Foreign Affairs

Italian PM Matteo Renzi on Refugee Crisis: Don’t Build Walls with EU Money

In an interview on the Italian RTI radio station’s evening political program, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi reiterated his threat to veto the upcoming European budget if member states such as Hungary continue their hardline policies towards the ongoing refugee crisis.

“If certain member states of the European Union insist on building walls, and are only in solidarity with the rest of Europe when they are receiving money [from the EU], then we are prepared to veto the [European] Union’s budget,” the Italian Prime Minister said.

Mr. Renzi has expressed similar views in the past, lamenting the “lack of solidarity” toward Europe being shown by Visegrad Group countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary last month (for more on Renzi’s October comments, check out our article here).

The Italian PM added that the project of European solidarity has its rules, and that the real Europe is not one of “egotism and walls.”

In another talk yesterday, Mr. Renzi reiterated this view, saying that “We refuse to allow these countries to use money that we pay into the EU to build walls.”

According to the European Union’s official website, in 2015 Italy received over 12.338 billion euros of EU spending, while contributing 14.232 billion euros to the EU budget. By contrast, in the same year Hungary received 5.629 billion euros of EU spending, while contributing only 946 million euros to the EU budget.

Via MTI and Europa.eu

Image via The Telegraph