Berlusconi embarrasses the popular Europeans | International
is the headline of the news that the author of WTM News has collected this article. Stay tuned to WTM News to stay up to date with the latest news on this topic. We ask you to follow us on social networks.
The European People’s Party (EPP) wanted to celebrate. The recent appointment of the conservative Ulf Kristersson to lead the Government in Sweden is seen as the first of other future victories -they also have that of Alberto Núñez Feijóo in Spain- that will consolidate the Popular Party as the main force in Europe and as a “political party”. of winners”, according to its president, the German Manfred Weber. But in these came Silvio Berlusconi with his speech in favor of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, while questioning the military and political strategy of the EU and NATO in Ukraine. Some statements that have fallen like a jug of cold water at the meeting that the EPP held this Thursday in Brussels, shortly before the summit of heads of state and government, and in which the embarrassment was manifest despite the attempts to mark distances between Berlusconi and his party, Forza Italia, a member of the coalition led by the far-right Giorgia Meloni.
To try to eliminate doubts, a serious Antonio Tajani, coordinator of Forza Italia and who aspires to be Meloni’s foreign minister, arrived at the meeting on the outskirts of the European summit reiterating, insistently, the principles that the EPP maintains as “red lines ” that every formation in their ranks must comply with.
“I confirm our position, the position of my party, the position of the leader of my party, my personal position, totally in favor of NATO, in favor of transatlantic relations, in favor of Europe and against the Russian invasion in Ukraine. This is very clear, there is no doubt about this”, he stated both in English, so that everyone could understand, and in Italian, before participating in the popular event. Already behind closed doors, the former president of the European Parliament affirmed, according to witnesses at the meeting, that the issue with Putin is a “personal” problem for Berlusconi, but it is not the official line of a party that “has always voted in favor of Ukraine ”, as he also reiterated at the end of the meeting, once again before the microphones.
Despite this, the serious, disgruntled gestures of the participants in the popular summit said more than the official statements of the institutional representatives, who clung to the figure of Tajani to defend the PPE’s support for Forza Italia’s participation in the coalition government of Rome.
Tajani “is a guarantee of this clear pro-Atlantic and pro-European vision” of Forza Italia, declared German MP Manfred Weber. For her part, the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, defined her predecessor as a “committed European, a committed Atlanticist and an Italian committed to keeping Italy in the heart of Europe.” The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also a member of the EPP, preferred not to make a statement.
The institutional support of the top popular leaders for Tajani could not hide the anger of many participants and the concern about the effects that Berlusconi’s statements may have on a party where many members flirt with possible alliances with extremist and/or pro-Russian parties.
Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.
“There can be no ambiguity with Putin”
“I will be very frank, I think it is a big problem. There are three basic standards that any party that wants to be in the EPP must meet: it has to be pro-Europe and in favor of European integration, uphold the rule of law, and it has to support Ukraine in the fight for its survival, existence and sovereignty. And I’m not sure you can have someone in the EPP family who doesn’t uphold these pretty basic principles,” Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.
“There can be no ambiguity when it comes to Ukraine (…), there can be no ambiguity with Putin. He is not a friend of Europe”, he stressed.
Also for the Polish Donald Tusk, former president of the European Council, Berlusconi’s words are a “problem”. “There is no doubt, it is a problem for Forza Italia and for Berlusconi, but automatically it is also our problem, and we have to discuss it to see how we solve it,” said the former Polish ruler. Meanwhile, the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, declared himself very upset with the leaking of the audios of the conversation in which Berlusconi spoke of Putin, but acknowledged that the words of the leader of Forza Italia “do not contribute to the line” of the PPE , which defends a “strong solidarity with Ukraine and a clear condemnation of Russia”.
At the end of the meeting, Tajani assured, however, that he managed to reassure his partners. “There are many speeches, but in politics what we do is important, and Forza Italia has voted in favor of Ukraine every time,” he said before reiterating that there is “no doubt, absolutely no doubt” about his party’s position. Despite Berlusconi.
Follow all the international information in Facebook Y Twitteror in our weekly newsletter.