Salvini: Italy, Poland Want 'New Spring' in Europe

Jaroslaw Kaczynski at unveiling of new monument to his late brother Lech in Warsaw on 10 November

While Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday that Italy was willing to accept from 10 to 15 migrants, Salvini, known for his tough stance on migration, pointed out that it was exclusively the Interior Ministry that could deal with migration matters, also pledging that he would never agree to accept new migrants.

"Poland and Italy will be part of the new spring of Europe, the renaissance of European values", he told a press conference with Poland's Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski.

"The Europe that will come to form in June (after May's European Parliament elections) will lead us all rather than the one that exists today and is run by bureaucrats", said Salvini, who heads Italy's far-right League Party.

Edit Zgut, a political scientist at Warsaw University's Centre for Europe, also highlighted the contrasting views of Salvini and Kaczynski towards Russian Federation.

The vote could see nationalist and far-right parties across Europe upset the bloc's balance of power now dominated by the centre-right.

"The Polish-Italian or Warsaw-Rome axis is one of the greatest developments with which the year could have started, so I have great hopes for this", Orban said. "We will provide the blood for a new European community based on respect, work, growth and equality".

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

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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 a series of disputes with Brussels, notably over its tough immigration policy and efforts to implement a big-spending budget to implement the ruling coalition's populist measures.

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

Earlier on Wednesday, Morawiecki said his government shared "many" of the criticisms levelled at the European Union by Salvini, accusing Brussels of discriminating against some countries.

"Different member states are treated quite differently in very similar situations, so this probably a definition of discrimination, isn't it?"

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.

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