French populist party leader Marine Le Pen has praised Italian populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, saying that aligned with him, populist parties across the continent now have a real opportunity to change Europe.
The Rassemblement National (RN) leader told Italian media this week that Salvini was an important central figure ahead of the planned rally in Milan on Saturday, where representatives from at least ten populist and conservative parties and movements are scheduled to appear, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.
“We share with him the same vision of Europe based on sovereignty, on the right of peoples to self-determination and voluntary cooperation. And we believe that Europe can be built without coercion, blackmail, and permanent threat,” Le Pen said.
The former presidential candidate added that her party and Salvini’s Lega shared many of the same views on mass migration and the way the European Union has handled the migrant crisis saying, “the EU is a toxic accelerator of massive immigration and Frontex is the reception, support and distribution agency.”
Salvini Warns of ‘Islamic State’ If Populists Do Not Win Across Europe https://t.co/oe14n0sDno
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Le Pen is not the first populist party leader to slam Frontex, the European Union’s border agency. Last year, Austrian Vice-Chancellor and leader of the Freedom Party (FPÖ) Heinz-Christian Strache labelled the agency as a “people-trafficking organisation.”
On the topic of the European Union Commission, Le Pen added that the Commission “does not want to stop or regulate immigration: it wants to intensify it, as European Commissioners also say.”
In 2017, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker claimed that Europe will need far more migrants in the coming decades and added that without migration from Africa, Europe would be “lost” and said, “Africa is not a continent that will become part of our history tomorrow. Africa has always been a part of history.”
Le Pen also spoke of creating a new populist force in the European Parliament following this month’s elections. “Our goal is to create a super group as strong as possible. Those who share this common vision are welcome,” she said.