Hungarian Minister: With Salvini Europe Was Safe

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini (R) and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban share a light moment as they address a press conference following a meeting in Milan on August 28, 2018. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó has come out against the new Italian leftist coalition government, stating that the borders of Europe were safer when Matteo Salvini was in office.

The 40-year-old minister spoke out about the new coalition’s move to reopen Italy’s ports to migrant transport NGOs, saying Italy had been successful stopping illegal migration with Salvini as interior minister and the change of government had led to a shift which he felt regret over, Il Giornale reports.

The Hungarian added that the move to open the ports was “deplorable and dangerous” and said that Italy has sent a signal to migrants overseas to “march for Europe”.

Szijjártó praised former populist interior minister Matteo Salvini, who leads the League (Lega) party, saying he had “contributed to giving more security to Europe” during his time as minister.

“Illegal immigration can be stopped. It is a lie to say that containing flows is impossible and that we need to think about redistribution. Salvini has shown that if there is the will to block landings it can be done,” he said.

Last weekend, Salvini spoke to a crowd of around 80,000 people in the small town of Pontida, promising to enact referendums if the leftist coalition opened the borders.

The European Union has proposed a new redistribution system, but Szijjártó said he and the Hungarians are still against such a policy, stating: “The right response to the migration crisis is not to open borders and distribute illegal migrants on the basis of quotas. On the contrary, borders must be defended.”

According to a Greek newspaper, the EU is even considering removing certain countries from the Schengen free movement zone which do not accept redistributed migrants.

Earlier this week, Szijjártó slammed the European Union’s border agency, Frontex, in an interview with German paper Die Welt, saying: “Frontex is a travel agency. Rather, those countries that have an external EU border should also protect them.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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