Matteo Salvini, who leads Italy’s nationalist-populist Lega Nord (Northern League), has committed to leaving the European Union’s single currency zone if he wins big in this year’s elections.
Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament and a fellow Italian, had recently suggested that the right-leaning firebrand was reversing course on his long-running plan to leave the euro, which Salvini believes erodes national sovereignty and disadvantages the economies of Southern Europe to Germany’s advantage.
“Free interpretations of my thinking make me laugh,” Salvini told La Repubblica.
“I remain convinced … that the euro under these conditions was an error, which we will remedy.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 26, 2016
Marine Le Pen, leader of the reformed French nationalists, was said to have spooked voters during her 2017 presidential run by making a similar commitment on the euro, and globalist politicians and commentators expected that anti-establishment politicians in other eurozone countries would be wary of tackling it so directly in future.
Indeed, the Lega Nord’s head of economic policy, Claudio Borghi Aquilini, indicated that the victory of establishment candidate Emmanuel Macron over Ms. Le Pen in France would make uncoupling Italy from the single currency a more difficult task.
“Before, we had a concrete hope of creating a group of nations that could have immediately demolished the euro,” he told Reuters.
“Sadly we no longer have that, so we need to approach it unilaterally,” he explained. “Our plan is still to try to leave the euro as soon as possible, but ‘as soon as possible’ means being ready to do so.”
The leader of Italy’s Northern League has described the migrant crisis as an “invasion” being orchestrated by the EU https://t.co/j70c97lg3w
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 31, 2017
Salvini also pledged to triple deportations and secure the borders — policies which are resonating in a country which has undergone extremely rapid demographic changes in recent years, and found itself on the frontline of Europe’s migrant crisis after people-smugglers began favouring the Central Mediterranean Route from Libya to Italy over the Eastern Mediterranean Route from Turkey to Greece.
Salvini has taken an unashamedly hard line on the migrant crisis from early on, stating clearly that, in his view, the “culture of Islam” is “backwards, and not compatible with our society”, and calling for criminal migrants who have carried out gang rapes on popular tourist beaches to be castrated and expelled.
“Europe is losing its values and identity, it’s lacking security and has lost its sense of pride,” he warned in January 2017, speaking in terms of a “culture war” which the Brussels establishment is too “soft” to fight.