Salvini meets Orban on migrants in Milan

Don't give way, we're with you Hungary PM tels interior minister

(ANSA) - Milan, August 28 - Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini met for an hour in Milan Tuesday to discuss migrants and the EU.
    Salvini after the talks they had been "a long positive and constructive discussion, not only on migrants".
    Salvini said that "we are close to a historic turning point for the future of Europe: today starts a series of meetings, there will be many others".
    Salvini said that judicial probes would not make him change his mind about the need to stop migrants coming to Italy by sea.
    "The left can't decide who I can see," he said referring to protests about the meeting.
    Orban told Salvini that "you mustn't give way, we're behind you" in trying to defend Italy's maritime borders.
    "Europe's security depends on your success", he said.
    Orban said "when they were all attacking me at the European Parliament, Salvini defended me, I won't forget it".
    Orban said Salvini "is my hero" ahead of the meeting.
    "I'd like to meet him personally. He is my hero," said Orban as he left a Milan restaurant where he had lunch.
    "He is a companion of destiny of mine, I'm very curious to know his personality.
    "I'm a great admirer and I have some experiences that I could perhaps share with him. I have that feeling".
    Orban said Salvini was the "first politician in the Mediterranean who has taken on the responsibility" of trying to stop migrants coming to Europe by sea.
    "Hungary is attacked by the EU because we have shown that borders can be defended.
    "Hungary is proof that migrants can be stopped on dry land, and that's where Salvini's mission comes in.
    "He should show that these migrants can also be stopped at sea". Orban said he had asked his friend, former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, for permission to meet Salvini. "Do you support the fact that I should meet Salvini?" Orban said he had asked Berlusconi.
    "'Certainly', he replied to me," said the Hungarian premier.
    Orban said his relations with the previous, centre-left Democratic Party (PD) led government had been "extremely bad".
    Salvini was asked what he thought about being Orban's hero.
    He said the description had been "wise words".
    Salvini is set to meet Orban on the issue of migrants, where they both favour a hardline stance.
    Orban has put off border walls against migrants while Salvini has refused to allow some ships to offload rescued migrants in Italy.
    Politico said Tuesday "Orban and Salvini, master and pupil of EU populism, the Milan meeting worries Brussels and Rome".
    Salvini said ahead of the Orban meeting that "now the left only exists to insult me, to defend the EU of the bankers and immigration without limits.
    "PS in Hungary unemployment is under 5%, the flat tax for businesses is at 9% and for people at 15%, immigration is under control and the economy is growing by 4%.
    Premier Giuseppe Conte, meanwhile, met Czech Premier Andrey Babis, another member of the Visegrad Group, in Rome.
    Conte told Babis that the redistribution of migrants in the EU should not be "demonised".
    The Visegrad Group, which is generally Euroskeptic and rejects EU solidarity on migrants, consists of Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia, led by populist leaders.
    Salvini is leader of the anti-migrant Euroskeptic League party, which has been in government with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) for three months, as western Europe's first populist government.
    Leftwing and rights groups demonstrated near the Orban-Salvini meeting under the slogan "Europe Without Walls".
    Some 100 migrants who landed from the coast guard ship Diciotti after a 10-day standoff with the EU left a hotspot in Messina Tuesday for a Catholic-run reception centre in Rocca di Papa south of Rome.
    The migrants will get there after a 10-12-hour journey, sources said.
    The Democratic Party (PD) former mayor of the Lazio town, Pasquale Boccia, said: "it can't be done, there is rancour on the part of the residents, which is turning into hatred, we're already hosting enough of them".
    Th head of the cooperative that runs the migrant centre in Rocca di Papa, Domenico Alagia, said "they will remain a few days in the centre and then will be welcomed by the diocese which said they were prepared to take them around Italy".
    Another 39 remained in the hotspot in the Sicilian city, waiting to be transferred to Albania and Ireland, the only two nations who have said they will take some of the Diciotti migrants.
    Most of the migrants will be moved to the Catholic Church centre near Rome, the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI) told a news agency on Monday.
    "They will be moved as soon as possible, in the coming hours, to the centre run by Auxiluim, pending their transfer to the many dioceses who have given their availability: Turin, Brescia, Bologna, Agrigento, Cassano all'Jonio, Rossano Calabro, to cite only those I know about," CEI's head of social communications, Father Ivan Maffeis, told the SIR religious news agency.
    The stand-off came after Interior Minister Matteo Salvini kept the migrants aboard saying they would not land until the EU agreed to take them.
    Salvini is under investigation by an Agrigento prosecutor for alleged kidnapping, illegal arrest and abuse of office.
    Albanian Premier Edi Rama said Tuesday Italy had been left alone by the EU to cope with the migrant emergency.
    Speaking in Genoa after agreeing to take in 20 Eritrean migrants from the Diciotti after the standoff, Rama said "Italy has been the most welcoming country in Europe in the last 30 years, but it has been left alone and nerves are no longer so solid, we intervened hoping that Europe would do something concrete to resolve the problem".
    "We (Albanians) were once the Eritreans. Italy was our promised land and the Italians did not ever leave us in the middle of the sea". Migrants "should be drowned in the open sea", a doctor at Spoleto hospital said on her Facebook page recently, sources said Tuesday.
    The doctor works in the ER ward at the Umbrian hospital.
    Il Messaggero newspaper said she called migrants "n**gers with Nike shoes and full bellies" and said they had scabies because of the "violence they perpetrated".
    The local health authority told ANSA it had started disciplinary proceedings against her.
    The doctor made her remarks in a Facebook group with some 38,000 doctors on it.
    Her profile had been deleted Tuesday morning.


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