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Italy and Hungary join to form an anti-migration alliance

Hungarian and Italian leaders meet in Milan with the 2019 EU Parliament elections in mind. “There are two sides at the moment in Europe”, Hungarian President Orbán said.

SOURCES Protestante Digital AUTHOR Jonatán Soriano, Evangelical Focus MILAN 29 AUGUST 2018 17:25 h GMT+1
Viktor Orbán and Matteo Salvini during their meeting in Milan. / Facebook Orbán Viktor

The fracture of Europe regarding the migratory crisis is growing ahead of the elections of the European Parliament to be held in May 2019.

The last episode has been the meeting on Tuesday in Milan between the President of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, and the Vice President and Minister of Interior of the Italian government, Matteo Salvini.

The meeting, which aimed to show strength before the eyes of France and Germany, has concluded with the two leaders expressing their intention to join forces in their pressures to Brussels to shield the borders of the continent.

Orbán, who has spoken out publicly against the reception of people since the begining of migration crisis, has reinforced the borders of Hungary, directly closing some to the arrival of undocumented migrants.

Salvini, in the government for barely half a year, has already taken controversial decisions, such as preventing the disembarkation of the Aquarius, with 629 people on board.



Salvini is my hero”, Orbán said at the end of the meeting. “He is showing that immigration can be stopped even in the middle of the sea. Nobody had done it before him”.

Meanwhile, Salvini pointed out that Hungary is “a country that shows that you can grow not by cutting and sacrificing, but by investing, and Italy respects the absolute right of Hungary to protect its borders”.

Orbán is the leader of Fidesz, a party that belongs to the European People's Party, which is currently the largest in the European Parliament. Salvini is the one who has led La Liga party to the Italian government.

The party belongs to Europe of Nations and Freedom, a minority group in Europe, which participated in the Italian elections in coalition with Forza Italia, the party of Silvio Berlusconi, also a member of the European People's Party.



The differences of both Orbán and Salvini with the German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU, also in the European People's Party), Angela Merkel, on the reception and resettlement guidelines agreed by the countries of the European Union, would probaly provoke an ideological crisis within the largest political group of the continent right now.

The setbacks with Merkel and Brussels, have not been the only ones that Orbán and Salvini use to justify a possible alliance against migration.

In recent months, the Italian politician has criticized French President Macron, demanding that he show solidarity with southern Mediterranean countries like Italy. Orbán supported Salvini on that.



“There are two sides at the moment in Europe. He is the leader of those parties who back migration to Europe, and on the other side there’s us, who want to stop illegal migration”, Orbán said on Tuesday about Macron.

He added that “European elections are coming. We want to change a lot of things We need a new Commission and a new Parliament that take a definite stance in favor of defending frontiers and stopping migration”.

That is why they are working to create a future alliance “that excludes socialists and the left, that brings back to the center the values and identity that their respective political parties represent, to join different energies with a common goal”, Salvini said.



“The Fidesz campaign was built on a few very clear, concise and targeted messages. What was unique this time is that these messages didn’t touch on economic issues, analysing results or propagating the programme of the party. Instead, they were focusing on identifying the enemies – the EU, George Soros, the UN and Muslim migrants – for the Hungarian people and then positioning Orbán as the saviour and protector of the nation”, Hungarian pastor and church planter Attila Nyari told Evangelical Focus.

According to Vice President of the Italian Evangelical Alliance (AEI), Leonardo de Chirico, “Europe has not decided yet what it wants to be and to do”.

“We have a common currency but no identity nor vision for the future. In this uncertainty, the fear of the foreigner comes in as a kind of scape-goat”, he pointed out in an interview with Spanish news website Protestante Digital.

Meanwhile, the AEI President, Giacomo Ciccone, summarized the Italian situation saying: “I don't know if we are dealing with the 'modern barbarians' (as The Financial Times puts it) but certainly a new phase of Italian history is about to begin”.




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EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.