Giorgia Meloni, soon to be Italy’s first female prime minister, once slammed French President Emmanuel Macron after he described the Italian government’s decision to refuse to receive a ship carrying hundreds of migrants across the Mediterranean as “disgusting, shameful, and irresponsible.”
In recently unearthed footage, Meloni can be seen speaking at the Atreju convention in September 2018, an annual event typically attended by Italy’s right-wing politicians, in which she accuses the French president of impoverishing African states and recklessly causing the migration crisis in North Africa that Italy has had to combat for the last decade.
“Emmanuel Marcron described us as disgusting, cynics, and irresponsible,” she told the conference.
“The irresponsible, Emmanuel Macron, are those who bombed Libya because they were concerned that Italy would obtain important energy concessions with [former Libyan leader] Gaddafi, and left us facing the chaos of illegal immigration we are facing now,” she said to much applause.
“The cynics, Emmanuel Macron, are the French who send the gendarmerie to return any immigrant trying to cross the border in Ventimiglia,” a northeastern Italian town close to the French border.
“And most of all, and because things have to be said right, disgusting… Disgusting is France that continues to exploit Africa by printing money to 14 African countries and charging them mint fees, and by child labor in the mines, and by extracting raw materials, as is happening in Niger, where France extracts 30 percent of the uranium it needs to run its nuclear reactors, while 90 percent of Niger’s population lives without electricity,” Meloni raged.
She called on Macron not to come and teach the Italians lessons, claiming that “Africans are abandoning their continent because of you [Macron].”
On the topic of illegal immigration, as significant a problem now as it was at the time of this speech, Meloni said “the solution is not to transfer Africans to Europe, but to liberate Africa from some Europeans.”
Conservatives across Europe flood to congratulate Giorgia Meloni after historic Italian electoral victory
Politicians from Hungary, Poland, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom all rushed to praise the electoral success of the Italian right in Sunday’s vote
Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party won the most seats in the Italian parliament in Sunday’s national election and will form the next government alongside its right-wing coalition partners, which include Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.
She is known for her conservative views on a range of issues, including immigration, LGBT, and abortion, and is seen as a threat to the left-liberal establishment that dominates much of Western Europe as well as European Union institutions in Brussels.