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Italy's Renzi threatens to 'veto' future EU budget over migrants
October 26, 2016 / 4:26 PM / a year ago

Italy's Renzi threatens to 'veto' future EU budget over migrants

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Wednesday threatened to block the European Union’s next budget with a “veto” should Eastern European countries fail to take in their share of refugees.

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi talks to the media as he leaves a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

“If the Eastern countries who are growing with the help of our money do not open their doors to migrants as has been agreed, then we’ll put a veto on the future European budget,” Renzi said at a rally in Avellino, Italy, for an upcoming referendum over his flagship reform of the constitution.

The proposal for the next EU budget, for the 2021-27 period, is supposed to be completed by the end of next year. Technically, Italy does not have a veto over the budget, which can be approved with a qualified majority vote, though unanimity is often sought.

The prime minister has frequently denounced a lack of European solidarity amid the migrant crisis as Italy seeks EU approval for an expansionary budget that includes some 3.9 billion euros ($4.25 billion) in spending on migrants next year, and as he campaigns for a referendum on which he has staked his future.

Reporting by Steve Scherer and Isla Binnie

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