June 29, 2018 / 10:48 AM / 5 months ago

Italy's League leader Salvini 'satisfied and proud' of EU deal - statement

FILE PHOTO: Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini looks on during a news conference in Rome, Italy, June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s anti-immigrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Friday he was pleased with the agreement on immigration hammered out in an all-night meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels.

“I’m satisfied and proud of our government’s results in Brussels,” Salvini said in a statement. “Finally Europe has been forced to discuss an Italian proposal... (and) finally Italy is no longer isolated and has returned to being a protagonist.”

Earlier on Friday Salvini had given a more tepid endorsement of the deal, saying Italy wanted to see “concrete commitments” and that it had gotten most, but not all, of what it wanted.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose government includes the League and the 5-Star Movement, had refused to endorse a text on security and trade until other leaders had pledged to help Italy manage Mediterranean arrivals, bringing about nine hours of stormy talks before a deal was reached.

Reporting by Steve Scherer; editing by Francesca Landini

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