Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn and Italy’s Matteo Salvini have exchanged a series of blows.
The two men first clashed at an EU meeting in Vienna on September 15. Salvini referred to African migrants as “slaves”. His remarks prompted an angry outburst from Asselborn who has defended immigration as necessary to counter Europe’s ageing population.
As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), Salvini later shared a video of the row on his Facebook page along with comments aimed at further taunting the Luxembourgish minister.
“In Italy we feel it’s necessary to help our children make more children. And not to have new slaves to replace the children we’re no longer having,” Salvini was filmed saying at Friday’s EU meeting, which was closed to the press.
Asselborn, seated two places down from Salvini, can be seen exclaiming in the video: “That’s going too far!”
Unfazed, the Italian interior minister continued: “If you in Luxembourg need more immigration, I prefer to keep Italy for Italians and that we start having children again.”
Later, in an interview with German media, Asselborn hit back saying that Salvini is using “the methods and tone of the fascists from the 30s”.
In a separate report, the Italian news agency ANSA noted that Salvini’s anti-migrant far-right League is expected to be one of the two right populist parties that do well in the European Parliament elections in May next year. Orban’s nationalist Fidesz party is the other.