Following today’s official meeting with the president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Roberto Fico, the leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Udo Bullmann, stated:

“I had an open and frank exchange with the president of the Italian Low Chamber, Roberto Fico, during which I expressed our pressing concerns regarding the political and economic drift the Italian government is taking. I made it clear that the Italian government is bears a huge responsibility on the next generation’s future. As a founding member state, Italy also bears an important responsibility for the future of the European project.”

“We see the Italian government taking an extreme-right course under the uncontested leadership of the Deputy Prime Minister Salvini, who is today meeting Marine Le Pen and recently met Victor Orbán. We shared with President Fico the view that a radical change is needed in Europe’s economic approach, for the European dream to be relaunched, but we radically diverged on the assessment of Italy’s current policies. I expressed our strong worries for the economic course that the Italian government has undertaken, not only because it disregards public deficit and the solidity of the Italian financial system, but above all because it doesn’t address poverty and inequality, cuts taxes for the richer, puts the burden of debt on families and doesn’t invest in education, jobs, infrastructures,” he added.

“I expressed our strong concerns also on the recent choices on migration and asylum policy, in particular for the Salvini Decree just adopted and its inhuman and ineffective approach, aimed at destroying the integration system and leaving municipalities alone to face the inclusion challenge and its social impact. Finally, I expressed my concerns on the extremist and right-wing drift of the Italian government. European history has taught us that when the moderates open the doors to right-wing extremists, moderates always end up being isolated and side-lined. We need Italy, as a key lead founding member, to fully embrace the European project, to radically change it for the better, and not to break it,” Udo Bullmann said.