Home » Leading Green MEP questions Five Stars’ credentials over China

Leading Green MEP questions Five Stars’ credentials over China

Beppe Grillo
The Italian anti-establishment party is still politically homeless in the European Parliament. And although dialogues between it and the European Greens Party are ongoing, its erratic political history and dubious foreign policy positions are turning some MEPs off

EU Greens leader blasts Five Stars over China. The Five Star Movement (M5S)’s founder, Beppe Grillo, is (still) pushing to turn the strategic seaport of Taranto into a Belt and Road Initiative junction. And upon learning the news, Reinhard Bütikofer – an influential German MEP and former co-chair of the European Green Party – wasn’t impressed.

  • “Is this the kind of politics that the Greens/EFA group would want to open its door to?” he tweeted with reference to that story.

Are EU swiping left? The M5S has been searching for a European home since EFDD, a Eurosceptic European party once led by chief Brexiteer Nigel Farage, was dissolved in 2019. Earlier, it had been rejected by the liberal ALDE group (now Renew Europe). And over the last years, it has been in talks with the European Greens, EGP.

  • Back in January, Angelo Bonelli and Eleonora Evi – co-chairs of Italy’s Greens, members of the EGP – said they “strongly opposed” the M5S’ entrance into their European group, highlighting the party’s poor adherence to progressive climate policies (especially during its time in government).
  • In early March, party leader and former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte again met in Brussels with Green national delegations. “We are continuing the dialogue and confrontation; we are trying to get to know each other better and better,” he said afterwards.

Technical discussions. Mr Conte sees convergences, especially in the area of social and climate justice. On their part, Terry Reintke and Philippe Lamberts – co-president of the EGP – had highlighted the M5S’ “attractiveness” (the party garnered 17% of votes at the latest governmental elections).

  • As reported by EUNews, Mr Reintke stressed that “the [Greens’] door is always open for confrontation with serious and credible partners,” while Mr Lamberts spoke of a “long and substantive dialogue; we have a lot to digest and discuss.”
  • Still, as evidenced by Mr Bütikofer’s remarks, there’s a section of the party that doesn’t quite buy the M5S’ credibility. And the Italian party’s erratic political history (and dubious foreign policy positions) makes it hard for Mr Conte to disprove them.

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