Poles signal caution over alliance with Italy's Salvini

Elias Hubbard
January 11, 2019

"We are preparing a new equilibrium and new energy in Europe and Poland and Italy, absolutely, will lead this new European spring", Salvini said in the Polish capital Warsaw, adding that "we have a new plan for Europe" meant to replace the dominant "French-German axis".

In August, the Italian populist met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the pair announcing that they would form a populist front ahead of the European Parliament elections to challenge Macron's vision of a united states of Europe.

"I would like there to be a common alliance of those who want to save Europe", Mr Salvini said Wednesday during a visit to Warsaw, according to La Repubblica.

While Salvini has for months repeated that Italian ports are closed to migrants, Di Maio last week said that Italy should take in several women and children rescued before Christmas but stranded at sea after no port would allow them to dock.

Both populist governments have been embroiled in conflicts with Brussels over topics of national sovereignty.

"In Europe, one has always spoken about a French-German axis", Salvini said.

But the ruling party is facing sharp rebukes by its domestic critics for its apparent openness to Salvini.

"With the numbers of today's Italian and Polish delegations, we are determined and we will therefore work to be present everywhere".

"I'd like to create a pact, an alliance for everyone who wants to save Europe, the more of us, the better", Salvini said, adding that his party would draw up a 10-point plan to present to other European Union countries.

Salvini could try to unite the Europe of Nations and Freedom bloc, to which his League belongs, with the European Conservatives and Reformists group which includes PiS to create a single, powerful eurosceptic force in the EU Parliament.

Rome has had numerous spats with Brussels, notably over immigration and the country's efforts to implement a big-spending budget to apply populist measures.

Salvini said he had also held talks with PiS Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini hit back on Thursday after the Maltese government expressed "disdain and surprise at the inaccurate allegations" it said were made by him over the management of asylum seekers. Morawiecki told USA broadcaster CNBC.

Warsaw has since backed out of its reform aimed at retiring Supreme Court judges deemed by the EU's top court to undermine judicial independence.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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