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Period of EU Dictate Over, Time to Pursue National Interests - Italy’s PM

© AFP 2022 / Nicholas KammItalian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, DC, October 18, 2016
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, DC, October 18, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stated that the era of the European Union dictate has ended and called for help to "maintain the idea of a strong Italy," which did not seek EU guidelines but carried its "ideas and values to Europe."

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi arrives at the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium October 21, 2016. - Sputnik International
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ROME (Sputnik) — Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Tuesday that the era of the European Union's dictate was over, and Italy should act in accordance with its national interests and not EU demands.

"The era of the [EU] dictate has ended," Renzi said.

He also called for help to "maintain the idea of a strong Italy," which did not seek EU guidelines but carried its "ideas and values to Europe."

In late October, Renzi announced that Rome could veto the EU budget for the following year if the EU countries did not implement earlier decisions on migrant quotas.

Europe has been trying to cope with a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing crisis-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including from Syria, to escape violence and poverty.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaking during a press conference at the Palazzo Chigi in Rome on June 20, 2016 after Italy's populist movement notched up spectacular gains at the municipal elections - Sputnik International
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The European Union adopted a quota system last September that envisages the relocation of 160,000 asylum seekers across the bloc within two years.

The quota system has not been unanimously welcomed by EU members and faced criticism from several EU states primarily from the eastern part of the bloc, such as Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, who have opposed its mandatory nature.

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