Macron says he’s en­emy num­ber one for Or­ban, Salvini

The Nation - - WORLD -

FRENCH PRES­I­DENT Em­manuel Macron has upped his war of words with the na­tion­al­ist lead­ers of Italy and Hun­gary, say­ing they were right to see him as their “main op­po­nent” on mi­gra­tion.

His com­ment came af­ter Hun­gar­ian Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Or­ban and Italy’s far-right In­te­rior Min­is­ter Mat­teo Salvini launched an anti-mi­gra­tion man­i­festo, namecheck­ing Macron as their ad­ver­sary.

“There are cur­rently two camps in Europe and one is headed by Macron,” Or­ban said af­ter talks with Salvini in Mi­lan on Tues­day.

“He is at the head of the po­lit­i­cal forces sup­port­ing im­mi­gra­tion. On the other hand, we want to stop il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion.”

Macron has him­self passed tough leg­is­la­tion on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion but blasted Italy and Hun­gary for their un­com­pro­mis­ing stance on mi­grants while read­ily ac­cept­ing EU de­vel­op­ment fund­ing.

“I will give no ground to na­tion­al­ists and those who spread words of hate. If they want to see me as their main op­po­nent, they’re right,” he re­torted on a visit to Copen­hagen.

“In the com­ing days and months we will have to take far-reach­ing de­ci­sions on mi­gra­tion which will re­quire a se­ri­ous and re­spon­si­ble at­ti­tude, with a gen­uine pol­icy both to­wards coun­tries of ori­gin and in­ter­nally,” he added.

In Paris, For­eign Min­is­ter JeanYves Le Drian joined in the dis­pute say­ing France would not pay for coun­tries which failed to re­spect EU prin­ci­ples and fo­cused on the money.

“We are not ready to pay for that Europe. We have to say it clearly,” he told a gath­er­ing of French am­bas­sadors.

“Our vi­sion of the EU is a premier cir­cle of al­liances and val­ues is not com­pat­i­ble with gov­ern­ments who do not re­spect the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples and do not feel at all part of com­mu­nity sol­i­dar­ity,” Le Drian said.

EU lead­ers are set to meet on Septem­ber 20 in the Aus­trian city of Salzburg to dis­cuss mi­gra­tion, an is­sue that has bit­terly di­vided the bloc.

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