
Salvini and the Polish conservative leader are confirmed to be meeting on January 9th in Warsaw to discuss the possibility of forming an alliance between Salvini’s League and PiS ahead of the European Parliament elections in May, Polish broadcaster TVN24 reports.
PiS spokeswoman Beata Mazurek told Italian media, “The topics of the talks are of interest for both sides, both Polish and Italian.”
The visit would mark the first official visit to Poland for Salvini since coming to power last year and the deputy prime minister is also expected to discuss economic matters while in the country.
Over the last several months Salvini has engaged with several other high-profile conservative and populist leaders to build a grand alliance ahead of the EU parliament elections including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who called Salvini his “hero” and promised to work together with him.
Viktor Orban: Matteo Salvini Is ‘My Hero’ https://t.co/R1PiEA7AXi
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 28, 2018
In October, Salvini announced that French populist leader Marine Le Pen would also be joining his alliance in the European elections with the pair announcing the creation of a “freedom front” to unite other pro-sovereignty parties opposed to EU overreach.
Salvini also met with Austrian Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache and was rumoured to be seeking support from Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson.
While Salvini has been building alliances abroad, his migration and security decree has been dividing mayors across Italy with some, like Palermo mayor Leoluca Orlando, not only opposing the decree but promising not to enforce it. Other mayors have expressed opposition to the decree such as Pomezia mayor Adriano Zuccalà who later admitted he had not even read the decree.
Despite several left-wing mayors opposing the decree, others have supported it and Salvini including the mayors of Udine, Cascina, and Trieste.
Pietro Fontanini, the mayor of Udine, said that his city “will ensure full application to the security decree.”