Budapest, October 30 (MTI) – Italy faces public finance problems and the challenge of illegal migration but Hungary can defend itself from both, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told MTI on Sunday, in response to a recent remark by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Renzi told an election rally on Saturday that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and all countries which “arrived from another history than ours” should not forget that Italy is a net contributor to the European Union and takes a stand for guaranteeing freedom for all who have lost it. Renzi said that Orbán should “wash his mouth out before speaking about Italy.”
Earlier this week Renzi said Hungary should have its EU funding cut if it refuses to take in a fair quota of migrants, to which Orban replied that the problem was Italy itself and Renzi had “good reason to be uptight”, referring to Italy’s budgetary constraints and the wave of migrants arriving at its shores.
“Hungary can defend itself from both of them but admits that it is not an easy task,” Szijjártó said in a statement.
Hungary “does not need alms” from the Italians, he said adding that the EU funds arrive in Hungary under valid agreements. He noted that upon its EU accession Hungary had opened up markets to western Europe, including to Italian businesses, from which they are making “serious profits”.
Hungary does not ask anything else from Italy than to observe the European treaties and defend its borders from illegal immigration, Szijjártó said.