Silvio Berlusconi criticised the EU in the early 2000s for how the euro was imposed to Italy by former PM Romano Prodi, despite being in power when the main policies concerning euro’s introduction were being drawn up. Today, he still believes the euro impoverished the country, but he recently stated that Italy can’t leave the currency as it would be too dangerous for the economy.Pro-euro declarations have so far created small friction with his eurosceptic ally Matteo Salvini. Salvini, the Lega leader, wants to reintroduce the old Italian currency Lira, to be used only within the country, while keeping the euro for tourism and market purposes.
Italian election 2018: Silvio Berlusconi is positive to the EU – but wants reforms
Italian election 2018: Matteo Salvini has been dubbed the Italian Nigel Farage. After the EU referendum, he said: “The decision taken by the Britons points out that the European dream is failing. “Members of the bloc must act immediately to rebuild a stronger and better union”.
The Lega Nord leader – dubbed the “Italian Farage” – said he will fight Brussels to make sure “Italians come first” should he become Italy’s next Prime Minister in the March 4 Italian general election.Matteo Salvini could become a danger to the EU, having previously threatened to withdraw Italy’s funds from the bloc and even trigger an “Italexit” if his demands for Italy aren’t met.
Focusing his electoral campaign on fighting illegal immigration and protecting Italy from the EU’s “unfair” financial laws, he has often criticised both Eurocrats’ calls for greater integration and the euro, which he blasted was “a German currency”.He also claims the regulations imposed by the European Union are damaging Italian industries and the Italian eco. Speaking on La7 Coffee Break, he said: “We need to put Italian interests before those of the European Union, or at least at the same level.“The laws imposed by Brussels damage Italian artisans, traders, pensioners, but hey, Europe is asking so we have to obey.”
Luigi Di Maio
Luigi Di Maio, the leader of populist and eurosceptic Five Star Movement (M5S), ruled out having a referendum in Italy on membership of the EU.”We need to renegotiate some EU rules, but not in an in/out referendum,” he said, adding he believed Brexit had “weakened” the bloc.The 5-Star Movement has repeatedly stated in the past that it would like to hold a referendum on euro zone membership, something Di Maio previously echoed.
Italian election 2018: Luigi Di Maio has softened the Five Star Movement’s EU stance
The PD is currently the only large firmly pro-European Union party in the Italian parliament.
Communist party leader calls for Italy to leave the EU
We need to put Italian interests before those of the European Union, or at least at the same level.