Janice Atkinson, vice president of the Europe of Nations and Freedom Group (ENF) has hailed the success of the populist La Lega party and its leader Matteo Salvini in the Italian General Election, saying the results faces the EU with a full-blown earthquake as populism continues to sweep Europe.
Early returns show that La Lega gained 18.2 per cent of the vote with fellow Euro-sceptics Five Star taking 31 per cent. This means that 50 per cent of Italy’s voters cast their ballots for parties campaigning on a populist manifesto.
Janice, Independent MEP for the South East of England and an original Brexiteer, sits in the ENF Group alongside her closefriend and political ally Matteo Salvini – whose result in Italy shepraised as “spectacular”.
She said: “Yesterday’s Italian vote shows that the whole edifice of the EU is now heading for collapse. Brexit took the first brick out of the wall. Since then ENF parties have gathered huge support across the continent.
“In France Marine Le Pen last year took 33 per cent of the vote, while in Austria our ENF colleagues – the Freedom Party of Austria – now sit in Coalition
“It is indicative of the massive democratic deficit which has always characterised the EU that the ENF is the smallest grouping in Parliament despite the fact that the parties aligned in it continue to gather the greatest levels of voter support across the continent.
“For too long the Brussels elite of Juncker, Merkel has been a cosy cartel set up and maintained only for the interests of the European political elites and establishment. Representing the true views of voters in the nations of Europe has never been its remit.
“Brussels has consistently and scandalously chosen to ignore peoples’ concerns over every closer union, high taxes, the gender agenda, immigration, open borders and terrorism. Now these concerns are inevitably finding their outlet in mass populist votes across the democracies of Europe.
“Only last week I called for an urgent debate on the Frontex report (EU’s so-called border management agency), that predicted 1000 returning jihadi brides. Although there was a debate the next day on funding terrorism, my request was rejected by MEPs.
“The Europe of Nations and Freedom’s vice president, Matteo Salvini, is one of the most passionate, articulate, clever and determined politicians. With him in power, the tremor which was Brexit is now a full blown open fault lines earthquake. The ENF is the future as we see the slow death of socialism across the EU.”
Drawing a distinction between the populist parties which jointly dominated the Italian elections, Janice warned of the socialist Green agenda of Five Star.
She said: “Italians should beware of placing their trust in the Five Star Movement. They are Socialist Greens, who voted for ‘abridge to be built between Africa and Europe for migrants’. They also consistently betray their populist supporters by voting against expenditure reduction, for higher taxation and open borders”.