Juncker meets with Italian chamber speaker Fico after Salvini’s anti-EU comments

EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

Roberto Fico, President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy (R) is welcomed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker prior to a meeting in Brussels, October 9, 2018.

Juncker meets with Italian chamber speaker Fico after Salvini’s anti-EU comments


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European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker and Roberto Fico, the speaker of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, reportedly had a constructive meeting only a day after the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Salvini labelled the EU “an enemy” of Europeans.

“The meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes and it lasted a bit over an hour,” said the Commission’s spokesmen Margaritis Schinas, who added that the length of the meeting was indicative of how important Juncker considers Italy’s role in the day-to-day affairs of the EU.

“It was a useful discussion on matters of common interest, both for Italy and for the EU. Each agreed that Italy is and will continue to be at the heart of the European project,” said Schinas.

Juncker and Fico discussed the contentious issue of the Italian budget and the draft plan due on October 15.

“It’s up to Italian policymakers to find rules and measures” to ensure that Italy will be “within the agreed budgetary targets,” Schinas said, before denying reports that the Commission has already “rejected” a draft of the budget that Italy’s anti-establishment government has submitted and reiterating that the EU’s financial rules have to be set by the 28 democratically elected governments of Europe and not by the European Commission.

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