In the aftermath of the sovereignist event in Florence, with the Northern League leader asking the Azzurri to agree to ally themselves with the European far right, the response from Tajani’s party arrives
In the aftermath of the sovereignist rally in Florence, with the leader of the League Matteo Salvini asking Forza Italia to agree to ally with the European far right, the blue message arrives at the number one of the Carroccio.
“Relationships with Matteo Salvini are excellent, there is no controversy; in Europe we are for a centre-right alliance between conservatives, liberals and popular, there will be no mess, but we will never form an alliance with Afd and with Mrs Le Pen”, he said in the evening the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Antonio Tajani on the sidelines of the awards ceremony organized by the American Chamber of commerce in Italy, underway in Milan on the words spoken yesterday by the Northern League member.
“Matteo Salvini – he insists – is an ally and can also be one in Europe”. What is certain, warns Tajani, is that “we will never form an alliance with Afd and Mrs Le Pen, but this is known and has nothing to do with Italy and the government”. In Europe “we are for a centre-right alliance between conservatives, liberals and popular. The same alliance that made it possible to win the confrontation with the left and defeat the socialist candidate for the presidency of the European Parliament in 2017″. Therefore “nno problem, but we must give stability to Europe and be realistic”. Moreover, “the centrality of Forza Italia in the stability of Europe is an essential element in the next legislature. Forza Italia is part of the EPP and without the EPP Europe cannot be governed”. Precisely for this reason, he concludes, “there is no appeal to be made, Salvini will make the choices he deems appropriate to make. I’m just saying that if Salvini wants to ally with us I’m always available. We are allies in Italy, I don’t see why we shouldn’t be allies in Europe.”
Forza Italia’s reaction: “We are incompatible with Lega allies in the EU”
Responding to the question on the point posed to him in Tagadà on La7, the vice-president of the Chamber and Forza Italia deputy Giorgio Mulè he explained that the Florentine event, “is the legitimate meeting of a political party that chooses its allies as it sees fit, then each of us can give a judgment on that event. As regards Forza Italia we have declared for a long time and publicly the absolute and total incompatibility, in any scenario, of allying ourselves with parties like Afd in Germany, Wilders in Holland and Le Pen in France, who have irreconcilable ideas and values that are in conflict with our very essence, not so much with the European People’s Party , but precisely of people with different sensibilities. We are absolutely incompatible with those parties.”
The ‘blue’ parliamentarian explains that “on this there is no possibility of agreement or entanglement, to use the words of Matteo Salvini, with these groups which also in Florence have given free rein to their impulses/ideas which will not be able to never, never belong.”
“Forza Italia, a member of the EPP, the first European party, works for a united centre-right, and history shows that where you succeed you can win as happened with the election of Antonio Tajani as president of the European Parliament by defeating the socialists”. This is how Tg2 Italia Europa intervenes Deborah Bergamini, deputy group leader of Forza Italia in the Chamber.
“We also want to govern in Europe with Salvini but the problem is that within the European family to which the League belongs there are parties that are incompatible with the values that we carry forward and defend. We must gather as much consensus as possible around the EPP – concludes Bergamini – to make it clear that a solid, stable and responsible Europe can face the complex challenges that await it”.
It’s still. Paolo Barelli, president of Forza It deputiesalia, to the microphones of Tg3 he explains: “Forza Italia is an integral part of the European People’s Party: we are pro-European and therefore non-pro-European parties cannot be in the majority with us”.
And he also intervenes from the blue front Stefania Craxi, senator of Fi and head of the Foreign and Defense Commission of Palazzo Madama. “Forza Italia – explains the senator to Adnkronos – is part of the European People’s Party group, so it remains clear that alliances with parties that have values that contradict those of the People’s Party and with our international, Atlanticist positioning are not possible”. For Craxi Fi continues to “work for centre-right unity, also in Europe, but it is clear that to make agreements it takes two people…”.
Craxi underlines that the EU needs corrective measures: “The Union, it must be said, is not yet in a position to act as a political actor with its own authority on the international scene, it does not express a single voice in foreign policy and in terms of defense as it would otherwise necessary”. “In the EU there is a need for profound reforms, for more efficient and democratic governance” a process that “goes hand in hand with the enlargement of the Union towards peoples who look to Europe and the values of freedom that it still represents” , he concludes.
The leader of the League Matteo Salvini “is on an election campaign”, but “we started it before him” and should remember that the national secretary of Forza Italia Antonio Tajani “never makes mistakes”. As Fulvio Martusciello, head of Forza Italia delegation at the European Parliamentresponds to the Minister of Infrastructure and Vice President of the Council, according to whom the leader of the Azzurri is “wrong” in saying that he will never ally himself with anti-EU forces such as Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National and with Alternative fuer Deutschland.
The issue of alliances in the EU, explains Martusciello to Adnkronos, “will arise on 10 June, not before, because we don’t know what the numbers will emerge from the elections and how the groups will be composed. What is certain is that any majority will be formed, Forza Italia will always be there, because it is central to the balance of the European Parliament. As for the individual parties, alliances are decided by Manfred Weber and Antonio Tajani: we are firm on the things they have said”.
But is an alliance with the AfD always out of the question? “It is not the head of the delegation’s job – Martusciello defends himself – to draw up alliances, we defer to their decisions. If the national secretary believes that these alliances are not possible, it is obvious that they are not possible. As it is obvious that the tones used in a strong manner against Europe, yesterday, by some anti-Europeanists, these are not our tones”. And it is equally “obvious that there is a fundamental incompatibility” with anti-European forces such as the AfD. “I think – adds Martusciello – that Matteo Salvini started the electoral campaign. We started it before him, however. I think that events like those of yesterday” in Florence “are part of an electoral campaign and communication strategy “.
Salvini, Martusciello continues, “knows as much as we do that in Europe we don’t vote with the majoritarian system, but with pure proportional voting: the majorities are made up the day after the elections. On 10 June the secretaries of the parties will start the decisions. We are on the field with our values, in a very clear way. And then I want to remind Salvini that Tajani never makes mistakes.” The most probable outcome, at present, seems to be a re-edition of the current situation, with the Liberals a little less strong and the Conservatives more numerous than today: “Tajani said it clearly – recalls Martusciello – the main objective, plan A, is to reconstitute the majority that elected him president of the European Parliament in 2017. We hope to be able to work on this: it is obvious that, from this perspective, the strengthening of the ECR, and therefore the opening to conservative parties, is good news” .
But, observes Martusciello, “it seems to me that the electorate is very fluid in Europe: just look at the Farmers’ Party in Holland, which has risen and fallen in the space of a few months”. For the EPP there are clear limits for the expansion of the majority: “The border line – he recalls – is always that of the recognition of Europe and its values: that is the basis for every alliance. Any party that does not recognize this does not can fit into a European majority.”
And in your opinion could the League be in the majority? “We are constantly voting in a similar way with the MEPs of the League – notes Martusciello – the proposals that arrive are always constructive, so I think that Tajani would have no problem in guaranteeing the League a majority in the EU”. But, at least as long as he remains in a group like Id, it seems difficult: “Let’s see how the dialogue evolves within the Conservatives, how the numbers will stabilize on June 10th. The real issue is that in Europe we vote with the majority, therefore the majorities are made up after the vote”, concludes the MEP from Campania.