Dropping its opposition to the euro, Italy’s far-right Northern League on January 3 renewed its pledge to rectify the “error” of the single currency.
Ahead of the March national election, there is growing hostility to the euro. A coalition including the League and former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!) looks set to win the most votes in March, but no group is likely to achieve a clear parliamentary majority.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, a member of Forza Italia, said earlier this week the League “seemed to have abandoned the idea of a hypothetical and unfeasible exit from the euro”.
But League leader Matteo Salvini responded on January 3, saying that “free interpretations of my thinking make me laugh”. He told la Repubblica newspaper that he remains convinced “that the euro under these conditions was an error. Which we will put right.”
The League blames the euro for rising poverty in the bloc, saying it only favours economic powerhouse Germany.
According to Reuters, Italy has become more hostile towards Brussels in recent years. A survey released by the Bertelsmann Foundation last October showed 83% of Italians were not satisfied with the direction of the EU against an average of 66% across the 28-nation bloc.
In related news, the Italian news agency ANSA noted that Salvini is planning to call ex-premier and Berlusconi to start thrashing out a common platform for a centre-right alliance ahead of the March 4 general election. He also said “three legs” were enough for the alliance, rejecting a bid by centrists who supported the left-right government to join the coalition as its fourth leg.
Salvini also said he would demand a “pact” against possible “shady deals” to form a grand-coalition government.