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Lazslo Kover and Matteo Salvini. Photo: MTI

Salvini to visit Budapest before European elections

The Hungarian House Speaker held talks with Matteo Salvini, Italy's interior minister and head of the League party, last week, prior to the launch of the new European Party Family.

Published: April 8, 2019, 9:40 am

    The talks centred on illegal migration and the future of Europe, with special focus on the issues of “helping families or promoting immigration and replacing the population”, Laszlo Kover told Hungarian public media in Rome.

    Kover congratulated Salvini’s efforts of stemming the tide of illegal migrants at sea, and added that Hungary had demonstrated that migration could be stopped on land too.

    Kover also said that Hungary’s ruling Fidesz “sees its future in the European People’s Party” but the idea that Fidesz should quit the EPP was not raised at the talks. Salvini and his party wish to “stay partners and allies” with Fidesz.

    According to Kover, “Fidesz was not planning to” leave the EPP. The two parties share the position that the EPP should be “more open to political forces on the right, too, not only on the left”, Kover explained, arguing that it could enhance EPP’s reputation and open up alternatives to voters.

    Salvini could visit Hungary later in April or early May, at the invitation of Sandor Pinter, Hungary’s interior minister, Kover said. On Thursday, Hungarian media reported that Salvini will be visiting Budapest before the European elections.

    Kover had talks with Maria Elisabetta Alberta Casellati, president of the Senate on ways to build closer ties between the parliaments of Hungary and Italy.

    During talks with Roberto Fico, a member of the Five Star Movement, Kover urged cooperation concerning the EU’s next budget aimed at avoiding cuts to the community’s structural funds and common agricultural policy financing. Kover also met with with Senator Maurizio Gasparri, delegated by Forza Italia, the head of the Senate’s immunity committee.

    The Italian party wants Fidesz to join the new European cooperation in time for the European Parliamentary election, the Austrian daily Die Presse reported.

    According to the Italian press, up to twenty parties are invited to join, including Fidesz, Le Pen’s National Front, the German AfD, the Freedom Party of Austria, the Dutch Geert Wilders and the Swedish Democrats.

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