Outspoken eurosceptic Nigel Farage has urged Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini not to give in to EU demands, stressing the Italian government should continue to resist the EU and prioritize its own interests.
The former leader of the UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) comments were made in reaction to the European Commission’s decision to block Italy’s budget, warning the government to present a new budget within three weeks or face fines of up to €3.4 billion.
Moreover, Farage hit out at EU “gangsters” for “threatening elected politicians” and interfering in Italy’s domestic affairs.
Deputy PM Salvini, who also serves as the country’s interior minister, remains defiant, insisting his government will not change “even a comma” in the budget despite Brussels’ warning.
This latest standoff follows the Italian government’s row with France and other EU member states over its refusal to allow a migrant boat to dock on its territory, with Salvini pledging not to back down from their anti-immigration policy which proved highly popular among Italians in the 2018 general election.
The dispute also saw French President Emmanuel Macron branded a hypocrite, as he lambasted Italy for turning the migrants away but also refused to allow them into France himself.