European Parliament President Antonio Tajani lashed out at Donald J. Trump‘s former special advisor, Steve Bannon, telling the right-wing political strategist to “go home” if he continues to actively campaign for the destruction of the European Union.
A self-identified “European nationalist” Tajani told Italian news agency ANSA that Bannon was welcome as a “tourist” but should “keep quiet” when it comes to political matters as he’s neither a resident of the EU nor a citizen or voter of a European Member State.
Tajani’s statement comes amid concerns by the European People’s Party that Bannon’s budding relationship with Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, who also leads the stridently Eurosceptic Lega party in the Italian governing coalition,
At a conference organised by Tajani in the central Italian city of Fiuggi, the Secretary General of the European People’s Party, Antonio López-Istúriz, expressed serious concerns about the role that Bannon appears to be playing as a political advisor to some of Europe’s more extreme right-wing political parties, saying, “I find unacceptable that this disgraced ideologue is thinking of destroying the European project.”
The talisman of the American alt-right has made statements in the last several weeks saying that he is actively working to unify Europe’s right-wing and Eurosceptic parties in the run-up to the European elections set for May 2019.
Most recently, Bannon was a featured speaker at the ‘Atreju 18’ political meeting, the Youth Festival of the Brothers of Italy, a far-right populist political party who has been accused by some of promoting a brand of neo-Fascism.
Centre-right’s future in Italian national politics
The leader of Tajani’s Party, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, weighed into the discussion about his party’s future, expressing confidence that a centre-right coalition would return to the government in the not-so-distant future.
“The centre-right is united, it works and it not only exists, but it also resists,” Berlusconi said while addressing a Forza Italia party conference on September 20. Berlusconi was speaking in the aftermath of a centre-right party conference in Rome that also included participants from Salvini’s Lega and Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy.
The Lega and the Brothers will be running on a joint ticket in forthcoming regional elections in the Italian regions of Piemonte, Abruzzo, Basilicata, and Sardinia.