Minister questions Salvini's wooing of Orban

Minister questions Salvini's wooing of Orban

Interior minister Matteo Salvini's courtship of Hungary's anti-migrant premier Viktor Orban is "highly contradictory," Italy's transport minister Danilo Toninelli said on Friday after Salvini met Orban in Budapest and visited his government's southern border fence with Serbia.

"Agreements should be made with (migrants') countries of origin and with transit countries," Toninelli, a member of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement told Italy's Radio24.

"Making deals with European political forces that tell us that we are on our own when it comes to managing migration is highly contradictory," he added.

Salvini, who heads Italy’s far-right League, is trying to put together a Europe-wide alliance of nationalist, anti-immigration parties, and visited Hungary on Thursday in a bid to win over the far-right Orban to his cause.

During the visit, Salvini praised Orban's government for securing its 600-kilometre-long southern border and "knowing how to manage it "rapidly and effectively, claiming that Italy and Hungary's governments had "identical positions" on migration.

A bone of contention between Salvini and Orban is the issue of how to manage migrants already in Europe. Salvini favours a European redistribution quota, while Orban's government has vehemently opposed such a move.

However, Salvini on Thursday appeared to back Orban and called for forced repatriation of failed asylum seekers who are already in Italy.

The two hard-right leaders also agree that no more migrants must be allowed into Europe.