Slovenian prime minister Janez Jansa has said that not only his own country but also the EU as a whole will not be opening humanitarian corridors for Afghan refugees. His comments sparked polemics among the Italian Democratic Party and left wing in general.
The prime minister of Slovenia, Janez Jansa, has said that Europe will not open its doors to anyone fleeing Afghanistan except for those who worked with the NATO mission.
Slovenia has been at the head of the presidency of the Council of the European Union since July.
"It is not the duty of the EU or Slovenia to help and pay every person on the planet who is fleeing when they could be fighting for their homeland," he said.
The Italian left reacted to his words and instead voiced support for humanitarian protection for those fleeing Afghanistan.
The politician Enrico Letta had in recent days started raising funds for this cause on behalf of the Democratic Party (PD).
Many have asked for action to be taken against Jansa, who is from the country's conservative faction and who is considered a close ally of his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán and near other Visegrad group leaders.
Criticism from Italy
The loudest criticism has come from leaders of the PD and Sinistra Italiana parties while the center-right has not yet comented.
Disbelief has bean voiced over the fact that this position had been neither discussed nor agreed upon with Brussels. Underscoring this fact was Brando Benifei, head of the Dem group in the European Parliament, who noted that Jansa "does not have the right to speak without a mandate to do so on behalf of the EU."
He added that "the Italian government should speak out against these scandalous words and the European Parliament should immediately summon Jansa, who must answer for these words."
Piero Fassino, who leads the foreign affairs commission at the Chamber of Deputies for the PD, urged EU Council chief Charles Michel to "immediately order the Slovenian prime minister to rigorously and exclusively carry out the role granted to him."
Debora Serracchiani, Dem group head at the Italian Senate, said that Jansa's statement had gone beyond his competency and that it "represents neither the position of the governments nor that of the majority at the European Parliament. Jansa is speaking at the personal level and in so doing has gone outside of his role."
SI secretary Nicola Fratoianni said that " if the friend of (Matteo) Salvini does not know the founding values of the Euroepan Union, it is not necessary that he remain within it. An immediate, clear, and decisive reaction is needed from the Italian government against this man who certainly does not represent Europeans."