WEF member and unelected EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has openly admitted that if Italy dares to elect a “right-wing” (non-WEF) government, “the EU has the tools needed” to deal with that problem.
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Ursula von der Leyen issued the barely veiled threat of “consequences” ahead of Sunday’s election that a conservative bloc led by Giorgia Meloni is expected to win.
The comments highlighted concern in the corridors of power in the WEF and EU over the forthcoming election and suggested that relations between Brussels and Rome could get turbulent if Meloni and her partners secure victory.
“My approach is that whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we’re working together,” von der Leyen said at Princeton University in the United States on Thursday, responding to a question on whether there were any concerns with regard to the upcoming elections in Italy.
“If things go in a difficult direction, I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland, we have tools,” she added.
Per Reuters: Matteo Salvini, the head of the League and a part of Meloni’s conservative alliance, denounced her comments as “shameful arrogance”.
“What is this, a threat?” he wrote on Twitter. “Respect the free, democratic and sovereign vote of the Italian people!”
Von der Leyen apparently was referring to last Sunday’s recommendation by the European Commission to suspend some 7.5 billion euros in funding for Hungary over corruption, the first such case in the 27-nation bloc under a new sanction meant to better protect the rule of law.
The EU introduced the financial sanction two years ago in response to what it says amounts to the undermining of democracy in Poland and Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban subdued courts, media, NGOs and academia, as well as restricting the rights of migrants, gay people and women during more than a decade in power.
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