Poles signal caution over alliance with Italy's Salvini

Poles signal caution over alliance with Italy's Salvini

Salvini, whose anti-immigrant League is the most popular party in Italy, said his talks on Wednesday with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), had gone well.

Poland and Italy could work together on a new Europe, Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said in Warsaw on Wednesday.

However, Mr Salvini, who shut his country's ports to migrants last summer, provoked a government crisis by stating: "Whether it's eight or 88 migrants, I am not authorising anyone to enter Italy".

Lawmaker Witold Waszczykowski, a former foreign minister, said "the only arrangements that have been made concern further meetings and further consultations, but there are no arrangements for a deal, a creation in advance of alliances or common clubs in the European Parliament".

Italy's hardline interior minister Matteo Salvini has rejected a European deal to end a deadlock that left 49 migrants adrift in the Mediterranean for almost three weeks.

The eurosceptic governments in Rome and Warsaw are both keen to repatriate some European Union powers from Brussels to national capitals and hope like-minded parties will do well in the May elections, which will follow Britain's planned exit from the bloc in March.

During a visit to Warsaw ahead of May elections to the European Parliament, Salvini told reporters that the two countries would be key players in a "new spring" in Europe.

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All three leaders - Orban, Kaczynski and Salvini - say they want to keep out migrants to preserve Europe's Christian heritage and protect their citizens' security.

"In Europe, one has always spoken about a French-German axis".

Both populist governments have been embroiled in conflicts with Brussels over topics of national sovereignty.

As for Salvini's coalition partner, Luigi Di Maio, he is preparing an election manifesto with European populist groups that are in coherence with his M5S.

"There should not be this different treatment by Brussels", Morawiecki said, adding that "so with Mr Salvini we are on the same page with regards to many European matters".

The European Parliament elections, being held across the EU from May 23-26, are shaping up into a battle between liberal pro-EU forces backed by leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron, and populist euroskeptics represented by Salvini and far-right leaders including France's Marine Le Pen.

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