Home » League hits back at Tajani rejecting EU alliance with nationalists

League hits back at Tajani rejecting EU alliance with nationalists

After the EPP’s vice president said an agreement with Le Pen’s National Front and Alternative for Germany (ID) is “impossible,” the League’s Zanni blasted the Populars’ entente with left-wing forces. Watch out for convergences on green dossiers

The EU 2024 race is heating up, and European political leaders are working on alliances to design a majority in the European Parliament. That’s why the League’s Matteo Salvini was meant to meet with France’s Marine Le Pen, head of the National Front – the French component of their EU Parliament group, Identity and Democracy (ID). The in-person rendez-vous was postponed in light of the ongoing protests in France, but the two leaders managed to catch up via videolink.

  • Mr Salvini and Ms Le Pen reiterated their “reciprocal esteem and friendship,” with the former calling to build a veto-less shared centre-right house in the European Parliament as an alternative to the socialists.
  • The two also decided to organise an ID meeting at the earliest convenience, in the surety that the group will prove “ever more attractive for other political forces interested in changing Europe.”

Giorgia Meloni’s movements. The Italian Prime Minister, who’s also head of the growing European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), is working on a possible convergence between the latter and the EPP – which is far from uninterested.

  • Meanwhile, Silvio Berlusconi’s death opened up the matter of his party, Forza Italia, as the traditionally centrist party might reconsider its future positioning. However, it doesn’t look like the party’s leaders are ready to accept a hard turn to the right for the sake of building a majority.

The EPP shuts the door… Tensions are rising between the League and its governing allies in Italy. On Sunday, Antonio Tajani, interim leader of Forza Italia and Vice President of the European People’s Party (EPP), rejected the possibility of an alliance with France’s National Front and Germany’s Alternative for Germany.

  • “I want to be very clear […]: for us, any agreement with AfD and Mrs Le Pen’s party is impossible,” he stated while talking at Rai 3. The League “is something quite different,” he added, noting the EPP “would be happy to have the League part of a majority, but without Le Pen and AfD.”
  • Senate Vice President Maurizio Gasparri also stressed that Forza Italia “is in favour of all alliances of political forces alternative to the left. Provided, of course, that they respond to the fundamental principles of democracy and Europeanism.”

… and the League responds. Then, before Mr Salvini and Ms Le Pen spoke, League MEPs criticised Mr Tajani’s words, asking if he really “prefers to continue governing” with leftist forces – such as Italy’s Democratic Party, the EU socialists groups, and Renew Europe, the liberal group headed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

  • “The League is working to change the majority in Europe and to give birth, at last, to a united centre-right project, capable of giving concrete answers to citizens after years of misgovernment by the Left,” argued Marco Zanni, President of the ID group, and Marcon Campomenosi, head of the League’s MEPs.
  • “This is not the time for diktats, nor for deciding a priori who to exclude from the European centre-right project.” All the more so if such diktats come from those who have worked alongside left-wing parties, they stressed, demanding “more respect for our colleagues in the ID group.”

Green litmus test. League MEPs also highlighted that the EPP and ID managed to block the passage of a nature restoration law last week, proving such a convergence can stave off “illiberal leftists” and “enemies of industry and labour.” Some interpreted that vote as proof of the feasibility of a right-wing alliance in the European Parliament, modelled after Italy’s majority, as the EPP grows increasingly concerned with the EU’s green push.

  • On Monday, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen criticised “extremists, left or right,” who “look backwards” and are afraid of “any kind of change.” The democratic group in the centre must “show that we have clear ideas on how to deal with the changes that are happening,” such as climate change and Russia’s war, she argued, in what appeared to be a defence of the existing EU Parliament majority who elected her.

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