Italians threaten to defy EU rules by kicking out 500,000 immigrants, tearing up spending plans and forging links with Russia

Brussels was on alert last night as a populist coalition in Italy threatens to tear up EU rules on immigration and the economy.

 

The country’s president Sergio Mattarella will today be asked to approve the formation of the coalition, whose manifesto includes deporting half a million illegal immigrants, scrapping eurozone rules and forging links with Russia.

 

The Five Star Movement and Lega parties have been in talks since an election in March.

 

Their success has sparked alarm in the EU, as both stood on fiercely Eurosceptic platforms.

Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella will today be asked to approve the formation of the coalition, whose manifesto includes deporting half a million illegal immigrants, scrapping eurozone rules and forging links with Russia

 

Last week the parties said they would renegotiate EU rules that require migrants to be dealt with by the first country they arrive in. They also pledged to build more detention centres and review the policy of rescuing migrants whose boats capsize. Italy has been on the front line of the EU’s migrant crisis, with hundreds of thousands making the journey across the Mediterranean from North Africa.

 

Lega leader Matteo Salvini has said an estimated 500,000 undocumented migrants in Italy must be deported ‘as a priority’. He told supporters he would rid the country of ‘delinquents’. The parties have also warned they will ignore Brussels rules on spending designed to prevent another eurozone crisis. They reject what they call the EU’s ‘austerity’ measures and want to renegotiate Italy’s debts.

 

Luigi Di Maio, the Five Star leader, said money to fund tax cuts would be found through investments and upcoming negotiations on the EU budget.

 

 

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