Rome, June 21 (IANS/AKI) The European Union is facing “an historic moment” and the bloc must respond to a new political climate and “improve” its security and immigration policies or lose Italian funding, Italy’s anti-migrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday.
“Change is in the air in Europe.
“We trust in the good sense of European countries, also because we would not like to see Italy’s funding of the EU disputed,” he told reporters here after a meeting with his Austrian counterpart Herbet Kickl and Vice Chancellor and Civil Service and Sport mMnister Heinz Christian Strache.
The EU’s goal must be to change its current rules on migration and asylum – reforms that will benefit “the few true refugees” who are losing out with uncontrolled immigration, he claimed.
“We are living in an historic moment because Europe has never had a greater opportunity to change for the better in terms of security, the fight against terrorism and protection of our external borders,” Salvini said.
Salvini who took office in early June, has vowed to deport half a million illegal immigrants from Italy, where over 700,000 boat migrants have arrived since 2014.