Sunday

21st Oct 2018

Italian coalition split on EU elections

  • Luigi Di Maio (c): 'We are neither a right-wing, nor a left-wing group' (Photo: camera.it)

Italy's 5 Star Movement (5MS), which has 14 MEPs in the European Parliament (EP), has ruled out an alliance with the far right after next year's elections.

"There is no doubt that the Movement will never sit together with [Marine] Le Pen," the party's Roberto Fico, who is the current speaker of the Italian parliament, told press in Brussels on Tuesday (9 October), according to the Reuters news agency.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Viktor Orban risks being kicked out of the EPP, the same EU political family as German chancellor Angela Merkel (Photo: Consilium)

Fico spoke in the margins of an EP hearing on migration.

He also met European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker the same day.

5MS sits in the populist European Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group in the EP, together with Ukip, a British eurosceptic party.

French politician Le Pen's National Rally party sits in the far-right Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group, together the League, an Italian party.

5MS and the League currently rule Italy in a coalition government.

They share anti-immigration views and have jointly defied the EU on fiscal discipline.

The Italian central bank, which is, like Brussels, more prudent on spending, should "try to get itself" elected with those measures, 5MS deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio said on Twitter on Tuesday, amid market volatility on Italian assets.

Di Maio also distanced the 5MS from a far-right alliance in the EU parliament in remarks earlier the same day, however.

"We are neither a right-wing, nor a left-wing group," Di Maio, whose party once held talks to join the pro-EU Liberal group in the EU assembly, told press in Rome on Tuesday, Italian news agency Ansa reported.

"Orban and Le Pen have nothing to do with us ... Orban and Le Pen are right-wing and they are the League's partners, not ours," Di Maio added, referring to Hungarian leader Viktor Orban.

Orban's Fidesz party currently sits with the European People's Paty (EPP) group - the heart of the EP's conservative establishment.

But the EPP has threatened to kick him out due to abuse of EU values and rule of law in Hungary, prompting his counter-threat to help form a new anti-EU axis in 2019.

The axis, with Le Pen and Salvini, as well as populist-nationalists from further afield in the EU, could hamstring EU legislation in the EP if it got more than a third of deputies next year.

Orban's allies want concessions ahead of critical vote

MEPs in Strasbourg debated triggering the Article 7 sanctions procedure against Hungary, for infringing EU rules and values - while prime minister Viktor Orban claimed the parliament was about to punish Hungarians for protecting Europe's borders from immigrants.

Bavarian election puts Merkel on defensive

Voters in Germany's largest state hived off to the left and right of the ruling conservatives in Sunday's elections - posing questions for Merkel's authority.

News in Brief

  1. Germany leads EU criticism of Saudi Arabia
  2. Huge pro-EU march takes place in London
  3. Macedonia MPs back name deal in initial vote
  4. EU to open trade talks with US on beef
  5. EU court orders Poland to suspend firing judges
  6. Japan to focus on circular economy at G20
  7. Italian budget 'significant deviation' from rules, says EU
  8. Podemos initiates debate on legalising marijuana in Spain

EU parliament will not budge on office expenses

Hungarian centre-right MEP Livia Jaroka sticks to earlier decision: documents related to the minor reform of the expenses system, requested by EUobserver, should remain secret.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. What Italy's budget row is actually about
  2. EU preparing 'concentration camps' for migrants in Africa
  3. Poland to respect EU injunction on judicial purge
  4. EU votes on Facebook and plastic This WEEK
  5. Top EU banks guilty of multi-billion tax fraud
  6. Polish left a glimmer of hope in fight against illiberal democracy
  7. Europe and Asia seek stable relations in troubled times
  8. Asylum reforms derailed, as EU looks to north Africa

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us