Salvini MP: If EU Had Pushed Sanctions Italy Would Have Debated Leaving

A picture taken on May 30, 2018 shows figurines on an Italian flag lying on a European Union flag. - Italy, one of the European Union's biggest economies, has been plunged into crisis after President Sergio Mattarella at the weekend vetoed the new government's nomination of a fierce eurosceptic as …

Following the European Union’s climbdown on the Italian budget, populist League MP Claudio Borghi has revealed that if sanctions had not been dropped Italians would have begun a debate on leaving the EU entirely.

The European Commission announced this week that it had come to terms with the populist Italian government coalition on the budget and is no longer considering the process that would have led to potential sanctions against the country, Il Giornale reports.

Borghi, who also serves as president of the Budget Committee in the Italian chamber of deputies, said that “the lords of Brussels have understood that if they had pulled the rope again, people in Italy would have come back to ask themselves whether they really want to stay in Europe or not.”

According to a Eurobarometer poll released in October, Italy has become the most eurosceptic country within the political bloc, with the results showing that only 44 per cent of Italians would vote to remain within the EU if a referendum on membership were held.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior, and League (Lega) leader Matteo Salvini celebrated the cave in by Brussels, saying that the government had actually improved the budget in certain areas.

Salvini has also been largely critical of the current state of the European Union, saying in October: “It is clear now to everyone that it needs to be re-founded. I dream of a Europe that does few things and does them well. The next year’s European elections will be a historic occasion.”

The League leader, who is seen as one of the most popular political figures in Italy, announced he would be joining forces with French Rassemblement National (RN/National Rally) leader Marine Le Pen to form an alliance ahead of May’s European Parliament elections.

Last week, Austrian Vice-Chancellor and leader of the Freedom Party (FPÖ) Heinz-Christian Strache also announced he would be joining the alliance alongside Salvini and Le Pen.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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