EU's warning if Italians vote wrong: “We have tools”

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Published 23 September 2022 at 15.23

EU. If an unpopular right-wing government is elected in the elections in Italy on Sunday, the EU may take the same punitive measures as it did against Hungary and Poland. This is announced by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Reuters reports.

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The immigration-critical right-wing party Italy's brothers – described in the Swedish media as “post-fascist” – looks set to form a government after the Italian election on Sunday.

This raises concerns among liberals in The EU, however, seems to have a plan to deal with the situation.

The president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is already threatening to use the same punitive measures against Italy as they have previously done against other countries that have voted in right-wing governments.

When asked about her concerns before the elections in Italy, she answers:

– If things go in a problematic direction, I have mentioned Hungary and Poland. We have tools.

Matteo Salvini is the leader of the anti-immigration Lega party, which is part of the intended government coalition with Italy's brothers. He is sharply critical of the unelected EU chief's comment, which he describes as an expression of “shameful arrogance”.

“What is this, a threat? Respect the free, democratic and sovereign voice of the Italian people !” writes Salvini on Twitter.

Von der Leyen appears to have been referring to the European Commission's decision last week to recommend that around 7.5 billion euros in aid to Hungary be withdrawn with unclear reference to the right-wing country not respects the “principles of the rule of law”.