Published On: Thu, Aug 29th, 2019

Italy news: ‘Irrational’ Italexit from EU would damage millions says 5SM leader | World | News


, speaking before 5SM struck a deal with the Democratic Party (PD) yesterday, also dismissed any idea of former Prime Minister to the top job, while stressing her wish to see Giuseppe Conte, who resigned last week after a tirade aimed at , return to the top job. In a wide-ranging interview which also touched on US President Donald Trump and her party’s priorities for the future, Ms Beghin told Express.co.uk: “The 5-Star Movement is not a Eurosceptic but a Eurocritical party towards austerity and tax havens, and towards energy policies that benefit the fossil and commercial policies that massacre our entrepreneurs.”

The exit of Italy from the European Union will never take place and those who propose it are against millions of Italian entrepreneurs who export to other European countries and to the world

Tiziana Beghin

By contrast, former interior minister and leader of the far-right League party Mr Salvini has made little effort to disguise his hostility to Brussels over the years, remarking that his country “would not take any lessons” from current European Commission President .

Former Italian PM Enrico Letta has suggested Mr Salvini’s ultimate aim is to take Italy out of the bloc altogether – but Ms Beghin said: “The exit of Italy from the European Union will never take place and those who propose it are against millions of Italian entrepreneurs who export to other European countries and to the world.

“Moreover, in a globalised world only by being united we will be able to face our competitors: USA, China, Russia, India.

“We want to defend the Made in Italy that in fact, with the policies started by Luigi Di Maio at the Ministry of Economic Development, is going very well.”

Matteo Salvini

Matteo Salvini’s behaviour is “inexplicable”, said Tiziana Beghin (Image: GETTY)

Tiziana Beghin

Tiziana Beghin is Five Star’s leader in the European Parliament (Image: France 24)

Mr Salvini revived his party’s fortunes significantly after becoming League leader in 2013, campaigning in the 2014 European Parliamentary elections on a platform of “No Euro”.

Since then League’s opinion poll ratings have increased signficantly, with recent surveys putting their support at between 33 and 36 percent.

However, Ms Beghin said: “League is no longer a force for change. It destroyed the Conte government and went back to .

“The old forces that have governed Europe for years, the EPP and the Socialists, after the last European elections are no longer autonomous and the new Commission President has not been rejected only thanks to our decisive votes.”

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Giuseppe Conte

Giuseppe Conte resigned as Italy’s Prime Minister last week (Image: GETTY)

In reference to the confirmation of Mr Juncker’s replacement, she added: “The program of contains many of our flagships like the European minimum wage and a new green policy to fight climate change, the emergency of the century.

“We are working in Brussels to change Europe as well: re-launching investments, defending the environment, fighting corruption and redistributing migrants.

“Then, of course, we need a broad reform of the European institutions that puts citizens at the centre of the decision-making process.”

As for Mr Salvini himself, Ms Beghin, who was elected to the European Parliament in 2014, said: “Matteo Salvini did not understand the difference between being influencer and political leader.

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Luigi Di Maio

Five Star, led by Luigi Di Maio, is “not Eurosceptic but Eurocritical”, said Tiziana Beghin (Image: GETTY)

Matteo Renzi

There would be no place for Matteo Renzi in any new Government, said Tiziana Beghin (Image: GETTY)

“With his posts, he might be able to get thousands of likes, but if you don’t change people’s lives with effective policies, then maybe it’s better to change profession. On August 8, in an inexplicable action, he put an end to the government and, in fact, discouraged the Conte government, only to change his mind 10 days later when he realised the 5 Star Movement, in order to really change Italy, is willing to dialogue with everyone.

“It is really difficult to explain abroad what is happening in Italy because it has an irrational component: our PM has the approval of over 50 percent of Italians, he is the only European leader to have the support of the majority of citizens, yet Salvini has made him fall.

“Of course, Conte would be the ideal Prime Minister to continue the change that we began over one year ago. However, the leader of the Democratic Party seems reluctant. We’ll see.

European Parliament

The composition of the European Parliament after this year’s elections (Image: GETTY)

“Conte is a statesman, loved in Italy and appreciated in Europe.

“We must respect the vote of 11 million Italians who voted for us last year. We have many ideas that we want to turn into actions and we do not run away from our responsibilities as did.”

Nevertheless, she stressed 5SM had no regrets about going into a coalition with Mr Salvini’s Lega, saying: “With Salvini we have begun a path of change that we do not regret at all. Last year the leader of Lega was the only one to respond to our call for a government contract, those of PD – and I’m quoting them – preferred to eat popcorn.”

Asked about comparisons between Mr Salvini and Mr Trump, whom Mr Salvini has expressed admiration for on a number of occasions, Ms Beghin said: “Without going into the policies of the American President, which I respect, even though I don’t always agree with them, Trump is a successful entrepreneur, a man who has always worked and who would never dream of calling new elections from a beach.

Donald Trump

Tiziana Beghin dismissed comparisons between Mr Salvini and US President Donald Trump (Image: GETTY)

“Salvini has never worked, he has always been involved in politics and – allow me to add this – at the European Parliament, he was hardly ever present. More than a political leader, he acts like a political star.”

Ms Beghin also dismissed any chance of a return to the fray for Mr Renzi, who served as Italian PM from 2014 to 2016, saying: “Renzi is doing everything he can to get back into the political game, but Italians have already given their verdict on him. He lost a referendum and the last political elections. We don’t talk to him.

is our political leader and, together with all parliamentarians, he is facing this difficult political phase with responsibility and a sense of duty.”

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)



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