Foreign Affairs

Italy PM Laments “Lack Of Solidarity” And Threatens Visegrad Countries To “Veto EU Budget”

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has threatened to veto the EU’s budget over a lack of solidarity from Central European member states, including Hungary, as Italy continues to struggle with a huge influx of migrants, news agency AFP reported.

“We give 20 billion euros to Europe so that we can get back 12 — and if Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia want to preach at us about immigrants, allow Italy to say that the system is no longer working,” Renzi told RAI 1 television. Asked if he was ready to use Italy’s veto to torpedo the EU’s budget, he said: “Yes, absolutely.” Matteo Renzi railed against Central European countries that have closed off their borders to migrants and refused to take in asylum seekers under an EU quota plan as Europe battles its worst migration crisis since World War II. Referring to Hungary’s anti-migration border fence, Renzi said: “If you build walls against immigrants, you can forget about seeing Italian money. If the immigrants don’t go there, the money won’t go there either.”

In response to Renzi’s harsh remarks, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that the Italian Premier “completely misunderstands the situation.” “The Central European countries are entitled to receive EU funds, it is granted by the EU law”, he explained. As part of their EU accession in 2004, Central European member states have opened their markets for Western companies, including the Italian ones, which realize a huge profit in this region, Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI. “Matteo Renzi slams the Central European countries, which comply the common EU regulations, while Italy fails to fulfill its Schengen duties, Szijjártó said, adding that “if Italy could protect its own borders, the migrant pressure on the European Union would be smaller.”

via AFP and MTI