09:24 GMT +314 November 2018
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    Nigel Farage, United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) member and MEP waits for the start of a debate on the last European Summit at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, October 26, 2016.

    Former UKIP Leader Farage Urges Salvini 'Not to Give in' to EU 'Gangsters'

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    The Italian coalition government has been locking horns with Brussels since it was formed earlier this year, with the two sides primarily clashing over their varying stances on migration and economic policy.

    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.

    READ MORE: Debt Pressure on Italy Mounts Amid S&P Outlook Downgrade

    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.

    Numerous elements of the Italian government’s budget have angered the EU, as they break the bloc’s fiscal rules, including the scrapping of austerity measures implemented by Brussels in 2011 and plans to spend more than EU rules allow.

    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.

    READ MORE: Alarm Raised Over Drug Trafficking Suspected at Ethnic Shops in Italy

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    Tags:
    budget, migrants, 2018 Italian elections, UK Independence Party (UKIP), European Union, Matteo Salvini, Emmanuel Macron, Nigel Farage, Italy, Brussels, France
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