Salvini Pushes Domestic Agenda of Tax Reform After EU Election Landslide

Italian deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini meets the journalists during a press conference on the Government's pensions reform, in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

Populist Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini said he will be using the momentum of his European Parliament election victory to push forward on several key domestic policies including tax and justice reform.

Mr Salvini has said that while he is not interested in triggering a snap general election –despite pushing his coalition partners, the Five Star Movement, into third place in the EU elections — he has made it clear that the Five Stars must listen to his policy proposals unless they want to risk another national poll, according to a report from newspaper Il Giornale.

Among the policies Salvini previously promised but which had been shot down by his Five Star Movement coalition partners are the introduction of a flat tax on income, a proposal to give three northern regions of the country more autonomy, and justice reform.

Salvini announced that the Italian budget in the Autumn will be based on the concept of lowering taxes. Former League minister Armando Siri, who was fired by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte over corruption allegations, is intended to be at the negotiating table. “He was the victim of a lynching. Public square trials are not worthy of a civilised country,” Salvini said of the matter.

Describing Salvini as having switched roles with Conte and becoming prime minister in all but name, the Giornale report adds that Salvini will also look to increase deficit spending to cover tax reductions, an issue over which the European Commission had previously threatened Italy with potential sanctions.

“The EU must take note that the people have voted clearly and plainly against austerity, instability, unemployment, and to review the old parameters,” Salvini remarked.

Salvini and the League’s election victory over the weekend is a milestone, being the first nationally-held election the party has won in its history. Other conservative parties also saw gains, including the Brothers of Italy (FdI) which picked up their first ever MEP seat.

FdI leader Georgia Meloni commented after the vote that new elections should be held saying: “These elections say that now the League and Brothers of Italy represent an alternative majority. It will be up to each of the actors in the field to decide whether to follow the indications of the Italians.”

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

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