Coronavirus: Matteo Salvini says he does not trust loans from EU
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The firebrand leader of Italy’s Lega Nord (Northern League) said he wants to bring together conservative politicians from his Identity and Democracy group, the European Conservatives and Reformists and right-wing figures from the European People’s Party, such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Mr Salvini declared: “The time has come to bring together the best of these three groups and start playing a decisive role in the EU Parliament.” He appeared under the slogan “Project of Another Europe” at an ID group summit in Cascais, Portugal.
Mr Salvini has previously held talks with Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party and Mr Orban.
They most recently met in April in Budapest, where Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was present.
The League leader proposed meeting again in June in either Poland or Italy to see if they can make more progress on the creation of the eurosceptic supergroup.
Leaders of the ECR’s main political parties met in Warsaw on Friday to discuss the possibility of forming a new group in the EU Parliament.
This could also include Spain’s Vox party and Italy’s Brothers of Italy.
A Law and Justice source said: “The aim of these talks is to bring the presence of a large centre-right force in the European Parliament which will be able to put a dam to this extremely liberal, extremely politicised, full of double standards and violation of treaties, the current direction of EU development.”
Mr Salvini is looking to shift EU decision-making to the right-wing, with a series of hardline reforms that will be reviled by the bloc’s liberal leadership.
The eurosceptic chief said that immigration and family issues need to be resolved across the EU.
“On some issues, there is a need for someone in Brussels to say no to the renting of wombs and the adoption of children by homosexuals,” he said.
“I hope that also in the EPP there are those who do not accept being subordinates of the left.”
Mr Salvini added: “Europe is not the European Union, it is not the euro. It’s millions of Europeans”.
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The Italian claimed “the media treat this as a meeting of extremists… We can be the first party with at least 130 parliamentarians.”
Bringing together Mr Salvini’s predicted amount of MEPs would make his new movement the third-largest party behind the EPP and the Socialist and Democrats.
Previous forecasts have suggested the eurosceptic could bring together as many as 146 right-wing politicians.
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PiS and a smaller ally hold 27 of Poland’s 52 EU Parliament seats, Fidesz has 11 representatives and League have 28 of Italy’s 76 seats.
It would give the renegade leaders a significant show of strength when attempting to wade into the Brussels decision-making process.
Despite its eurosceptic beliefs, the supergroup will likely be at odds with Downing Street’s current Brexiteer government
Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned Hungarian counterpart Mr Orban’s comments on LGBT rights and attacks on media freedom.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister raised his significant concerns about human rights in Hungary, including gender equality, LGBT rights and media freedom.”
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