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‘Goodbye Merkel’: Italy’s Populist Leader Mocks German Rival After Election Humiliation

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The Associated Press/Getty Images

The Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has scolded German Chancellor Angela Merkel after bruising results in the Bavarian elections.

Reacting to the news of the historic low result for Dr Merkel’s sister party in a scathing tweet, Mr Salvini, who leads the right-wing populist League party, said the result showed Merkel and “the old system had lost” as well as praising the electoral gains for the AfD.

The populist leader wrote: “In Bavaria change has won and the European Union, the old system that has always been poor in Brussels, has lost.

“This was a historical defeat for Christian Democrats and Socialists, while for the first time many of the AFD friends are entering the Regional Parliament.”

He also attacked liberal European Union (EU) leaders, adding: “Goodbye Merkel, [former European Parliament leader and Social Democratic Party of Germany leader Martin] Schultz and [European Union Commission president Jean-Claude] Juncker.”

Reacting to the projected results earlier, CSU leader Markus Söder said the party “accept[s] the result with humility”.

Former CSU leader Erwin Huber was more downbeat, saying: “That’s a serious defeat. Everything under 40 percent is terrible for the CSU”. His party got 37 per cent.

Confirmed results show Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) had its worst result in decades, with the Green Party also surging in the traditionally Conservative German state.

While the centre-right CSU — localised sister party to the larger nationwide Christian Democratic Union (CDU) controlled by Merkel — won the vote, it lost over ten points compared to the last election in 2013.

Meanwhile, the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany(AfD) won ten per cent of the vote and entered the 15th of Germany’s 16 state assemblies for the first time.

The results for both the CSU and the Socialist party largely mirror the results of last year’s federal election in which Chancellor Merkel’s CDU and the Socialists saw their worst election results in decades.

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