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President Macron compared to a lab rat by Salvini. Photo supplied

Salvini announces ‘European Spring’ on Poland visit

Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said he wanted Italy and Poland to unite to create a "European spring" that could end many years of French and German domination on the continent.

Published: January 11, 2019, 10:01 am

    Warsaw

    At a press conference with the Polish Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński on Wednesday in Warsaw, Salvini said that Poland and Italy will be “part of Europe’s new spring, the renaissance of European values”.

    This spring will create a “new equilibrium” that will reduce the dominance of France and Germany, Salvini explained.

    The leader of the Lega Nord said that the upcoming European elections, scheduled for May, could lead to a Europe not “run by bureaucrats”.

    Salvini, who wants close alliances with other Eurosceptic parties throughout Europe in the run-up to the elections, was in Warsaw for talks with members of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) in Poland, with a similar course against immigration and the agenda of Brussels.

    At the meeting, Brudziński praised Salvini’s immigration policy and his decision to close Italian ports to migrant boats, saying that Poland is also campaigning for “strengthening the borders”.

    Salvini’s League Party formed a coalition government with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement last June. Its leader Luigi Di Maio has also befriended other anti-establishment parties across the continent and has held meetings with a number of party leaders from Poland, Croatia and Finland who share similar values.

    Earlier this week, Salvini and Di Maio were both involved in a public feud with French officials after they had expressed their support for the French protest movement Yellow Vests. The grass-roots protests against the Macron government have showed no signs of stopping.

    In his public blog, Di Maio called on protesters to “not let up,” saying he plans to meet with some of the activists in the next few days, while Salvini criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for “acting against his own people”.

    French Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau expressed her anger in response by telling the Italian duo to “go home” before commenting on French affairs.

    However, this was not the first time that Salvini has publicly criticized French officials. In December, he called Macron a “laboratory mouse elected to hold the elite political system together”.

    At a press conference with the leader of the Rassemblement National Marine Le Pen in October last year, Salvini promised that with the rise of nationalist parties a new era of “common sense” would dawn on Europe.

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