Orbán after meeting Salvini: Salvini's success is Hungary's national interest
Matteo Salvini, the notorious leader of Italy's right-wing populist League party and Minister of Interior Affairs of Italy visited Hungary on Thursday upon the invitation of his Hungarian counterpart, Sándor Pintér.
Matteo Salvini tweeted that he's arriving in Hungary to build a new Europe.
The Italian minister then proceeded to meet the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán next to Hungary's southern border where the two posed for pictures in one of the watchtowers erected along the barbed wire fences, as seen in Salvini's Facebook post:
Fidesz is a member of the European People's Party, although their membership was suspended this March following several EPP members calling for the expulsion of Fidesz due to the Hungarian party's anti-democratic practices - the EPP's Political Assembly ultimately decided to only suspend the membership of Fidesz until an EPP evaluation committee dubbed the "three wise men" completes a report that determines whether or not Fidesz is compatible with the values of the EPP and of the European Union.
Initially, Fidesz took a strong stance beside the EPP, but times seem to be slowly changing. In an interview with La Stampa, Viktor Orbán characterised Salvini as the "hero who stopped migration by the sea," saying he believes the EPP should be more involved with right-wing political forces, which is why he hopes that Salvini's new formation will prove to be strong. When asked by Deutsche Welle, the Hungarian government's spokesperson declined to comment on the goal of Salvini's visit, but a right-wing populist alliance might be on the horizon.
Despite being officially invited my IM Sándor Pintér, Salvini made no secret of his intention to use the meeting to build a political alliance with Viktor Orbán. Salvini announced his plans of the European Alliance of Peoples and Nations in early April - since then, besides Salvini's League, only the German AfD, the Austrian Freedom Party, and a Danish party joined EAPN - the Hungarian party was invited to the first congress of the right-wing populist alliance in April, but Fidesz did not attend then.
Salvini's press conference with Sándor Pintér
The two ministers mutually commended each other's governments at a press conference held on Thursday. Journalists did not have an opportunity to ask questions.
Salvini said he had an interesting visit to the Hungarian border with Viktor Orbán, and commended the Hungarian government's quick and efficient actions of erecting defences alongside the 600-kilometre southern section of Hungary's borders, thus stopping human trafficking.
Hungary's Interior Minister Sándor Pintér said Italy's deeds serve not only to protect the interests of Italy but to protect the interests of all EU member states as well, and that the two ministers
share a common vision with regards to the protection of Europe's borders, and share a common vision on how to stop masses of people, terrorists, and other undesirable individuals from entering the territory of Italy, Hungary, and Europe.
Matteo Salvini and Viktor Orbán cryptic about their possible cooperation
At their joint press conference, Viktor Orbán said both Italy and Hungary are committed to stopping the "migrant invasion" that is washing over Europe. Orbán mentioned their visit to the southern border and said that he respects Salvini, as the success of his experiment to stop migration over the sea is Hungary's national interest. Orbán talked about a plan to set up a European committee comprised of the member states' ministers of interior affairs - this committee could take the issue of migration away from the European Commission, and could give money to the states that actually protect the borders of Europe. Orbán said:
The citizens of Europe are better off by listening to Hungary and Italy in this matter instead of President Macron.
Salvini called Orbán a friend with whom they agree that Europe has to be made more secure. He said that he is respecting the Pope by putting his words into practice - he noted that the policy of open ports has led to people drowning in the sea, while his policies cut the number of deaths in the Mediterranean by half. Salvini also said that the media is attacking Orbán while they should praise him, as the question is not "how to distribute illegal migrants, but how to step up against third world countries in order to protect the borders of Europe." He added:
May 27 will open the door to another kind of history for Europe and the people of Europe.
The question regarding the further cooperation of Orbán and Salvini was left open, with both parties postponing the answer until after the European elections, but Orbán said that:
We are openly seeking the ways of cooperation with Mr. Salvini,"
He said that Fidesz's membership in the European People's Party depends upon the direction the group takes, as there are pro- and anti-immigration forces present in the party. Orbán wants the group to open towards Salvini's currently forming political block, but as Orbán said, the EPP is "not willing and not open" to take part in that cooperation. When a journalist asked if Orbán would be open to working together with German far-right party AfD, Orbán said:
"In due course."
The Hungarian Prime Minister also said that he intends to cooperate with people who have vitality and a willingness to act, however, Brussels is tired: Those within the "Brussels bubble" have forgotten about the needs of the citizens according to Orbán, and he wants to see European leaders that have a goal in politics, that have a goal in life, and he's happy to see parties that want to do something instead of engaging in the usual "eurobabble."
Salvini confirmed that the elections must come first before any talks of cooperation, but said that it is indeed possible to bring a new alliance to the European Parliament, a new alliance whose members hold the future of Europe dear, because otherwise, Europe will turn into a caliphate and Sharia law will be introduced.
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