INTERVIEW with Matteo Salvini: The European Union needs to reinvent itself and find a new soul

MS: I personally requested that Prime Minister Mario Draghi should always take the scientific data into consideration. MS: Whatever vaccine is effective is welcome in Italy. It is completely nonsense to be able to verify, from March 31 till the end of April, specific restrictions about red and orange zones. I spoke with the President of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, and in the Veneto, they are distributing vaccines very fast, but now the main problem is that the original vaccine provisions are coming to an end and new doses are not arriving. Yesterday, I saw the updated data from the regions about the pandemic in Italy. NE: The lack of vaccines jabs in Italy and the EU is still an unresolved issue. I don’t know why the 1.5 million inhabitants of Sardinia should be forced to stay home and close up their shops for the entire month of April only because some only see red across the whole country. If in April, some regions should be classified in the yellow zone, then we must reopen them, What is at stake are thousands of jobs and the mental health of Italians. NE: What do you think about the possibility of locking all of Italy for the entire month of April as has been suggested by Health Minister Roberto Speranza? Matteo Salvini (MS): The top priories are the EU repatriation policy and border protection. Salvini came to Warsaw at the invitation of the Polish Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski. By the end of the year, Italy-based production should be at full speed. Therefore, if this trend continues for the next several days, there is no way to justify extended lockdown closures after April 15. India is a very advanced country with regards its pharmaceutical research. The number of hospitalizations, ICUs and positive cases are all decreasing. Regarding the self-sufficiency of vaccines, Giancarlo Giorgetti, the Minister for Economic Development, is working to accelerate the production of vaccines in Italy. This is not the case now in terms of how it is being done. If today we could fuse together the European Conservatives and Reformists and Identity and Democracy groups, we could have the second biggest group in the parliament, a true alternative to the European People’s Party/Socialists and Democrats duo. When we’re talking about these two specific issues, we’re asking for “ more Europe “. If the data tells us that those specific areas should stay in the red zone, then restrictions need to be kept. Red is the color seen by bulls and Communists. However, if other areas in the country have good data in terms of positive cases and hospitalizations, they need to be put in the yellow zone. EPA-EFE/RADEK PIETRUSZKA POLAND OUT








On two separate occasions prior to the Easter holiday, New Europe had the opportunity to meet with Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s Lega party and the former deputy prime minister, in Rome to about a wide range of issues that included the EU’s immigration policy, management of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines and a development plan for the south of Italy proposed by his party. Europe should only respect the existing pacts and let us continue to work on our own. MS: We haven’t asked for anything. For Example, I know that you have contacts with the Indian authorities. We’re not asking for money, just the right to the freedom to work. How can Europe help with this initiative and what are you asking the EU to do to help implement your plan? If so, and if we’re talking about immigration, what are your priorities at the EU level? style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>INTERVIEW with Matteo Salvini: The European Union needs to reinvent itself and find a new soul

By Federico Grandesso
Italian Editor, Journalist

epa07271640 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs of Italy Matteo Salvini attends a press conference at the Italian Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, 09 January 2019. For example, as of March 31, based on the most up-to-date data that we have, Sardinia could reopen. The EU should deliver on its promised numbers of vaccines and let Italian entrepreneurs, farmers, fishermen and researchers work without ridiculous regulations that block the further development of a company like Alitalia. The Italian politician also met with the leader of Poland’s ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) Jaroslaw Kaczynski. In some policy areas, we want the other members of the European Union to be able to decide for themselves on other issues, but on these two specific points, we think Europe should have a major role in terms of cooperation. I agree with what PM Draghi said – that we have to look at the scientific data. This issue should not be treated from an ideological point of view, but only one that is scientific and pragmatic. The political groups inside the European Parliament should seize the occasion and use it as a way to change. Speaking about a larger vision for the future of the European Union, I think after the COVID crisis, the EU needs to reinvent itself and find a new soul. NE: You’ve developed a plan to relaunch and support the development of Southern Italy. New Europe (NE): After your meeting with the prime ministers of Poland and Hungary, are you planning to found a new group in the European Parliament? Which of the other available vaccines could be interesting for you? We’re asking for a clear and logical system if it red we close but if the situation is good we must reopen. I would use the Indian vaccine tomorrow morning, if possible.