Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen wrapped up a meeting in Rome early in the week where the staunchly Eurosceptic politicians discussed possible alternatives to EU membership.
As two stalwarts of the extreme right-wing populism that is gaining traction in the European Union, the two stepped up their anti-EU rhetoric and appeared to declare war on the European institution at a joint press conference where Salvini spoke of what he called the “Brussels bunker” where “the enemies of European nations have entrenched themselves”. Offering her full support, Le Pen said she and Salvini have predicted that the immediate future will see the “rise of a Europe of nations and a Europe of respect”.
“The European elections in May will mark the end of a long journey, a revolution of common sense that is spreading inexorably throughout Europe. But not only in Europe: The result of the election in Brazil is an example of what we’re talking about,” said Salvini.
Attacking the European Commission and markets, Salvini also said that rating agencies must be fair and that the EU’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, along with the European Commissioner for Economy and Finance, Pierre Moscovici, “are the real enemies of Europe”.
Le Pen, who has championed the breakup of the EU for over a decade, said the two politicians’ main goal is to return the nations of Europe back to a sustainable level of growth and marketability that will their ability to independently make decisions on budgets and employment without first having to confer with Brussels.
“Together with Matteo Salvini, we are not fighting against Europe, but against the EU, which has become a totalitarian system. We are fighting against this same EU to save the real Europe,” Le Pen said.