18:13 GMT +321 May 2018
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    Matteo Salvini

    Italy's Lega Party Slams EU Official's 'Interference' on Migration, Spending

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    A general election held in Italy earlier this year on March 4 saw the rise of the center-right alliance – dominated by the La Lega party – in addition to other populist and Eurosceptic alliances and parties, such as the Five Star Movement (M5S.)

    Leader of the La Lega Party Matteo Salvini took to social media this morning to slam an EU official for his apparent attempt to interfere in Italy’s internal affairs, particularly the contentious issue of migration.

    Mr. Salvini was reacting to earlier comments by the European Union’s (EU) Immigration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, where he called on Italy to maintain its current stance on migration, in line with the central policy from Brussels.

    “We hope there are no changes on the line of migration policy,” the EU’s immigration commissioner said on Tuesday.

    READ MORE: Italian Election: How Populist Parties Rise to Power

    The tweet posted by Mr. Salvini features a photograph of the union’s immigration commissioner alongside an image of migrants en route to Europe in the Mediterranean Sea.

    The senior Italian politician’s tweet was captioned, “Yet another interference from unelected. We have welcomed and maintained too much, now is the time of legality, security and rejections!”

    In addition to expressing his opposition to a change in Italy’s migrant policy, EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos also said that changes to the country’s national budget or shifts in its economic policies aren’t welcome.

    In another move underscoring the growing and prevailing anti-EU sentiment in Italy, the La Lega Party’s economic spokesperson said on May 15 that it’s time to tell the EU “Italians come first,” and criticized EU legislation which restricts his party’s ability to make significant changes to current levels of spending, as pledged during their election campaign.

    “We need to be able to speak with a single voice, to say to the EU, to which we pay many billions of euros every year, that for us Italians come first,” Claudio Borghi, the party’s economics spokesperson, said today.

    Over two months after the general election, negotiations are still ongoing to form a new coalition government, which will be headed by President Sergio Mattarella. Talks are yielding progress, but it remains unclear exactly what power-sharing agreement will come into effect. 

    READ MORE: Italian Lega Party's Leader Condemns US-Led Airstrikes on Syria As 'Madness'

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    Tags:
    coalition government, Eurosceptic, elections, 2018 Italian elections, La Lega Party, Five Star Movement (M5S), European Union, Dimitris Avramopolous, Matteo Salvini, Italy, Europe
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