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Italy PM rejects uniting far-right EU groups

By AFP

May 24, 2024 08:42 PM


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Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni Friday dismissed the idea of formally uniting the two far-right groups in the European Parliament, but said this did not mean they could not collaborate.

"There is currently no form of unification in sight between the conservative parties," the leader of the post-fascist Brothers of Italy party said.

Nationalist parties are expected to do well in European Parliament elections on June 6-9, fuelling speculation of a reconfiguration that would increase their influence.

During a live interview at an economic event in Trento, northern Italy, Meloni was asked about a theoretical union between Spain's Vox and Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN) in France, which currently sit in two different Parliament groups.

Meloni, whose party is with Vox in the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, said she did not expect either to change group.

She emphasised however that the two "can collaborate on some issues, as we have already".

They had "some points in common... for example in combating illegal immigration", a "less ideological approach" to the environmental transition as well as "the defence of European cultural identity".

Le Pen is part of the hard-right Identity and Democracy (ID) group, alongside Matteo Salvini's League party, a junior partner in Meloni's governing coalition.

On Thursday, they expelled from the ID group Germany's AfD party after a series of scandals involving a high-profile lawmaker, who is being investigated for suspicious links to Russia and China.

The ID and ECR are divided by some key issues.

Most notably, ID is sceptical of continued EU support for Ukraine against Russia's invading army, while the ECR backs Kyiv in its fight.

A third hard-right force sits in the EU parliament in the form of Fidesz, the unaffiliated party of Hungary's Kremlin-friendly Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

 


AFP


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