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