Europe’s open-doors immigration policy will lead to a European “Islamic caliphate,” Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini has warned voters ahead of the upcoming European Union election. “For our children, to leave behind an Islamic caliphate with sharia law in our cities is not something I want to do and I’m going to do everything in my power to avert this sad ending for Europe,” he said during a visit to Hungary this week.

Salvini, who also  leads the Italian League party, praised Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s efforts in securing Hungary’s borders and stopping illegal immigration. “We are stopping people entering Hungary and Italy who are not fleeing war. They want to bring the war here,” he added.

The Italian leader is heading an alliance of nationalist parties ahead of the EU parliament election set to take place between May 23-26.

The British newspaper The Independent reported Salvini’s remarks:

Italy’s far-right deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini has claimed that people should vote for nationalist parties in the EU elections as there is a risk of “an Islamic caliphate in Europe.”

The populist politician was discussing the upcoming vote during a visit to Budapest.

He claimed that left-wing leadership in the EU Parliament would lead to such a “caliphate” and declared he would do “everything to save the continent”, according to Daily News Hungary. (…)

The 46-year-old held a joint press conference in Budapest alongside Hungary’s far-right leader Viktor Orban.

Salvini’s remarks predictably angered the mainstream European media, with the UK edition of the Huffington Post calling him the leader of “the proto-fascist League party.” French broadcaster EuroNews ‘fact-checked’ Salvini’s statement, downplaying the Islamist threat posed by mass migration. The broadcaster claimed that the “risk of radicalization” among the asylum-seekers was “not something that can be quantified and therefore verified. The only certainty is that over 99.9% of migrants to Europe have never committed attacks.”

While condemning Salvini as ‘far-right,’ the UK’s Guardian admitted popular support for his nationalist alliance. “Polls suggest far-right and nationalist parties could gain about a quarter of the seats in the European parliament,” the newspaper reported.

The Italian leader was unperturbed by the media outcry. “I am used to attacks from the left, from the left-wing press and television both in Italy and in Europe. They are afraid because we have focused on family, work, youth, environmental protection and security,” he told Hungarian national television. “In Italy, the policy of blocking arrivals has halved the number of deaths and disappearances.”

The leader of Germany’s AfD party, Alice Weidel, lauded Salvini’s comments, adding that “the challenges were too great to allow Brussels to play the waiting game.”

Salvini’s League party has teamed up with Marine Le Pen’s French Rassemblement National (RN) to form a coalition of nationalist parties ahead of the EU vote. So far, seven other parties have joined the nationalist bloc, including Austrian’s Freedom Party (FPÖ) and Germany’s AfD. The Nigel Farage-led Brexit party and Orban’s Fidesz are two prominent anti-EU parties to stay out of Salvini’s alliance.

The right-wing anti-EU parties are set to become the largest group in the next EU parliament—ahead of Chancellor Merkel’s conservative bloc—a recent official poll projects. This could give Salvni’s alliance the ability to block legislation and curtail powers rested in the hands of unelected commissars. This could end up “curbing [the EU’s] liberal orientation and returning power to member states,” the pro-EU think tank European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) warned.


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