French President Emmanuel Macron hit back against Hungary and Italy, saying the countries were “right to consider him a threat” after he was portrayed as a common enemy and blamed for Europe’s migration woes.
Reacting to accusations from Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán and Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini — who met Tuesday in Milan — the French president said he would not “cede any ground to nationalists and those who advocate hate speech.”
“If they want to see me as their main opponent, they’re right,” he told reporters on a visit to Denmark.
Speaking at a joint press conference alongside Orbán, Salvini, who leads Italy’s far-right League, accused Macron of “preaching lessons to foreign governments” and ignoring requests for help from Rome in dealing with migrants arriving on its shores.
Orbán, meanwhile, claimed the French president — who wants to put together a centrist coalition ahead of next year’s European election — “leads the European force that backs migration” and “wants to blow up the European People’s Party in the same way he has done with the French party system.”