Salvini pledges 'shock' proposals before EU elections


MILAN (AP) — The leader of Italy’s right-wing League party on Friday rejected the label “far-right” for an alliance of like-minded populist leaders that are aiming to join forces and weaken European Union bureaucracy after next week’s elections across the bloc.

Matteo Salvini will lead a rally Saturday in Milan with leaders of 11 nationalist parties, some from the far-right, including France’s National Rally and Alternative for Germany. But he dismissed an extremist label for the populist parliamentary group that he hopes to form after the May 23-26 European Parliament elections.

“I don’t see the far-right in Europe. I think they are old categories that are outdated: fascists, communists, right, left,” he said. “I don’t see this wave of extremes in Europe. There is a different vision of Europe that is absolutely legitimate.”

Salvini said he intends for the League to emerge as the top party in Italy, but he demurred on whether he would lead the new parliamentary group of populists, saying it would depend on the vote’s outcome.

“My ambition, my pride, my hope is that the League can be the first party from this country represented in the European Parliament and that other movements close to use can be the first, second, third parties in their countries,” he said.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino Gives Surprising Response to Musk Telling Woke Execs to 'Go F*** Yourself'

The leaders of the 11 parties will march through Milan on Saturday before rallying in front of the Duomo Cathedral. Notably absent will be Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose party remains part of the European People’s Party despite concerns that Hungary has become less democratic under Orban.

Salvini’s influence has grown among other xenophobic parties with his refusal to allow humanitarian ships carrying migrants rescued at sea to make port in Italy, creating numerous standoffs while Europe haggled over which countries would give them haven. He also is outspoken about the threat of Islam.

Salvini said Friday that there are districts of cities in Europe “where Islamic law applies,” citing Rotterdam, Malmo, London, Marseille and Brussels.

“If we do not put a stop to this backward slide, from my point of view, socially and in terms of cultural rights, we risk regretting it bitterly in a few years’ time,” he said.

Before Saturday’s rally, banners hung from private residences throughout the city aimed at Salvini and his guests read “You are not welcome,” and “open doors,” a rebuff of Salvini’s migrant policies.

Salvini said the populist parliamentary group aims to create a Europe “that does few things and does them well,” restoring decision-making over such sectors as trade, agriculture and banking to member states.

Salvini, who is both Italy’s vice premier and interior minister, is pledging new “shock” proposals to relaunch Italy’s economy during the rally and said the most important issues in the EU vote next week are security and employment.

Italy’s borrowing costs rose to the highest levels in months this week after Salvini suggested that Italy could break EU fiscal rules and increase its public debt to create jobs. Salvini’s coalition partner, Luigi Di Maio of the 5-Star Movement, called the remarks “irresponsible,” as tensions between the parties grow in the run-up to next week’s vote.

On Friday, Salvini blamed the spike in borrowing costs to speculating investors, and asserted that “the fundamentals of the Italian economy are absolutely healthy.”

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Bombing at Catholic Mass

Italy struggles with high public debt of 132% of gross domestic product, which has curtailed its ability to make investments to boost stagnating growth.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City