Italy will no longer obey EU diktats, says Renzi

Alessandria (Italy), Nov 8 (IANS/AKI) Italy will no longer obey the “diktats” of the European Union, which must share the burden of the migrant influx, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Tuesday.

“The time when we took orders and diktats is gone for good,” Renzi told local officials in the northwest Italian city of Alessandria during a visit to the Piedmont region.

“Immigration policy has got to change.

“We refuse to be a piggy bank for those Eastern European countries who accept money (from the EU) and then try to build walls.”

Italy has demanded tough treatment of Eastern European countries, including Hungary, that shun migrants.

Last month, Renzi urged cuts to the so-called Visgrad Group’s funding from the bloc’s budget.

Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are refusing to cooperate with a mandatory quota system agreed by a majority of EU ministers at an emergency summit in September last year.

The four voted against the plan to relocate 120,000 refugees from Greece and Italy over two-year period, but they were overruled.

Italy and Greece are the main entry points for many hundreds of thousands of migrants who seek refuge in Europe annually in recent years.