Populist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini wants to take his party, the League, international and transform it into a “European force” as his popularity surges across Italy.
Interior Minister Salvini announced his long-term goal to turn the League into an international force over the weekend saying he wanted “to transform ourselves also into a European force, into an international force, which goes beyond regional and national borders and brings freedom to all the peoples of Europe,” Il Giornale reports.
Slamming the establishment in Europe, accusing them of failures in both banking and mass migration, Salvini said: “I want to give voice to another kind of Europe, the Europe of the hope of work and certainty. And all the parties will have to choose which side to be on.”
The announcement comes after Salvini has been seeing a huge surge in popularity across Italy following his move to ban migrant rescue NGO ships from Italian ports.
Italy, Ipsos Poll:
LEGA-ENF: 31% (+1)
FI-EPP: 8% (-1)
+E-ALDE: 3% (+1)
LeU-S&D: 2% (-1)
FdI-*: 2% (-1)
Others: 3% (-1)
Released: 27/06/2018 pic.twitter.com/S4qyrzvsxn
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) June 30, 2018
New reports have even shown growth in the south of the country, something once thought impossible as the League was previously a Northern Italian regionalist party which at one time advocated for northern separatism.
As well as increasing popular support from the Italian voters, according to polls which put the League and Salvini ahead of their anti-establishment coalition partners, the Five Star Movement, the Interior Minister has been given praise from other European anti-establishment leaders.
Last month, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán lauded Salvini’s mass migration policy saying: “The Italians have finally declared something that we all know: that the NGOs are in fact white-collar people smugglers.”
On Monday, French populist leader and former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen praised Salvini stating: “He is giving us the example, leading the liberation of Europe.”
Le Pen also commented on the populist alliance between the League and the Five Star Movement saying: “Europe sees this as a real revolution that is shaking it from the bottom and calls into question the whole project.”