Monday

23rd Apr 2018

EU centre-right detaches itself from Berlusconi

  • Berlusconi's antics have angered even his protective EU friends (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

The centre-right European People's Party on Tuesday (11 December) sought to detach itself from "populist" Silvio Berlusconi after he brought down the Italian government.

"Europe is very concerned about the recent political developments in Italy. All EPP member parties think it was a serious mistake to have toppled the government of Mario Monti," Joseph Daul, chairman of the EPP group in the European Parliament said in a press conference in Strasbourg.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, a long-standing embarrassment for the EPP with his sex- and tax-dodging scandals last week announced his intention to stand again in elections. His party - the People of Freedom (PDL) - last week withdrew its parliamentary support to the government, which prompted Monti to announce his resignation.

"The EPP is against populism, be it Italian, anti-German, anti-French or any other. We are against all populists, it is a necessity to tell the truth to our citizens," Daul said.

Berlusconi in recent weeks has denounced German Chancellor Angela Merkel's austerity drive and suggested Italy may be better off outside the euro. On Tuesday, he said Italy's rising borrowing costs are a "scam and an invention used to destroy our majority that was elected by Italians."

Daul added that the EPP is in favour of a "broad pooling of the centre and centre-right." This may suggest that the party would back a splinter party without Berlusconi.

Mario Mauro, the chairman of the PDL delegation within the EPP, spoke alongside Daul and gave vague answers about a potential split.

"I want my party and all those who want a balanced position to lend support to the EPP," he said.

One part of the PDL could follow Berlusconi and his allies in the anti-immigrant, anti-EU Lega Nord party, while another wing would stay in the pro-EU centre and continue to be supported by the EPP.

"It was a great moment of madness to let Monti fall," Mauro said. He saw an "even more important role in the future" for Monti, as "all parties will have to rally behind this."

An EPP decision regarding the PDL and Berlusconi may be taken at a party gathering in Brussels on Thursday, hours before EU leaders - including Monti - are meeting for their last summit this year.

EU leaders back Monti against Berlusconi

Germany's Merkel and other centre-right leaders have indicated they would like to see Mario Monti to keep on running Italy instead of Silvio Berlusconi.

Analysis

New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability

The EU's latest funding rules for European political parties and their think tanks fails to address the underlying problems of abuse. Instead of tackling the loans and donations culture, it has simply made access to EU funds a lot easier.

MEPs set limits to Macron's ambitions

The French president tried to woo the European Parliament but found that his quest for leadership will have to abide by the rules set by the European political groups.

Analysis

Macron relaunches his bid for EU leadership

In a speech to the European Parliament on Tuesday and then at a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, the French president will try to get support for his EU reform proposals.

Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on a political deal on organic farming, following 19 months of behind-closed-doors negotiations. EUobserver here details a five-month odyssey to get access to the secret documents that led to the deal.

News in Brief

  1. Commission will 'not shy away' from Malta killing repercussions
  2. EU Commission opens probe on Alitalia state loan
  3. Paris suspect given 20-year sentence for Brussels shoot-out
  4. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement
  5. Nahles elected new leader of Germany's SPD
  6. Report: EU budget to refocus on South
  7. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  8. MEPs urge better protection for journalists

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  2. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  3. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  5. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  6. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  7. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  8. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  9. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  10. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  12. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations

Latest News

  1. Secrecy of VW fraud report 'unacceptable', says MEP
  2. 'Strong suspicion' of corruption in Council of Europe assembly
  3. France tightens immigration law, sparking division
  4. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  5. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  6. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes
  7. Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform
  8. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups