Bruxelles – “It will be interesting to understand Manfred Weber’s position on Italy”. S&D Vice-President Pedro Marques couldn’t remain neither indifferent nor silent on the outcome of the Italian general elections. He looks with a certain concern at the possible implications of such a vote. Giorgia Meloni’s upcoming government poses a series of question marks on a broader range of topics, especially on the European’s People Party. The group of Socialists and Democrats want to be sure that traditional pro-European center-right political family still can play a credible role. In the interview given to Eunews and few other European media, Marques pointed the finger at the EPP leader. “We are going to debate with Weber and Berlusconi on Putin’s stance”. Silvio Berlusconi’s party, Forza Italia, an EPP member, will rule the country with the far right.
EUNEWS: Apparently there are some EPP MEPs concerned for this FdI-Forza Italia alliance. What do you expect?
Pedro Marques: “Indeed there are EPP MEPs who are uncomfortable with that, but these reactions have not been so much noisy. The problem with the EPP is that they have concerns but in the end they go ahead. For those who belong to the EPP I see a great responsibility for what’s going on. To us, EPP people are normalizing more and more the far right forces, and that’s dangerous. They haven’t been capable of expelling Orban’s Fidesz from their party, it was the party itself who took the decision, at last. What happened with Italy is even more dangerous, because the EPP deliberately decided to break the Cordon Sanitaire established at the beginning of the legislature. They are destroying it”.
E: Anyway, Giorgia Meloni’s FdI has never been part of this Cordon Sanitaire…
PM: “It’s true that the ECR group has been part of political agreements in the Parliament. I am not sure that at the beginning of the European legislature the Cordon sanitaire could be extended to other forces, but it is undeniable that there are problems with certain ECR members”.
E: Can these Italian elections have an impact on the EU?
PM: “Yes, indeed”.
E: Do you see the risk of having a blocking minority in the Council, with Hungary, Poland, Italy, Sweden and the Czech rotating presidency?
PM: “That would be very negative. Of course countries such as Hungary now feel more confident in terms of new possible alliances. But we still have rules”.
E: About that, president von der Leyen stressed, two days before the Italian elections, that in case something is wrong with Italy, there are tools. Don’t you thing that these remarks helped the right-wing parties to win the elections?
PM: “No, I don’t think so. As I said, we have rules. In that sense, president von der Leyen and us we speak the same language. So, I share her words. I am confident that the upcoming Italian government is aware of these rules”.
E: Hungary announced the launch of a public consultation on the EU energy sanctions against Russia. Are you concerned that others could follow this example?
PM; “We saw even before how Hungary started to go in the opposite direction. We condemn any attempt to block the sanctions. To us, putting a price-cap on Russian gas sold abroad is the right thing to do”.