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Defending 'God and family' says Meloni in Budapest

'Migration is not the answer to population decline'

15 September, 10:54

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 15 - A "great battle" is needed to defend the family, which means "defending identity, defending God and all the things that our civilisation is built upon", Premier Giorgia Meloni said at the Budapest Demographic Summit in Hungary on Thursday. Meloni told participants that supporting families and reversing the declining birth rate in Italy are absolute priorities of her right-centre government, in order that "the future might be better than the present". "Population decline is not a destiny, it is a choice," said the premier, adding that "it is not the choice we are looking at". Meloni said resources must be mobilised to support the family "as it is", citing Hungary as "a perfect example". "Hungary shows that things can change if we have the courage to make the necessary choices and investments," she continued. "In Hungary, the declining trend in the birth rate has been halted, jobs have increased, and so has the employment of women," she insisted.
    Instead, Meloni said migration is not the solution to the demographic decline. "It is often instrumentally claimed that migration will contribute to the growth of our populations. I do not agree with this narrative," she said. "I am convinced that great nations must take responsibility for building their own future," she continued. "Migrants, if fully integrated, can make a contribution, but we have to take greater responsibility for ourselves, as European citizens, finding solutions to the crises of the European system," added Meloni. In April national statistics agency Istat said that there were less than seven births and more than 12 deaths for every 1,000 inhabitants in Italy in 2022, when births fell below the 400,000 mark for the first time since the unification of Italy, standing at 393,000.
    The premier has made reversing this trend a battle horse, and in May she told a conference on Italy's declining birthrate also attended by Pope Francis that talking about natality, motherhood and families feels like a "revolutionary act". "We believe that the task of the state is to create favorable conditions, within the regulatory environment and above all on the cultural level, for families, for initiative, for development, for work," she said. "We want a state that accompanies and does not direct, we want to believe in people, to bet on Italians, on young people, on their hunger for the future," she added. (ANSA).

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