Matteo Salvini Rejects Replacing '10M Italians' with Migrants, Backs Family Policies
Populist Party leader encourages Italians to have more children
Populist leader Matteo Salvini warned that Italy's demographic problems could not be solved through mass migration and rejected the idea of replacing “ten million Italians” with migrants.
Salvini said family-friendly policies should be used to encourage Italians to have more children, instead of replacing millions of Italians with foreign migrants.
“My objective is to give economic serenity to Italians to encourage them to have children,” Salvini told The Guardian.
“I refuse to think of substituting ten million Italians with ten million migrants.”
The former deputy prime minister said it was vital to increase native births and stated that while still in government that “a country which does not create children is destined to die.”
Salvini weighed in the border crisis in Poland, saying the “shock” might be useful.
“I think that Europe is realizing that illegal immigration is dangerous.”
Though he said receiving small levels of immigration could be acceptable, he said he had no interest in uncontrolled immigration.
“What I don’t want is them arriving on boats; that’s a mess,” Salvini concluded.
Salvini's remarks come as Italy’s native birth rate took a nosedive with foreigners accounting for around nine percent of its native population in 2019.
Salvini is the only European leader to call for boosting birth rates instead of immigration.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has implemented measures to raise the native birth rate in his country.
Married couples are able to apply for loans of up to around €30,000, and if they have a child within five years, the interest is suspended.
Additionally, women who have four or more children do not have to pay income tax.
The new measure seems to be having a positive effect as birth rates rose 5 percent in the first half of 2020
Poland also implemented similar measures like introducing a “maternal pension” for women who have four or more children
Meanwhile, France saw its lowest birth rates on record since the end of the Second World War in 2020.
The UK also saw its birth rate drop, according to a recent report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF).
“Many other liberal democracies are exploring the use of policies like cash payments to parents, more generous parental leave and cheaper childcare to make it easier for those that want children to have them,” Aveek Bhattacharya, chief economist at the SMF said in September.
“Here in the UK, we should consider the merit of these policies – not least because they would bring many other benefits to parents, children, and wider society,” Bhattacharya added.