Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and President of the Italian region of Lombardy, Liga party politician Attilio Fontana, agreed on their approach to migration issues at a meeting in Milan on Wednesday evening, including the fact that only people who arrive legally should be allowed into Europe, and illegal immigrants must be kept outside Europe, the Minister himself told reporters at a press conference following the meeting.

Following the meeting in the region capital Milan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade declared: “The Lombardians also precisely know and sense the weight of the migration problem in view of the fact that 450-500 thousand illegal immigrants are currently present on the region’s territory”.

“Accordingly, we also agreed that following the closure of the migration route on dry land, migration processes and the opportunity for new waves of migration must also be prevented via the maritime route”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

The Minister added that he had assured the President of Lombardy that Hungary agrees with Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini that nobody should be encouraged to risk their lives by setting off for Europe via the maritime migration route. “It must be made clear: the fact that someone gets on board the people smugglers’ ship in Africa does not automatically mean that they will be able to disembark in Europe”, the Minister underlined.

Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that Lombardy is the engine of Italian economic growth in view of the fact that 22 percent of Italy’s gross national product (GDP) is produced in this region. “Since we are talking about one of the world’s seven most highly developed industrial nations (G7), the Italian region also plays a key role with relation to European economic growth”, he added.

With relation to this, the Minister said the Hungarian Government has agreed on investments totalling 43 billion forints (EUR 133 million) with four major Italian companies. The enterprises will be investing within the fields of energy, the food industry and logistics in Győr-Moson-Sopron, Zala, Pest and Csongrád counties.

“With relation to economic cooperation, enterprises from Lombardy are investing to an increasing ratio and extent in Hungary”, the Minister said, adding: “The attractiveness created by Hungary’s investment environment has found a particularly favourable response and interest in Lombardy”.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)