02:14 GMT02 March 2021
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    Earlier, in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, German Chancellor Angela Merkel excluded any possibility of an alliance between any right-wing party and her centre-right European People's Party (EPP).

    Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, head of the anti-immigration League party, has been quick to respond to a scathing remark from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who claimed she wouldn’t let his party work with her in the European Parliament.

    The remarks come as European elections are just around the corner.

    “We don’t want to stand with people who have ruined Europe for all these years,” Salvini quipped to Merkel’s dismissal of his anti-immigrant League party, according to media reports.

    In an earlier interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa, the German Chancellor ruled out any possibility of an alliance between any right-wing party and her own centre-right European People's Party (EPP), adding that migration alone was enough to show why they would never open up to Mr. Salvini’s party.

    Merkel’s harsh words, however, failed to hit too close to home, as Italy’s new anti-immigrant leader never sought to forge an alliance with the German chancellor.

    Instead, Salvini invited Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a politician vehemently opposed to Merkel’s open-border policy, to be part of the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), his right-wing group in the European Parliament.

    “We don’t want anything to do with Merkel and Macron, who have destroyed this European Union. We want to save Europe from the bureaucrats, the bankers and the financiers that have ruined it all these years,” Salvini was reported as saying.

    READ MORE: EU Polls: Salvini Consolidating Right to Reverse Centralisation of Power – Prof

    Salvini is holding a major rally in Milan Saturday ahead of the approaching EU elections, slated for May 23-26.

    The slogan of the rally, which will be attended by the representatives of 11 right-wing European parties, is "Italy first! Toward a Common Sense Europe."

    Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister is seeking to build a pan-European bloc of populists ahead of the elections to the European Parliament.

    Salvini's eurosceptic European Alliance of People and Nations (EAPN) may gain more seats than it did in 2014, while the current top two factions, the European People's Party (EPP) and Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), may face the opposite, Politico reported on Friday.

    According to the projection of the European edition of Politico portal, the EAPN may get 72 seats in the upcoming EU elections.

    If the projection proves correct, the EAPN will become the fourth-largest group in the new parliament, ahead of the European Conservatives and Reformists, which is projected to win 61 seats, nine less than it got five years ago.

    Euroskeptics currently control 256 of the 751 seats in the European Parliament, Politico's analysts said.

    Apart from Lega, Salvini's alliance also includes Alternative for Germany, The Finns Party, the Danish People's Party, the French National Rally party, Austria's Freedom Party and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia.




    Eleven EU Right-Wing Parties to Participate in Salvini’s Rally in Milan
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    Eurosceptics, polls, alliance, elections, migration, 2019 European Parliament Elections, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), European People’s Party (EPP), Lega Party, EU, Danish People's Party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), Matteo Salvini, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Italy, EU
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