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    ‘Our Generation Was Left Behind by EU’ – Italian Youth League Spokesperson

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    Denis Bolotsky
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    As the party ‘Northern League’ (recently rebranded as Lega) gains popularity in Italy, it is placing big hopes on its youth wing. Sputnik sat down in Rome with foreign affairs spokesperson at ‘Lega Giovani’ Davide Quadri.

    Sputnik: Your organisation is currently establishing ties with patriotic movements all over Europe. What are your goals?

    Davide Quadri: Our goal is to build strong relationships with all the Eurosceptic parties across the European Union. Our mission is to reach all 28 countries in the EU and to establish good relationships. Also, there are other points, like the ‘less power to Brussels Commission', to the European Commission, stopping immigration, and [giving] more sovereignty to the state. These are the topics that we want to share with all the parties in the European Union, and also outside the EU, because we also have good ties with a Serbian party, and with the Young Guard of United Russia.

    Sputnik: What are the key things that you dislike about the EU in its current form, and why did you choose to communicate with other youth movements abroad directly, and not through some EU networks?

    Davide Quadri: Our generation was left behind by the European Union. No one cared about the youth. There are no more pro-European voters. Because if you're betrayed by the European Commission, who take more care about big companies, about immigration, and only then make the future more possible and affordable to us, especially in Italy where we have a problem with unemployment.

    We have to go to England, to go to other countries, maybe to the US and Australia to find a job and that doesn't work. Also, in the European Union, they don't fix problems with the youth. The problem with young generation is not only about communicating long-distance over the phone or international roaming, but also about values and identity that we want to preserve, and we need to be part of something, a part of the community, and not only buyers.

    READ MORE: Italian Prime Minister to Ask EU for 'Economic Maneuver'

    Sputnik: Italy has had its share of problems because of refugees and illegal migration. What are the ways to solve these problems when so many of them are already here?

    Davide Quadri: The problem is very important and we have to check everyone who is here illegally because people who are here legally have a right to stay, to make a community here with us. But if you're here illegally, the government has to control and to check. If the person doesn't have a right to stay — they have to go back to their country.

    You have to work closely with African countries because there are also problems for African states. There are many skilled young people who leave Africa because they want to join the ‘European dream', but it doesn't work for Europe, and it doesn't work for Africa.

    READ MORE: EU Sanctions Will Not Be Such Big Blow to Italy — Scholar on Budget Row

    Sputnik: You mentioned that you communicate openly with movements outside with the EU, and in Russia in particular. With all the anti-Russian mood in European politics, do you face criticism for your dialogue with Moscow?

    Davide Quadri: Mainstream media tries to push opinions like ‘you are paid by Russia', or ‘you're a proxy of Russia', when in reality we want to create a normal relationship with Russia, because it's very important for Italy, and not only for economic reasons, but also for cultural reasons, because the links between Italy and Russia are very close. If you think about that — the architect who built the Kremlin was Italian. We make clear that we have a relationship together, we have to improve that.

    Sputnik: The EU will be holding Parliamentary Election in May next year. What is your prognosis when it comes to results for patriotic parties?

    Davide Quadri: I think the patriotic parties will make maybe the second largest group in the European Parliament. But we also have to work on that, because every country is different, every nation has its own sensibility, about the economy and about foreign policy. It's impossible if we have foreign policy altogether: countries like France are very active in Africa, Germany — in another part of the world.

    So, we think that we can make an agreement all together to preserve what is Europe, and now we are not preserving our identity or way of life, but just becoming a market for Chinese or American products. And that doesn't work, that's why patriotic parties could shift the European policy together. Because it's impossible that we take 51% of the votes in all the European countries, but we can shift the European policy in a more conservative way, and then we can work to make things better in our communities.

    Views and opinions expressed in the article are those of Davide Quadri and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Lega Nord, Davide Quadri, European Union, Italy, Russia
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