FURIOUS Italian leader Matteo Renzi today threatened to fatally cripple the entire European Union project unless Brussels bureaucrats do something about ending the Muslim invasion.
In an extraordinary threat the apoplectic PM vowed to veto the EU budget and starve Brussels of taxpayers’ cash, inducing complete paralysis, if the refugee chaos is not fixed by the end of this year. A visibly angry Mr Renzi warned that Italy “cannot survive” another influx of migrants in 2017 similar to the one it faced this year and blasted Europe’s “inability to show solidarity” on the issue. His remarkable threat marks another ratcheting up of the growing tensions between Rome and Brussels, whose friendship has been stretched to breaking point by the migration crisis.
Italy has become the focal point for millions of migrants and refugees hoping to reach Europe ever since the route to Greece was effectively cut off by a repatriation deal with Turkey. More than 155,000 Muslim freeloaders posing as asylum seekers have arrived in the country this year alone after crossing the Mediterranean from Libya on rickety smugglers’ boats.
But Austria, Switzerland and France to the north have shored up their borders meaning almost all of those have become trapped in Italy, placing a huge strain on services and local communities. Speaking to the talk show Porta a Porta last night, Mr Renzi blasted: “Either we block the influx by 2017 or Italy will not handle another year like the past year.”
And he warned: “Right now we can manage it. Winter is coming and sea conditions will worsen, but we have six months maximum.”Mr Renzi also strongly hinted that he will veto the EU budget in retaliation for the critical situation unless Brussels steps in and forces member states to take in their fair share of migrants.
He blasted: “If the Eastern countries who are growing with the help of our money do not open their doors to migrants as has been agreed, then we’ll put a veto on the future European budget.”An EU Commission to impose migrant quotas on countries has run into difficulty following furious opposition from eastern European countries and a less than enthusiastic response from others already struggling with the pressures of mass migration.
A number of member states including Hungary, which recently held a referendum where 98 per cent of voters rejected migrant quotas, are even taking legal proceedings against the EU in a bid to hold up the scheme. And Italy’s interior minister, Angelino Alfano, backed up Mr Renzi’s extraordinary ultimatum to veto the EU budget and withhold funds from Brussels unless it resolves the impasse.
He said: “We must use the veto. We give our money so that, in exchange for these duties, the others honour their commitments. “Money does not go through walls. You know what? If they don’t help us, we will not give more money.” Referring to the country’s net budget contribution under its former leader, the technocrat Mario Monti, he added: “The Monti government determined that we give 20 billion [euros] and receive 12, but if Hungary and Slovakia give us moral lessons about our money and then refuse to give us a hand on migrants, that doesn’t work.”