The vice-president of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament has criticised the deal between two other political groups: the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

On January 17, EPP leader Manfred Weber and ALDE chief Guy Verhofstadt announced the formation of a pro-European coalition to “reform and strengthen” Europe.

S&D’s Tanja Fajon said: “From Grillo to Berlusconi in less than a week. Guy Verhofstadt has given further proof of his political incoherence, performing a spectacular somersault. Apparently, after having tried the tragicomic move of getting the populist 5 Star movement on board to increase his personal chances of victory, now the leader of the Liberals seems to have hammered out a deal with Berlusconi’s man in Brussels, the EPP candidate Antonio Tajani.

“In the last few days, we offered Verhofstadt a clear pro-European deal, we received no response to this and what is even more surprising is that he apparently did not even inform his Group about this opportunity,” added Fajon. “This is the second time in a week that Verhofstadt has forgotten to inform his own members of important information, showing a complete lack of respect for his ALDE Group colleagues.

Fajon also accused Verhofstadt of jumping to the right even though the history and nature of ALDE is far from that. “He preferred to perform a political somersault and shape a new majority with the conservatives and the right-wing forces. This is a historic mistake and we will work for an alternative solution.”

“We believe this parliament needs a more ambitious and transparent majority,” added Fajon.