11:40 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Italy's Lega Nord Leader Says Party Will Never Back EU Army Initiative

    © AFP 2019 / MAHMUD TURKIA
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    Leader of the Italian Eurosceptic Lega Nord party Matteo Salvini on Friday said that his party would never support the EU initiative to create common armed forces of the 28-nation bloc.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Asked if Italy might vote for the initiative to create the common army of the bloc, Salvini told reporters:

    "The common currency doesn't work, this Union can't even protect its borders, what there is to say about the common army. We will never vote for this choice."

    He added that issues alienating either democracy or sovereignty, at the same time contradicted people's freedom.

    The plan to create the bloc’s army, which goes back to 1950, was revived in March 2015 by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said the bloc needed its own unified army to respond to threats posed to EU member states. Major proponents of such EU-wide army are Germany, France and Italy.

    The discussions on Europe's defense and potential creation of the common armed forces have become more active following the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election. During the presidential race, the politician had repeatedly stated that the United States should decrease the support of other NATO member states and protect only those members of the alliance, who "fulfill their obligations" in respect to Washington.

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    Tags:
    European Union, Lega Nord, Matteo Salvini, Italy
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