Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Saudi Arabia under pressure: Crown Prince defiant over Khashoggi disappearance

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Biking in Cuba, entrepreneurship in Burundi, and more

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: NOLA French Connection Brass Band, Yoko Ono & Neneh Cherry

Read more

FOCUS

US Supreme Court decision boosts anti-abortion activists in California

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Beginning of the end for 'Mutti'? State election reflects Merkel's unpopularity

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Spain's Europe minister rules out new Catalan independence referendum

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Hungary's Orban: What consequences of symbolic EU vote?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

South Sudan: How it won the longest war but lost the peace

Read more

Europe

Macron accepts Orban, Salvini challenge: ‘I will yield nothing to nationalists’

© Ludovic Marin, AFP | France's Emmanuel Macron says he is the "main opponent" to anti-immigration hardliners in Europe.

Video by Clément BONNEROT

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-08-30

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday billed himself as the main opponent to hard-right, anti-immigration parties in Europe, seemingly relishing a challenge from Italy's Matteo Salvini and Hungary's Viktor Orban.

Two of Europe's most vocal anti-migrant politicians, the Hungarian prime minister and Italian interior minister on Tuesday criticised Macron as they vowed to work together to pursue a new hardline approach to migrants seeking to settle in the EU.

"There are currently two camps in Europe and one is headed by Macron," Orban said at a press conference after holding talks with Salvini in Milan.

"He is at the head of the political forces supporting immigration. On the other hand, we want to stop illegal immigration," the Hungarian leader added.

When asked about the comments during a visit to Denmark on Wednesday, Macron told reporters: “If they wanted to see me as their main opponent, they were right to do so."

France’s pro-European president added: “It is clear that today a strong opposition is building up between nationalists and progressives and I will yield nothing to nationalists and those who advocate hate speech.”

Macron has sharply criticised countries who refuse to cooperate on migration, saying those who benefit from the EU but "claim national self-interest when it comes to the issue of migrants" should have sanctions imposed on them.

The French leader has been especially critical of Orban’s Hungary, which has refused to take part in a European Union scheme designed to ease the pressure on countries like Italy by reallocating migrants across the bloc.

At the Milan talks on Tuesday, Salvini noticeably refrained from criticising Orban for his refusal to take in asylum seekers, instead urging Macron to stop turning back migrants at France's border with Italy.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2018-08-29

  • ITALY - HUNGARY

    Orban and Salvini unite against Macron at Italy talks in anti-migrant push

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Migrants disembark after stand-off as Italy's Salvini faces probe

    Read more

  • MIGRANTS

    Migrant row on the agenda as Macron hosts Italian leader

    Read more

COMMENT(S)