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Manfred Weber: EPP boss sees intersection with Meloni's ultra


His meetings with Italy's ultra-right head of government, Georgia Meloni, caused resentment within the EPP, and now parliamentary group leader Manfred Weber is flirting with the post-fascists again. Some of their policies are "constructive".

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CSU politician Weber: "Meloni is constructive in Europe"

Photo: Michael Kappeler / dpa

The head of the European People's Party (EPP), Manfred Weber, has shown himself open to an alliance with the ultra-right party of Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

He does share concerns about the post-fascist history of Meloni's Fratelli d'Italia party.

"But today we're talking to each other about how we can solve Europe's big questions together as Europeans," he told the newspapers of the Funke media group.

As party and parliamentary group leader, however, he has the ambition "that the EPP will do so well in the European elections next year that we will remain the strongest force to be able to shape politics in the next five years," said the CSU politician.

Weber left it open who the EPP would put up as the top candidate for the next European elections in 2024.

This should be decided at a party conference in January 2024.

Fratelli d'Italia MEPs are currently members of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group.

This includes, for example, the national conservative Polish governing party PiS and from Germany the former AfD MP Lars Patrick Berg.

Unlike the AfD, with which cooperation in the European Parliament is ruled out, there are obviously intersections for Weber with Melonis Fratelli d'Italia.

According to Weber, three fundamental principles of the EPP are “pro-the rule of law, pro-Europe, pro-Ukraine”.

The head of government in Rome at least partially fulfills these principles: "Meloni is constructive in Europe, stands by Ukraine, and there are no problems with the rule of law in Italy," said Weber.

The deputy CSU leader also referred to the importance of Italy's founding member within the EU.

»Italy belongs to the core of Europe.

A Europe without Italy is unthinkable.«

Weber, who is generally regarded as a liberal CSU representative, had also caused upset within the EPP with two personal meetings with Meloni.

Contacts with the ultra-right in Italy could also make the far-right demarcation of the CDU and CSU in Germany seem less credible.

Weber, on the other hand, apparently wants to measure Meloni's party by their actions.

According to SPIEGEL information, he is said to have repeatedly stated internally that he was exploring an approach to the Fratelli d'Italia.

EKR has already supported the election of EPP President of Parliament

Cooperation with parts of the EKR parliamentary group would also not be a novelty.

The national-conservative group had already pledged support to EPP politician Roberta Metsola after she was elected President of Parliament.

Within Weber's faction, however, CDU politician Dennis Radtke criticized the approaches.

“Parties that share nothing with us Christian Democrats apart from the will to power are unsuitable as potential partners”.

According to the CDU politician, the demarcation to the right must always be credible, “from Wattenscheid to Brussels”.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-01-26

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