Spiegel Online: Toughest Adversary in Europe

Italy’s interior minister is a populist who opposes immigration, firing up crowds by suggesting the European Union has treated its third largest economy as “garbage.” His party, Lega Nord, is a junior partner in the coalition government, but he is the most outspoken leader with tough talk crafted perhaps to distract Italians from their debt challenge – standing at more than 134 percent per GDP, compared to the EU’s at 88 percent. Matteo Salvini proposes admitting only war refugees and deporting more than a half million other immigrants from Italy. The anti-immigrant sentiment adds pressure to German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Germany’s interior minister also proposes closing borders to migrants. “The German chancellor is concerned that such a move could further fragment the EU and ultimately lead to the reestablishment of borders within the bloc,” writes Walter Mayr for Spiegel Online. By touting an “Italy first” policy, lobbing insults at fellow EU member and befriending Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Salvini could be a threat for both the EU and NATO. – YaleGlobal

Spiegel Online: Toughest Adversary in Europe

Italian Interior Minister Salvini – populist and fearless tactician – and hardline approach to migration threaten Merkel's tenure as chancellor and the EU
Walter Mayr
Friday, June 29, 2018

Read the article from Spiegel Online about Italy’s populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.

Walter Mayr has been writing for Der Spiegel since 1990, reporting on the wars in the former Yugoslavia and trouble spots worldwide. Mayr led the offices in Vienna and in Moscow, before moving to Rome in 2013.

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