This past week the interior ministers of the member states of the European Union met in Vienna. Jean Asselborn (Socialist Workers’ Party) is the Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Affairs in Luxembourg, which somehow provides the credentials for his attending the meeting. Matteo Salvini is, of course, the Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister for Italy.
In the exchange below you’ll see Mr. Asselborn become nasty and foul-mouthed with Mr. Salvini (actually, since the Luxembourgish minister was speaking French, it may not have been considered foul-mouthed, for all I know). Mr. Salvini, in contrast, retained his composure and responded with cool aplomb.
The Italian press raised a big fuss about the incident, and drew attention to an issue which otherwise would have received no coverage at all: the need for Italians to start making babies again. That was Mr. Salvini’s point, to make more Italians instead of importing what he called “slaves” from Africa.
“That minister was vulgar.” Thus Salvini silences Asselborn
After the clash at the summit of the interior ministers in Vienna, the Northern League destroys his colleague: “He gave visibility to the meeting”
by Claudio Cartaldo
September 14, 2018
A few words were enough for Matteo Salvini to destroy his Luxembourg counterpart, Jean Asselborn.
The interior minister seemed almost amused when answering reporters’ questions at a press conference on the margins of the summit held in Vienna on migration. “I thank the Luxembourg minister who has given visibility to this meeting,” said the deputy prime minister. “His calm tones and the serene debate are spoken of throughout Italy; those who did not know that we were here, thanks to the vulgar minister of Luxembourg now know.”
“Fewer migrants”, “Et merde alors”: Salvini-Asselborn collision in Vienna
The facts. As is well known, while Minister Salvini was explaining his position on immigration to his European colleagues, the Luxembourg European and foreign affairs minister interrupted him by criticizing his position. Salvini first tried to conclude his discourse, but then Asselborn lost patience and, turning on his microphone, blurted out: “In Luxembourg, dear sir, we had thousands of Italians who came to work with us, migrants, so that you in Italy could have the money for your children.” And then he ended the speech with a colorful expression: “Merde, alors (So, s**t).”
At the time Salvini did not seek out the clash: “Good manners is about letting a statement be finished,” he said, trying to remain calm, but then he was harder at the next press conference: “Those who did not know that we were here, thanks to the vulgar minister of Luxembourg now know,” said Salvini, ironically dismissing what happened at the EU interior ministers’ summit.
|00:00||I think I am in the government and paid by my citizens|
|00:05||to help our young people return to making children|
|00:09||as they did some years ago — and not to implant|
|00:13||the best of young Africans to come and replace young Europeans, who for|
|00:19||economic reasons are not making children. These are two completely different visions of the world.|
|00:23||Perhaps in Luxembourg there are these needs. In Italy we feel the need|
|00:27||to help our children to create more children,|
|00:31||not to acquire new slaves to replace the children we’re not having.|
|00:35||Therefore, we are absolutely ready to dialogue with all|
|00:39||[in French] Go on, go on, go on… [blah blah blah]|
|00:47||I will respond calmly to your point of view, which is not mine.|
|00:53||If in Luxembourg there is a need for new immigration,|
|00:57||in Italy I prefer to help Italians get back to having babies. —In Luxembourg…|
|01:00||I didn’t interrupt, please. If you would let me finish. I have not…|
|01:04||[in French] In Luxembourg we have had tens of thousands of Italian…|
|01:07||I did not interrupt… —[in French] immigrants, who came to work,|
|01:11||so that you in Italy could have money for your children — so s**t!|
|01:16||[in German] Excuse me.|
|01:21||Good manners would expect (one’s) statement to be allowed to finish.|
|01:27||Not everywhere is [unintelligible] understood.|
|01:31||[unintelligible] I intend to work to resolve the problems and reduce the number of deaths…